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Which Neil Gaiman book should I start with?

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message 1: by Fatin (new)

Fatin Tis looks interesting and all, and I do love children books but I'm not sure. What would you recommend?


message 2: by Will (last edited Sep 18, 2012 02:46PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Will IV I don't think it really matters, honestly. I would look at the synopsis or the teaser for each book and pick the on that sounds the most interesting to you. American Gods was my first Gaiman novel, but I was already familiar with his writing in the comic genre. Specifically Death: The High Cost of Living, Black Orchid, and The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch. Those were my first forays into the world of Gaiman, and if you like comics and graphic novels, I highly recommend those.


Sharon Cullars Also The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere are good books to search out.


Susannah Good Omens, which is cowritten by Terry Pratchett, is hilarious and amazing.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) I think this is a good place to start.


Rowan American Gods was my first and it is still my favorite. Neverwhere is excellent and would be a good place to start as well.

Smoke and Mirrors is a collection of his short stories and might be a good way to see if you like him though it lies heavily in horror and not all of his stuff does.


Sherry (bogiewine) I started with Anansi Boys, mythological lore in a modern day setting with an everyman, very relatable main character. One of his more comedic solo adult efforts, laugh-out loud funny. Of course Stardust is just beautiful, a wonderful fairytale. You can't go wrong with anything he writes.


Sharon I think American Gods is an awfully complicated introduction to Gaiman. Personally, I think of it as kind of intermediate or advanced Gaiman. Lol! I would start with either The Graveyard Book (which is quintessential Gaiman in every way) or perhaps ease into his writing with Stardust which as Sherry said is just a beautiful, wonderful tale...although not mainstream Gaiman. I would definitely not read Smoke and Mirrors first. I think the disjointedness created by the short story genre could put one off Gaiman permanently.


message 9: by Fatin (new)

Fatin Thank you, all! :)


James Rhodes American Gods is his masterwork but I'd recommend you do Anansi Boys first. Or the Sandman comics which are all brilliant.


James Rhodes I didn't really like the Graveyard Book, it's a children's novel that is too dark for most children and too underdeveloped for most Gaiman fans.


Inês the Graveyard book WAS AWESOME ^^ people say that American God is the best book he has ever written so i think you could read it to :)
The sons of arnsin is also a great book for what i've heard about :)
Sandman comics are also amazing for what i've seen too

i just read the Graveyard book but i wanted to read others so i got this three :)


Cecilia Neverwhere was my first and it was AMAZING. Lured me right in, and out of other books of Gaiman's I've read, it continues to be my favorite.


message 14: by J.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.A. White The Graveyard book is where I would suggest to start because I think its the piece that best represents his work in general, somewhere between children books, fantasy, horror and comedy.


message 15: by Amelia (last edited Sep 19, 2012 12:17PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amelia May I loved the Graveyard book and Coraline.
I haven't read the other novels yet... except Stardust which I would never recommend. I hated all of the characters, especially the main one so much I couldn't even finish it.


Brenda Clough It is worth remembering that Gaiman's first successes were in the comic books. You could hardly go wrong with SANDMAN, the classic series that he authored. Just keep in mind that these are not your grandfather's funny books; they're mature.


message 17: by Liz (new) - rated it 4 stars

Liz Amelia wrote: "I loved the Graveyard book and Coraline.
I haven't read the other novels yet... except Stardust which I would never recommend. I hated all of the characters, especially the main one so much I could..."


I agree with Amelia -- try the Graveyard Book or Coraline ;o)

Another children's series you might try is Lemony Snicket. I loved listening to Tim Burton (movie director) read them!


Sharon Cullars Yes, Coraline was a good read.


Clarissa Johal They're all awesome but if you like YA, I suggest Graveyard Book. It will pull you in and you'll probably read it in one sitting. My favorites (but for adults) were American Gods and Neverwhere. (:


message 20: by Fatin (new)

Fatin Brenda wrote: "It is worth remembering that Gaiman's first successes were in the comic books. You could hardly go wrong with SANDMAN, the classic series that he authored. Just keep in mind that these are not yo..."

I have no problems with mature novels, an Anne Rice fan here. :)
But comics are a little difficult for me to find. I live in Pakistan, and if we do end up finding comics, they cost A LOT. On the other hand, other books are quite quite cheap. ^_^


message 21: by [deleted user] (new)

start with the Graveyard Book or Fragile Things, the better of his short story compilations. I read Good Omens first, but it isn't my favorite.


message 22: by J.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.A. White Liz wrote: Another children's series you might try is Lemony Snicket. I loved listening to Tim Burton (movie director) read them! "

Tim Burton did NOT direct A series of unfortunate events, Brad Siberling directed it and most of the audio books were read by Tim Curry. Actually Tim Burton could have directed it but he left the project when it was still just a plan. :)


ʝøʝø definitely start with Coraline


Brenda Clough Coraline the movie was a delight, BTW. Has anyone seen the BBC production of NEVERWHERE?


Sherry (bogiewine) Brenda wrote: "Coraline the movie was a delight, BTW. Has anyone seen the BBC production of NEVERWHERE?"

I saw it when it was first broadcast, was in back in the early or mid 90s? I think it was my first intro to Gaiman now that I think about it. As I recall it was good, but not great.


message 26: by J.A. (new) - rated it 5 stars

J.A. White Brenda wrote: "Coraline the movie was a delight, BTW. Has anyone seen the BBC production of NEVERWHERE?"

I saw it a couple of years ago before I started reading Gaiman's work, it was good but nowhere near as good as the book was!


message 27: by Sarah J (last edited Sep 20, 2012 01:34PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah J My first Gaiman book was american gods and it remains my favourite.


Jamie you should start with Coraline.


Beatrix I recommend Stardust or Neverhere.


message 31: by Fatin (new)

Fatin I'm so confused now. :(
Will start reading the synopses of the books recommended here and will make a choice! Also depends on what book is available.


James Rhodes Fatin, from a glance at your reading list and profile you should definitely start with American Gods.


message 33: by Fatin (new)

Fatin James wrote: "Fatin, from a glance at your reading list and profile you should definitely start with American Gods."

Yeah? What particular reasons? I just read the synopsis, and it seems like the kind of book that pulls you in, and confuses you (not in a bad way, more in the -what is going on?- way), sounds surreal.


Sherry (bogiewine) Fatin wrote: "I'm so confused now. :(
Will start reading the synopses of the books recommended here and will make a choice! Also depends on what book is available."


LOL! I can understand why! How about this: If you want young adult/kid's try The Graveyard Book; an adult fairytale, well it's Stardust; one of his contemporary adult offerings, Neverwhere or Anansi Boys. Both are smooth reads, not too confusing and introduce the reader to an alternate world/sub-culture within modern times (AB is more humorous though). Hope that helps!


message 35: by Fatin (new)

Fatin You all are so nice. :)
I buy my books on sundays because the sunday market generally has very cheap books. I'll be sure to let everyone know what I picked up!


James Rhodes Fatin. It's epic with multiple threads but with your confusion about religion and large selection of classics I think you'll enjoy getting your teeth into it. All his stuff is good though.


Brodie Mitchell Fatin wrote: "Tis looks interesting and all, and I do love children books but I'm not sure. What would you recommend?"


the Graveyard book rocks and you should definetly read it


message 38: by Fatin (new)

Fatin James, thank you for taking the time out to do all that. Much appreciated. ^_^


Jamie Either the Graveyard Book, or Coraline.


Amelia May Not Stardust!
Maybe it's just me but that book made me angry and depressed.
I've never hated any main character as much as the one in that book and I couldn't laugh at any of the humour. Gender roles in Victorian times were bad and I just can't laugh at them...
The book just made me feel so bad I couldn't continue with it.


Sorry, I think Neil Gaiman is a cool person and a great author, but I just hate Stardust.


Sherry (bogiewine) To each their own. I didn't see it that way myself and I'm very sensitive to gender issues... but message received.


message 42: by Elia (new) - rated it 3 stars

Elia Well, Mr. Gaiman himself (who I follow on twitter, and you should too :) @neilhimself ) has said that the only advice he gives to people who ask this question it to start with anything EXCEPT American Gods. He feels this one has turned off more 1st time readers than any of his other works.


Brenda Clough Really! I would have thought his SANDMAN stuff would have startled the inexperienced.


message 44: by Sean (new) - added it

Sean I say Sandman first, Neverwhere, the two Death series, American Gods, Anansi Boys, Smoke & Mirrors, and from there its up to you.


message 45: by Fatin (new)

Fatin So unfortunately I have not been able to locate ANY Neil Gaiman books in my vicinity. >.<


message 46: by Sean (new) - added it

Sean Elia wrote: "Well, Mr. Gaiman himself (who I follow on twitter, and you should too :) @neilhimself ) has said that the only advice he gives to people who ask this question it to start with anything EXCEPT Ameri..."

I could see that. If your not well versed in multiple pantheons and lore it could drive you nuts.


Elliegrace i read the graveyard book when i was 7 and i loved it i read it again last year and loved it again so i think you should start with it


Michael Anasi boys, Neverwhere, even Sandman is a great start.


message 49: by Marian (last edited Sep 23, 2012 07:28PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Marian Anansi Boys is my favorite and, I think, a great place to start. I agree with the author to not start with American Gods. I love mythology but it left me cold. Anansi Boys works on a number of levels like Neverwhere and Coroline. All three can be enjoyed very easily as stories and each also has a whole lot going on under the surface story. The Graveyard Book would be my fourth recommendation, not my first.


message 50: by Sean (new) - added it

Sean J.A. wrote: "Brenda wrote: "Coraline the movie was a delight, BTW. Has anyone seen the BBC production of NEVERWHERE?"

I saw it a couple of years ago before I started reading Gaiman's work, it was good but now..."


I have it somewhere. The book stays true to it but of course it has that old Doctor Who feel, which I am not a fan of.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Graveyard Book (other topics)
Death: The High Cost of Living Collected (other topics)
Black Orchid (other topics)
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch (other topics)
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