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How to Talk to Girls at Parties

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  6,810 ratings  ·  523 reviews
Nominated for a 2007 Hugo Award.

"Come on," said Vic. "It'll be great."

"No, it won't," I said, although I'd lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it.

"It'll be brilliant," said Vic, for the hundredth time. "Girls! Girls! Girls!" He grinned with white teeth.
ebook, 11 pages
Published 2007 by
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Average rating 3.73  · 
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Sep 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this short story. Yes, it's about a boy who thinks of girls as aliens and then surprise, meets actual aliens, but it goes beyond this initial joke and delves into much deeper territory. Enn encounters three "alien beings" who attempt to express their loneliness, quest for knowledge, imperfection, fear of mortality, and need to communicate their stories. His friend, Vic ( short for Victor?), more superficial, takes off upstairs to attempt another conquest, but this time he ...more
Jul 08, 2013 rated it it was ok
I feel like I just watched the middle third of a B-rated sci-fi movie commercial. This is the first of Gaiman’s short stories that I’ve read, and I wonder if they’re all disjointed slice-of-life clips. The jerky non-linear style makes it more believable and relatable… but it’s kind of weird. Weird like the way a slug feels when it slurps across your hand; you’re not so horrified that you fling it off, but your face falls and you die a little bit on the inside.

So, the point-of-view character is
Julie Ehlers
In How to Talk to Girls at Parties, two teenage guys go to a party they've heard about but where they know no one. The narrator has thus far had no luck with girls, and his friend, a ladies' man, always tells him he just needs to talk to them like regular people. So on the one hand, this story is kind of amusing, because at the party the narrator does indeed talk to three different girls, all of whom spout the most astonishing kind of nonsense that he doesn't understand at all. But it's also ...more
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A wonderful and all-too-short story that wraps poetry, fantasy and childhood memory into one.

"We knew that it would soon be over, and so we put it all into a poem, to tell the universe who we were, and why we were here, and what we said and did and thought and dreamed and yearned for. We wrapped our dreams in words and patterned the words so that they would live forever, unforgettable."

How can you not love a writer like Gaiman?

(sad that many reviews of this short story get stuck in the logic of
Anthony Chavez
Jun 17, 2012 rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
EDIT: I've just found out this is going to be a movie and Ella Fanning is going to star.

I feel sorry for you Ella.

*backs away slowly*

Good luck. This movie is going to need it.

You can read it for free at here if you'd like. But while my edition had a excerpt from The Ocean at the End of the Lane in the end, it appears the Neil Gaiman site I've shared above only consists this short story.

“They’re just girls,” said Vic. “They don’t come from another planet.”

Oh, the irony.

Two teenagers decide to
As far as Gaiman short stories go, I like this one about as much as the others. It's funny, smart, and a little unusual, like most Gaiman shorts. If you enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors, then you'd like this one too.

Review moved to
Oct 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 14, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018-read
Short and light read. Love this one even the story little rush in ending.
Henry Ratul
Sep 01, 2017 rated it liked it
Dafuq !!!

I have no fucking idea what I have just read. :v

Ending was so hilarious and weird at the same time. :3
Jun 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Fifteen-year-old Enn is not nearly as cool or confident as his best friend, Vic, especially where girls are concerned. So when Vic suggests they attend a party with ‘Girls! Girls! Girls!’, Enn only reluctantly agrees. Vic, unfortunately, left the invitation with the address at home but that’s okay because he sure he can find it – just follow the party sounds. And they do find a party only they don’t recognize any of the people or the music. And there are lots of girls but these girls definitely ...more
Feb 11, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-books
I don't know what I was expecting, but I wasn't expecting this. It was so bizarre and weird and I'm not even sure I understood it.

It had sci-fi elements that crept up on me and an abrupt ending that left me with more questions than answers.

It's got some deep insights into life and the universe, but extremely confusing at the same time. I think it would've been better if it was a novella or a novel, to be fleshed out more. The writing style is nice (so far I haven't read any full-length writings
Short story about a teen who so badly wants to hook up with someone, anyone (well, as long as it's a girl, even if she's not the prettiest one at the party, she'll do). So while he's desperately trying to chat a couple of girls up he completely misses pretty obvious hints that all of the girls at the party are (view spoiler).
"Enn. You got to talk to them. And that means you got to listen to them, too. You understand?" Listen to them? Not in this house, Vic!
Man, I love
Ana Luisa
This is my first experience with a Neil Gaiman story, and I have to say it took me completely by surprise!
The story has a narrative that flows very easily and I found myself intrigued by the scenario and always wanting to know more. There was something about the main character, Enn, that was unique in a weird and great way, and we get to know through his words how it feels like to be a young and shy boy in an attempt to talk to unfamiliar girls at parties.
This short story got me hooked from the
Oct 18, 2016 rated it liked it

A sci fi short by Gaiman turned into a graphic novel - illustrations are pretty amazing as is the story. Starts off as something you'd expect and then you're in for a surprise. Most definitely recommend a second read and also the original short (part of the Fragile Things collection).
May 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Kind of a one-joke story, but it is an interesting joke.
Laís Arjona
Oct 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2017
This one wasn't for me.
I didn't really care about any of the characters and wasn't exactly surprised by the events, but it's a Gaiman after all.
I love that Neil Gaiman is the voice narrating his own audiobooks, and it's really nice that this short story and its audiobook is avaliable for free on his website, I did have fun listening to and reading it.
If anyone is interested, here's the full text and here's the link to the full audio.
May 18, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shorts, previews
Let's admit it: everyone who got this free short story was really getting it for the The Ocean at the End of the Lane preview, right? The short story is good, of course, but you've probably all ready read it in Fragile Things (I have).

The preview is the new bit (until the book is published, at least) and this free ebook serves both as an introduction to Neil Gaiman's work with a short story, and as a promo to get you to buy his upcoming book. The preview is the Prologue of tOatEotL, and it's
Apr 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Neil Gaiman
How to Talk to Girls at Parties
11 pages

Gaiman's soon-to-be-released-as-a-movie short story, How to Talk to Girls at Parties is typical Gaiman. With his bizarre idea about a pair of teenage boys who went into a mysterious party where the girls were not what they seemed to be, Gaiman tells his readers the secret of the universe.

How to Talk to Girls at Parties is not Gaiman at his best because it feels messy. The plot isn't chained well enough and it feels cluttered.
Jun 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook
What the hell did I just read?! I have absolutely no idea. This is a (very) short story by Gaiman, and the starting was good as two teenage boys were preparing to go to a party full of "girls! girls! girls!"; I was hoping for a quick fun humorous read and the name of the story was indicative of that, but then when the boys reach the party it turned into downright weird and uncomprehending sci-fi bullshit without ANY humor or fun at all. And then just as suddenly the story stops without any ...more
Parth Jawale
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was ok
"Come on," said Neil. "It'll be great."

"No, it won't," I said, although I'd lost this fight hours ago, and I knew it.

"It'll be brilliant. It'll be a masterpiece, you know, Parth," said Neil, for the hundredth time. "Gimmicks! Gimmicks! Gimmicks!" He grinned with white teeth.

"Parent-teacher engulfed me, and I was here, embodied in a decaying lump of meat hanging on a frame of calcium." I laughed. I laughed a lot. It was entertaining, I'll give you that.

This was okay, but I still feel like it lacked something. Vic made infinitely more sense to me than Enn, the character whose pov we experience as the reader. Maybe Enn has a mental disability that we are supposed to assume? So far, Gaiman's short stories have all been subpar for me.
Sep 06, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Fun and short. Just like this review!
Arthur Graham
Oct 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First read in Fragile Things.
Aug 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like it might become a thing for me, after watching a movie, that's based on a short story, to catch up with the story afterwards. This one had so much potential, with a great metaphor and all. Movie went with very literal idea of this story.
Basically, boys are afraid to talk to girls at parties, cuz they think they are so out of their league, that they are basically out of this planet. That's the idea. It's entertaining now, knowing all that cute little premise to see that planted
Apr 08, 2018 rated it liked it
The boys here are so clueless it made me laugh several times.
Short and enjoyable.
It was very discoherent in true Gaiman fashion- sometimes i appreciate that and at times i don't. Here it seemed to fit the story.
Feb 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
Another Gaiman free short story that's available here:

Girls aren't aliens, right? Just talking to them shouldn't change us mere males too terribly, should it? I think he captured the experience well, if bizarrely.

Thank you Randy for turning me on to it in the Short Story topic in the "Evolution of Science Fiction" group.
Jul 13, 2013 rated it really liked it

This short story came up as free on my phone the other day and I of course jumped at the opportunity to get some more Neil Gaiman. I think this story might have been collected in Fragile Things, but either way it had been a while and I was up for a reread. Gosh, I love this man's writing.

It's amazing how much of a character you can grasp through a few simple sentences, how amusing a response to a bizarre situation can be. I adore Neil Gaiman's ability to take an ordinary man, set him into
Feb 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
So much effort just to deliver an old joke.
Em The Reading Challenge Challenge
July 2019
I had to read this for uni in my first ever class back in 2013 - I had to do a presentation on it, actually. My first tertiary assessment. I didn't really think much about it then because I was 18 and unused to reading and I only really liked it because it was Neil Gaiman and I'd recently fallen in love with Coraline and the The Graveyard Book.

But reading it again now, again for uni but at the end of my degree, 6 years older with about 500 more books under my belt, and more critical of
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Goodreads Librari...: Graphic novel is merged with short story 2 125 Jun 19, 2016 03:56PM  
The Jolly Good Re...: Neil Gaiman Short Story! 6 25 Jun 07, 2013 07:06AM  

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