Tag Archives: Neil Gaiman

Reviews for Books I Read Recently (August) 📚

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chris Riddell⭐⭐⭐

This was a super short and quick read. Snow White and Sleeping Beauty elements galore. Gave me flashbacks to Kissing the Witch as it is a female dominated story with queer aspects, which I don’t mind usually but it sort of felt like literary click bait. The illustrations are gorgeous though. Exhibit A

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Exhibit B:

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There Once Lived a Woman Who Tried to Kill Her Neighbour’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales by Ludmilla Petrushevskaya (Translated by Keith Gessen, Anna Summers): ⭐⭐ (2.5 stars)

As you can tell, I’ve been on a fairytale kick lately. I wanted something that was like Angela Carter’s The Bloody Chamber but more creepy and sinister. ‘There Once Lived a Woman…’ is definitely those things but it’s also disgusting and depressing. Sometimes I do enjoy the odd twisted and dark novel but man, Ludmilla Petrushevskaya made me test my boundaries. The first few stories in ‘Songs of the Eastern Slavs’ are tamer, and deal with revenge. I enjoyed the final section called ‘Fairy Tales’ too, particularly the last story called The Black Coat. The middle section was pretty meh.

Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent⭐⭐⭐⭐

I really loved Lying In Wait and wanted to check out her debut novel. This did not disappoint at all. Nugent has great opening lines: “I expected more of a reaction the first time I hit her.” This is not a domestic thriller though. I would categorise it as a psychological crime. Oliver Ryan, our protagonist, is an author of children’s books and is married to Alice who illustrates his stories. They lead a pretty normal life… or do they?

Liz Nugent has an ability to craft masterful plot-lines that take me by surprise. She weaves multiple characters, multiple storylines and multiple twists with ease. I’m really impressed with her writing and will read everything that she writes. Forever.

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Mini TBR for the rest of August:

  1. Geekerella by Ashley Poston
  2. Red As Blood by Tanith Lee
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American Gods by Neil Gaiman (Review)


⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

(Mild spoilers ahead)
So, I lost my Neil Gaiman virginity! Do I get literary points for that?

This was a pleasant read. Now, I have to confess, I don’t usually read a lot of fantasy. Correction: I don’t read any fantasy. If it weren’t for my wonderful boyfriend’s suggestion I wouldn’t have picked this up and I’m glad I did.

What is American Gods about? It’s about a man named Shadow caught between two worlds, wittingly and unwittingly. It’s the clash between the Classical gods of a bygone era and the modern gods of the technological present. In a world that increasingly worships television, media and the internet the old gods are pushed into the margins of society: prostitution, roguery, and other odd jobs indulging in alcoholism and in general, leading shitty lives. The premise sucked me in and I couldn’t stop reading. The middle bits were the weakest, though, and kept it from being a solid five stars.

I loved Shadow’s characterisation. He is the calm during the storm. Shadow has this i-don’t-give-a-fuck attitude which becomes more nuanced when you see all of his layers. After his release from prison, he learns about the death of his wife. While he’s half mourning, half wondering what the fuck to do with his life, he meets Mr. Wednesday and is pulled into an adventure. There’s a bit of mythology in there, if that’s your thing, and it’s got many thought-provoking ideas about religion and/or belief-systems. Overall, American Gods is fun. I can’t wait to read more Gaiman. You should check it out it if you haven’t already 💁