Review: Stardust – Neil Gaiman

11 - stardust

Rating – 3*

This book was a really enjoyable couple of hours of listening to Neil Gaiman read to me. I love any of Gaiman’s audiobooks as he generally narrates them himself which just adds a much greater depth to the story, in my opinion. A quick sidenote, if you’re unsure as to whether audiobooks are for you seriously check out some of Gaiman’s work as not only are the stories amazing, but it’s a perfect way to slip in to audiobooks.

That note aside, this book was good. I enjoyed it, it was easy to listen to but it felt a little flat for me. I loved the idea of this, a boy goes on a quest to capture a fallen star. The issue with that is he does it to win the heart of a girl he’s in love with, or just get a kiss for her, that didn’t sit particularly well for me, it didn’t address the fact he was being predatory instead shrugged it off with the attitude of “boys will be boys”. Yes it’s a fairy tale, yes it’s short, yes there was a lot overlooked and missed out but I don’t think that really excuses the fact that it really objectifies women. The premise of it being a fairy tale for adults I also loved. It’s just it fell quite short of the mark for my personal tastes; adult equalled random sex and some violence which, in and amongst the childish narrative, felt quite out of place.

So, on the whole this was a good book. I enjoyed listening to it. I just didn’t love it like I was expecting to. I gave this book 3*

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

OceanAtTheEndOfTheLaneSo far in my life, I’ve read The Graveyard BookAmerican Gods and Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman and I’ve never really got the hype. Don’t get me wrong, I think he’s a great author (and screenwriter, The Doctor’s Wife is one of my favourite episodes of Doctor Who) but I’ve never really loved his books like others seem to. This book made me understand that hype that he is surrounded by. This book was magical.

I decided to listen to this as an audiobook and I don’t regret it. I really have trouble with audiobooks. I generally when reading need to invest everything in to the book, I struggle to then focus on anything else. But Neil actually narrated this himself and I couldn’t say no, really! So I settled down on Saturday afternoon and listened to this for nearly 4 hours while colouring and… I just loved it!

Essentially, this book is about a man who returns to the village where he grew up; triggering memories from when he was 7. We then get taken back to when he was 7 and, for the majority of the book, spend time in his mind when a big event happened in his life and everything comes down to the house at the end of the lane. As the story progresses there are a number of other peculiar events, including us meeting Lettie Hempstock and her family who seem almost magical. This book was magical.

This story is wonderful. Really. Having it read by the author is so much more engaging because it is read how it was intended to be and I really like that! The descriptive nature of his writing is brilliant, the characters are expertly crafted. I cannot explain how much I loved Lettie and her family! While it is short, it really packs a punch! It’s a really rich, expertly written book and I just loved it.

I’m still not entirely convinced by an audiobook, I did find it hard to pay attention at times but I think once in a while I may listen to one, especially now I’ve found a love of colouring! Gaiman reads this expertly, obviously, so I may well check out more of his books as audiobooks because I find his voice really good to listen to.

Ultimately, this is a 5/5 from me. I loved it!

Review: American Gods – Neil Gaiman

american-gods-book-cover-imageI have finally, finally finished this book! This is a weird one because, to be honest, I still don’t know if I enjoyed it. It was a slow mover, it was exhausting but… I didn’t want to put it down. I couldn’t commit to any other book while this one was still part read. It was just there tormenting me constantly. It’s just taken me ages to actually finish the beast because, in sitting down for nearly a day, I only managed 50 to 60 pages – which dragged, and dragged. But then, even after 6 hours of slogging away I wanted to read more – and I didn’t really understand why that was the case.

I’ve loved previous works by Gaiman, which is why I picked this up as I just wanted to read more. Overall, I was really surprised as this book wasn’t much what I was expecting – but then I don’t really know what I was expecting as I went in to this relatively blind.

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