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Thread: Another List, Neil Gaiman

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    Registered User Rores28's Avatar
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    Another List, Neil Gaiman

    http://www.worldbooknight.org/your-b...-top-100-books

    Another top 100. Overall I was pretty shocked that a completely reader generated list had so many classics and so few crappy titles. One thing I thought odd was how often Neil Gaiman appears on that list. I could understand J.K. Rowling or Stieg Larson or Stephanie Myer or something but I didn't realize Gaiman was that popular.

    What are your thoughts on Gaiman. I know a lot of people like him but I've always thought he was overrated and I'm not sure if his multiple inclusions on the list bolsters or detracts from that position.
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    In the fog Charles Darnay's Avatar
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    Yeah, he does how up a few times.

    He has a certain style - between his witticisms, and his blending of reality and fantasy that's not quite magic realism but still - he is a very appealing author. I have tried to like him, but overall I find his books boring.

    I liked Stardust. And Sandman is fantastic - but that's all.

    I had to struggle to get through American Gods, and I read Anansi Boys because someone told me it was much better - it wasn't.
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    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    I think Gaiman is a great writer, but I mostly read his short fiction, which I found had a real philosophical and emotional depth to them.
    "You understand well enough what slavery is, but freedom you have never experienced, so you do not know if it tastes sweet or bitter. If you ever did come to experience it, you would advise us to fight for it not with spears only, but with axes too." - Herodotus

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    Pièce de Résistance Scheherazade's Avatar
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    I have read three books by Gaiman (Stardust, American Gods and Neverwhere). I think he is one of the most engaging and entertaining writers of recent times. And I'd agree with Drk that his stories have a philosophical depth to them (especially American Gods).

    I am not surprised and actually very glad that his books appear in that list.
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    Card-carrying Medievalist Lokasenna's Avatar
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    I've not actually read much of his stuff, though American Gods is on the pile. Good Omens, co-authored with Terry Pratchett, is one of the funniest things I have ever read.

    I approve of him as a man with a great understanding of medieval literature as well - even if I have never quite forgiven him for that bloody awful Beowulf film.
    "I should only believe in a God that would know how to dance. And when I saw my devil, I found him serious, thorough, profound, solemn: he was the spirit of gravity- through him all things fall. Not by wrath, but by laughter, do we slay. Come, let us slay the spirit of gravity!" - Nietzsche

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    I enjoyed Neverwhere, but wasn't blown away by it. It's good for a writer's first novel. I also have American Gods on my to-read shelf, and am hoping for a better read. My dad read it and hated it, but he also proclaimed Blood Meridian was one of the worst books he's ever read, so I'm thinking his disliking AG is more of a good thing (he's just not a "literary" guy--more of a Stephen King man).

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    But Neverwhere is really bad. Lousy. Neil Gaiman best momments are a few short stories, Good Omens (but seems like Terry Prachet helped a lot) and Sandman series. He can be good, but his hollywood ways is making him to be so repetive, that his interesting stuff is getting shakky. No problem with Coraline, Anansi brothers thou...

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    Registered User Brett Cottrell's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charles Darnay View Post
    Yeah, he does how up a few times.

    He has a certain style - between his witticisms, and his blending of reality and fantasy that's not quite magic realism but still - he is a very appealing author. I have tried to like him, but overall I find his books boring.

    I liked Stardust. And Sandman is fantastic - but that's all.

    I had to struggle to get through American Gods, and I read Anansi Boys because someone told me it was much better - it wasn't.
    American Gods was kind of "meh," especially when compared with Good Omens. American Gods took itself too seriously and didn't really wrap up the story or the plot lines of some big characters. Not a bad book, just average.
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    I liked American Gods, but didn't love it, just like Neverwhere. He's a good author, there's no doubt about that, but with all the praise (pages of it at the beginning) I was expecting a lot more. I'm still waiting to be "wowed" by Gaiman, and I think it'll happen; I think he has the potential.

    I'm planning to read his short story collection, the Sansman series, and maybe another of his novels. If none of those really grab me, I may give up on Gaiman.

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    I personally really liked American Gods. I think that once you get through the entire cacophony of symbolism, allusions, and multiple messages, its a fun read. That being said, Gaiman tends to be one of those authors that has either really fanatic fans, or folks who are just " meh". I've yet to see anyone dislike him, but I've more found folks who are "HE IS THE BEST AUTHOR EVER" or who are just " I've seen better". I find a lot of his fans exist in the fantasy/gaming subcultures. I have another forum I post on and the reaction to me posting about reading American Gods and recommending it was fairly...enthusiastic for Gaiman: to the point I would has hesitant to post anything negative

    Me Personally: I think he has a FANTASTIC imagination. Far more nuance and detailed then some writers composing today. I think really a great example of that imagination is found in the film "Mirror Mask" which is an amazing work. I also love his work on Sandman and recall he did some writing for Constantine. I don't think he is THE best author, but I think he will have standing in the Western Canon definitely.
    Last edited by Wayfarer32; 02-05-2012 at 02:01 AM.

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    BadWoolf JuniperWoolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rores28 View Post
    Overall I was pretty shocked that a completely reader generated list had so many classics and so few crappy titles.
    Many people have a few classics under their belt that they like to whip out at parties to prove that they're "cultured," these reader-generated lists always seem to be an amalgamation of the works which people feel proud of having read.

    Most of Gaiman's stuff isn't for me (fantasy is boring), but I really liked one of his short stories from Fragile Things. Actually, searching for the title just now I found the whole thing online, I thought it was longer but I guess it's only about two pages long. Other People
    Last edited by JuniperWoolf; 02-07-2012 at 03:52 PM.
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    Gaiman is not all that bad, but I gave him a chance and he blew it. American Gods has about 300 pages that are actually part of the novel; they just take up space. That is bad writing. I also read some of his short stories, and I didn't think much of them.

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    Gaiman is clearly making himself mediocre by trying to follow the commercial american market. American God is Stephen King Like, some vague good idea, Gaiman fill with his references and nice touches but develop a confuse epic plot which he had no condition to solve. It still have nice lines, etc, but it is very poor overall. Gaiman descent continues in Graveyard book which is a awful Harry Potter copy.

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    Registered User Calidore's Avatar
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    Gaiman's a great idea guy, but the execution can be iffy. I think he rates so highly among fans because he himself and his work are both very friendly--different enough without being too different.
    You must be the change you wish to see in the world. -- Mahatma Gandhi

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    Bibliophile Drkshadow03's Avatar
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    I'm telling you, short stories is where Gaiman's talent lies. To the point where if I ever made a top 100 short stories list I'm almost certain a couple of his tales from Smoke and Mirrors would appear on it.
    "You understand well enough what slavery is, but freedom you have never experienced, so you do not know if it tastes sweet or bitter. If you ever did come to experience it, you would advise us to fight for it not with spears only, but with axes too." - Herodotus

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