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Technically, the first person to hear Neil Gaiman’s new novel, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, was his wife, musician Amanda Palmer. Gaiman handwrote the first draft of the novel while Palmer was far away in Australia.
This work morphed from a book to a television miniseries to this full-cast radio adaptation in six episodes plus outtakes. A pantheon of superb British character actors draws listeners into the misadventures of the delightfully obtuse Scotsman Richard Mayhew (James McAvoy) in a magical place called “London Below.” Mayhew’s new companion, the Lady Door (Natalie Dormer), wishes... Read More
Did you know that Neil Gaiman can sound like a stegosaurus, a pirate, a volcano god, and even a bunch of green blobby aliens? Not only that, but he sounds like he's having an utter ball while he narrates, and it's impossible not to be swept up into the brilliant, batty fun. A father steps out at breakfast time to pick up some milk at the corner store, and when he takes rather a... Read More
This Neil Gaiman sampler offers further proof that he’s an outstanding storyteller and a strong narrator. The collection of 34 short works, some new and some previously published, includes science-fiction, creation, erotic, and horror tales. The stories are often reminiscent of “Twilight Zone” episodes. Gaiman performs each one with fervor and apt character portrayals. His... Read More
This second book in the young adult InterWorld series was conceived by Gaiman and Michael Reaves and written by Reaves with assistance from his daughter. Narrator Alexander Cendese has a knack for portraying the angst and bravado of 16-year-old Joey and the varied personalities of his cyborgs, as well as the newly introduced character, Acacia. Cendese reflects Joey's high level... Read More
"How long have you been 11 for?" That’s just one of the mysteries in THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE, where otherworldly things might be strange but aren't in the least impossible. As the 7-year-old protagonist, Neil Gaiman projects all the wonders and terrors of childhood, both ordinary and extraordinary. His neighbors, 11-year-old Lettie, Mrs. Hempstock, and Old Mrs.... Read More
It's always a treat when Neil Gaiman narrates his own work, and CHU'S DAY—a bite-sized nibble all of three minutes long—is no exception. Chu is a young panda with a truly impressive sneeze. Gaiman's voice is friendly while still maintaining a touch of the mysterious. He makes "There was old-book-dust in the air" sound like it could be the beginning of a spooky novel. His... Read More
This full-cast performance of the tenth anniversary edition of Neil Gaiman’s AMERICAN GODS (think director’s cut) is one of the most mesmerizing audio experiences ever. Suppose all the gods and demons, trolls and imps that were ever carried here in imagination are still all around us, pumping gas, playing shell games, running funeral homes, and plotting war against our new gods... Read More
Sam is brushing her hair, staring at her image in the mirror, but the person she sees staring back is not quite herself. Suddenly, she’s traded places with the people who are truly behind the looking glass. There’s a haunting immediacy to this piece of “Twitter” fiction. Yes, Neil Gaiman wrote the first sentence of this captivating tale on his phone. Creating a gang of... Read More
This collection of "pulp fiction" includes 10 of the 20 stories that are in the print edition, edited by Michael Chabon. It features a variety of authors who contributed stories that fit the old-time style of adventure fiction. Mysteries, sci-fi, Westerns, and more fill listeners’ ears as they exude the joy of storytelling. Narrator Kevin Gray has a snarky tone that fits the... Read More
As editor Gaiman cheerfully explains in his introduction, these 27 short stories are all fantasy—of a sort. Although listeners will find few dragons, elves, wizards, and swords among the tales, there are many other aspects of the fantastic here: vampires, demons, alternate worlds, and bad acid trips. All the narrators are consistently good, unlike the stories themselves, and... Read More
This snack-sized piece of audio is just enough to remind listeners of the sense magic and wonder Neil Gaiman evokes when he narrates his own work. Those who are skeptical about what a story can do in five minutes should give a listen to this: a fantastic adventure flush with mystical creatures, alternate realms, strange rituals, old things, and helpful strangers. While the... Read More
Who would have thought that the Apocalypse would be so entertaining? For the first time on audio in the U.S., this 1990 collaboration between authors Gaiman and Pratchett follows the (mis)adventures of Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, as they somewhat grudgingly take up their roles—along with all the hosts of heaven and hell—in precipitating the coming of the... Read More
Neil Gaiman does a good bear voice. This is important in an audiobook populated with a talking bear, a talking fox, a talking eagle, a Frost Giant, Norse gods, and a Viking boy named Odd. In Gaiman's voice, the bear grumbles, the fox wheedles, the eagle screeches, and the giant booms—and occasionally reverberates. Odd mostly just takes things as they come, journeying between... Read More
Neil Gaiman is one of the true gems in the audio industry. He’s a great writer who not only reads his own work well, but makes the listener reject any thought of having another narrator in his stead. Gaiman communicates his understanding of his own stories and characters from beginning to end. In this latest of Gaiman's clever, dark fantasies, an orphaned boy is raised by... Read More
NEVERWHERE is the novelization of a BBC television series of the same name, also written by Neil Gaiman and originally aired in 1996. The story is an urban fantasy set in London—and in London Below, where an entire society exists, unnoticed by the people at ground level. An ordinary fellow named Richard Mayhew helps a girl who crosses his path one day, and his life takes a... Read More
Joey goes for a walk, and a whole new world opens up when he steps into another dimension. He must learn about his dual destinies while getting to know a new world whose inhabitants believe in science or magic. And he has to fight evil when some of those inhabitants want to harness his special powers. As Joey moves between worlds, Christopher Evan Welch voices a cadre of... Read More
Gaiman loves short stories for offering "tiny windows into other worlds" and for letting readers "make it to the far side of the universe and still be back in time for dinner." This production also offers windows into Gaiman's writing history—from one story penned in 1984 to another that shows its development from a work in progress. Though the collection is thematically... Read More
Master storyteller Neil Gaiman begins this collection by introducing many of the stories, his introduction proving to be a story in its own right. Gaiman’s performance aptitude matches his writing ability, as each tale resonates with subtlety and insight. Every character, no matter how brief his or her appearance, receives impeccable attention vocally and textually. And every... Read More
In an enchanting fairy tale for adults, Tristran Thorn sets out to fetch a fallen star in order to win the heart of his true love. But the star turns out to have a personality all her own and leads Tristran into adventures and discovery. Gaiman captures the magic and ethereality of his own work with a light touch and tender tone. He infuses the minor characters with... Read More
Young British television actress Stephanie Leonidas reprises her film role as Helena Campbell, the daughter of circus performers who is cast into a dark realm that is part ALICE IN WONDERLAND, part WIZARD OF OZ, and part Salvador Dali. In a moment of rebellion, Helena wishes her mother dead. Later that evening, her mother falls into a coma, and Helena soon falls into a bizarre... Read More
Neil Gaiman's AMERICAN GODS presented a modern look at ancient gods that left fans wanting more about the characters. Gaiman's ANANSI BOYS focuses on the ancient African spider-god Anansi the Trickster. Narrator Lenny Henry has one of those great British voices that is always interesting. His perfect use of Caribbean accents and strange animalistic human voices is a joy. The... Read More
This outstanding collection includes four of Gaiman’s wonderfully offbeat and engaging children’s tales, which showcase his talents as a storyteller for the whole family. From The Wolves in the Walls (playfully scary) to Cinnamon (a touching story in which a little princess is taught to speak by an enormous tiger) to the outlandish The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish and... Read More
Coraline describes herself as an explorer. When she finds a mysterious corridor in her family’s new flat, she must fight sinister forces determined to keep her parents, three lost souls, and herself prisoner forever. Neil Gaiman’s performance seems effortless. His soft-spoken voice lends to the overall darkness of the story, and his British accent matches the setting. Reading... Read More
Mere days before he is to be released from prison, a man named Shadow learns that his wife has been killed in a car wreck. On the plane ride home, he meets a gruff old man named Wednesday, who may be an avatar of the Norse god Odin. Read dynamically and emotionally by George Guidall-- who gives more personalities and ethnicities than one would think possible--the story unfolds... Read More
MURDER MYSTERIES begins in Los Angeles--the city of Angels--where a young Englishman (played by Michael Emerson) is on a stopover. At a park bench he shares a cigarette with a drifter, played by Brian Dennehy, who reveals himself to be Zephkiel, angel of vengeance, and unveils a story of murder set in heaven prior to the creation. Dennehy’s narration of the... Read More
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