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The Art of Neil Gaiman

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Novelist, comics writer, scriptwriter, poet and occasional artist, there are few creative avenues Neil Gaiman hasn't venture down - from unforgettable books like The ocean at the end of the lane and American gods to groundbreaking comics and graphic novels like The Sandman and Violent cases; from big screen fantasies like Coraline and Stardust to small screen epics like Do Novelist, comics writer, scriptwriter, poet and occasional artist, there are few creative avenues Neil Gaiman hasn't venture down - from unforgettable books like The ocean at the end of the lane and American gods to groundbreaking comics and graphic novels like The Sandman and Violent cases; from big screen fantasies like Coraline and Stardust to small screen epics like Doctor Who and Neverwhere; and from short stories to songwriting, stage plays to radio plays, journalism to filmmaking, and all points in-between. This tells the full story of his amazing creative life. Never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, cartoons, drawings and personal photographs from Neil's own archive are complemented by artwork and sketches from all of his major works, and his own intimate recollections. Each project is examined from genesis to fruition, and positioned in the wider narrative of Gaiman's crative life, affording unparalleled access to the inner workings of the writers mind


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Novelist, comics writer, scriptwriter, poet and occasional artist, there are few creative avenues Neil Gaiman hasn't venture down - from unforgettable books like The ocean at the end of the lane and American gods to groundbreaking comics and graphic novels like The Sandman and Violent cases; from big screen fantasies like Coraline and Stardust to small screen epics like Do Novelist, comics writer, scriptwriter, poet and occasional artist, there are few creative avenues Neil Gaiman hasn't venture down - from unforgettable books like The ocean at the end of the lane and American gods to groundbreaking comics and graphic novels like The Sandman and Violent cases; from big screen fantasies like Coraline and Stardust to small screen epics like Doctor Who and Neverwhere; and from short stories to songwriting, stage plays to radio plays, journalism to filmmaking, and all points in-between. This tells the full story of his amazing creative life. Never-before-seen manuscripts, notes, cartoons, drawings and personal photographs from Neil's own archive are complemented by artwork and sketches from all of his major works, and his own intimate recollections. Each project is examined from genesis to fruition, and positioned in the wider narrative of Gaiman's crative life, affording unparalleled access to the inner workings of the writers mind

30 review for The Art of Neil Gaiman

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sean Barrs

    This book is a celebration, a celebration of a fantastic writer who has contributed much to the arts. How many children (and adults) has Neil Gaiman introduced to the world of books? How many readers has he created? Many I think. This book brings the stories behind his stories together. There are a few pages dedicated to each work he has created, detailing how it came about and what inspired him to write it at the time. There’s information on everything he has written in the fictional world. It’s This book is a celebration, a celebration of a fantastic writer who has contributed much to the arts. How many children (and adults) has Neil Gaiman introduced to the world of books? How many readers has he created? Many I think. This book brings the stories behind his stories together. There are a few pages dedicated to each work he has created, detailing how it came about and what inspired him to write it at the time. There’s information on everything he has written in the fictional world. It’s almost like a catalogue of his work; it gives brief glimpses of all he has to offer. And it’s a great idea because his books are a random and unrelated bunch, though they are all distinctively his. I’ve read many of them and I was surprised to find a few obscure books listed here that I’ve not even heard of. Time to add them to my list! I currently own 27 of his books (and comic books) though there will always be room on my shelf for more. So this is a great read for those that are huge fans of all his work. And I stress all because he has done so many varied things including, short stories, novels, comic-books and screenplays. It’s definitely a book for his fans.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Tzu-Mainn Chen

    It should first be made clear that this is not a book collecting visual art created by Neil Gaiman (as I had initially thought). Rather, it is a biography: not exactly of Neil Gaiman himself, but of his assorted works. If you have picked up one of Stephen King's short story collections and read through the section at the end where he writes a few paragraphs about the genesis of each story - it's a lot like that. Except this book covers pretty much everything Neil Gaiman has written - novels, com It should first be made clear that this is not a book collecting visual art created by Neil Gaiman (as I had initially thought). Rather, it is a biography: not exactly of Neil Gaiman himself, but of his assorted works. If you have picked up one of Stephen King's short story collections and read through the section at the end where he writes a few paragraphs about the genesis of each story - it's a lot like that. Except this book covers pretty much everything Neil Gaiman has written - novels, comics, short stories, radio plays, songs - and includes reproductions of book covers, sketches, correspondence, personal notes, and more and more. So I'll just say up front that the book is quite lovely. It's also fascinating to read, providing insights into everything from Gaiman's development process to the inner workings of Hollywood to the way comic book scripts are created. On the flip side, the view to each of Gaiman's works does feel a bit scattershot, with each approach varying in terms of detail and distance. I think this is a net positive though, as it allows each section to feel fresh and remain interesting. There's really not much else to say. If you hate Gaiman's stories, you'll probably want to avoid this book. Personally I love them, and for me this book is definitely worth having as a supplement to one of my favorite rows on my bookshelf.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Gabrielle

    This is a biased review, because I fangirl super hard for Neil Gaiman. I suppose this book was put together with people like me in mind, and you should know that unless you really love the guy and his books, you may not find this book interesting... When I got my first copy of "American Gods", I didn't leave my apartment for 3 days because putting that book down before I was done felt plain wrong. I read "Neverwhere" chewing nervously on the edge of my pillow, wondering what the Hell would happen This is a biased review, because I fangirl super hard for Neil Gaiman. I suppose this book was put together with people like me in mind, and you should know that unless you really love the guy and his books, you may not find this book interesting... When I got my first copy of "American Gods", I didn't leave my apartment for 3 days because putting that book down before I was done felt plain wrong. I read "Neverwhere" chewing nervously on the edge of my pillow, wondering what the Hell would happen to Richard and Door. I bawled my whole entire life out at the end of the "Graveyard Book". I went to see Neil do a reading and signing in 2013: he complemented me on my hair (which actually looks a lot like his inasmuch as it's a mop of uncontrollable curls - except mine is hot pink) and doodled in my copy of "The Ocean at the End of the Lane". I have a picture of that moment: I look so excited, it's kinda ridiculous. When I was sick in bed the following year, giggling at "Fortunately, the Milk" made the whole ordeal a lot easier to deal with. That's my weird relationship with Mr. Gaiman: he's the guy who's stories fascinate, comfort and poke at my heart in the most unbelievable (and often unexpected) ways. So a big, gorgeous book about his stories, doodles and inspiration is basically a lovely, chewy candy: it satisfies a weird craving to know more about some of my favorite stories and how they came to be, it points me towards new books and graphic novels to read (sorry, credit card...) and it makes me feel completely vindicated about my opinion of the "Neverwhere" tv series... This is for the hardcore Neil fans like me, but also for the beginners who are wondering just what the fuss is all about! The only thing missing from this book is a list of his recommended readings: I would love to know what he reads! Thank you to the best parents-in-law ever for the lovely present! You guys know me so well!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Paul

    Neil Gaiman seems to exist in a binary state. You either know him and all the things that he has created over the years, or you don’t. But when you talk to those that have gone ‘Who?’ it doesn’t take long for them to realise that they have come across him in one form or other, they just weren’t aware of it. He is a prolific and original tour de force who has given us some amazing creations. So far he has written novels, non-fictions books, comics, graphic novels, articles and speeches. On top of Neil Gaiman seems to exist in a binary state. You either know him and all the things that he has created over the years, or you don’t. But when you talk to those that have gone ‘Who?’ it doesn’t take long for them to realise that they have come across him in one form or other, they just weren’t aware of it. He is a prolific and original tour de force who has given us some amazing creations. So far he has written novels, non-fictions books, comics, graphic novels, articles and speeches. On top of that he has then created scripts for radio, film and TV shows and theatre, collaborated with all manner of people on all sorts of subjects and projects, sung on stage despite "no kind of singing voice", dabbled with art and is not afraid to be political for issues that he is passionate about. Somehow he manages to fit in a professorship and tours publicising his own material and with his current wife Amanda Palmer. Hayley is the daughter of Eddie Campbell, a graphic novelist and long-time friends of Neil Gaiman. This friendship allowed her almost unrestricted access to the archives, notebooks, random scribblings and most importantly the mind of Gaiman to show just how he creates the things he does best. It is a lavishly illustrated book, full of scanned images of the drafts and germs of ideas, that over time became the books and graphic novels that he is best known for. There are loads of photos of him from early years when growing up and some equally dodgy ones from when he was a journalist as well. I knew he had a boundless imagination, but what came across is just how long some of his most successful books took from the initial spark of an idea to the final offering. It is not that he is a slow, jut some of these things need time and thought invested to make them as good as they are. Campbell has given us such a good book, it is not quite a biography, but reading this feels like you are privy to the places where the magic happened. One minor flaw is that there could have been a little more on Neil, but I guess that will come one day in another book. A stunning book and one that I am going to be buying.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Arielle

    I just... maybe if I had known this was actually just a biography with some pictures in, I would have enjoyed it more. But I really did expect The Art of Neil Gaiman, of which there is a lot, and it's gorgeous - but I didn't see it here, and so I am disappointed. Sorry.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shannon

    This is a weird conundrum of a book. The design detracts so much from the reading experience. It's big, it's heavy, and the words are so close to the margin near the binding that you really have to wrench the book open at all times to read the bloody thing. It's unwieldy, with the same size, heft and glossy colored pages of a text book. Forget about trying to read this on the bus, or in bed lying down. [These are the #1 and #2 ways I read.] On page 18 the author admits it's a coffee table book, w This is a weird conundrum of a book. The design detracts so much from the reading experience. It's big, it's heavy, and the words are so close to the margin near the binding that you really have to wrench the book open at all times to read the bloody thing. It's unwieldy, with the same size, heft and glossy colored pages of a text book. Forget about trying to read this on the bus, or in bed lying down. [These are the #1 and #2 ways I read.] On page 18 the author admits it's a coffee table book, which forgives this awkward format, but coffee table books are mostly for looking at photos, paintings, or large illustrations. They are poorly suited to reading narrative text that continues on every page. That's why coffee table books often contain an essay at the beginning, followed by full pages of illustrations. You read the text once, you come back to view the images over and over. What's the problem then? This book is The Art of Neil Gaiman. A coffee table book is for showing art. That's the whole problem. Neil Gaiman is an author, not a visual artist. Sure, he writes comics, and this book has a lot of (other people's) drawings, comic book covers and panels reproduced on the pages. It also has a lot of copied ephemera: photographs, illegibly scribbled notes, type written letters, computer printouts of scripts. It even contains doodles that Neil Gaiman drew. All of this is interesting for Gaiman fans but not all that essential to reproduce at this size. Only die hard fans will spend any time trying to decipher the scribble. And I will not display this book on my coffee table and come back to look at scribble or single pages of comics over and over. If I want to enjoy the art, I'll collect the full comics. On most pages, half of the space is dedicated to narrative text - a history of Gaiman's life and quotations about the conception, production and publication of his written work. And Neil Gaiman's biography is fascinating. I had no idea he was in a punk band, got his start as a journalist for lad magazines, and wrote a biography of Duran Duran. I want to read more. But a great biography is easy to read, usually with ephemera and photos contained to a handful of pages in the center of the book, or even spread throughout the book, but at a portable size and weight so you can read it from start to finish. Again, the size, the heft, and the actual arrangement of text vs ephemera in the book makes it so that you cannot easily sit down and read this. If Neil Gaiman's art is his words, why make it so difficult to read?

  7. 5 out of 5

    Bunny

    This book is for hardcore fans of Neil Gaiman. I am a very, very, very big Neil Gaiman fan. My love for his words and his big squishy brain and his characters is so intense it flows from my skin and leaves marks. In one instance, it left marks on my sheets. But even being a hardcore Gaiman fan, I did not like this book. A quarter of it is the book itself. The binding on this is so badly done. I'm the kind of person who reads while doing something else. But because the wording goes so far into the bi This book is for hardcore fans of Neil Gaiman. I am a very, very, very big Neil Gaiman fan. My love for his words and his big squishy brain and his characters is so intense it flows from my skin and leaves marks. In one instance, it left marks on my sheets. But even being a hardcore Gaiman fan, I did not like this book. A quarter of it is the book itself. The binding on this is so badly done. I'm the kind of person who reads while doing something else. But because the wording goes so far into the binding, it really wasn't an option, unless I had something heavy enough to shove the book down enough to break the spine. And I don't break book spines. This would be why it took me almost a full month to read a book featuring mostly material I'm already familiar with. As for the material I'm not familiar with, this book is...I don't want to use the word dry, because so much of it is told by Neil, which is fun and lovely. But otherwise? Yes, it's dry. It's not interest holding in the least for the first half of the book. That was the reading struggle. And all of the "fun bits", the stuff she found in his attic, the hand written pages? Well, they're unreadable. This is not a fault I'm placing on Neil, because people with bad handwriting can generally read their own handwriting, and he's writing those notes for himself, not for public consumption. But if they're illegible, there are two options. 1) Don't include them. 2) Transcribe them. We're not dealing with a long dead author here. You're sitting next to/e-mailing/smoke signaling with this man on this book, is it really that difficult to say, "Neil, what the hell is this word?" Once we got to the parts where we talk about the origins of his books, my attention snapped back to. I didn't learn about any new works, but I learned so much about the process of the works I love, and that made everything the lovelier. I'm giving the book 3 stars, which really sucks. Because Neil Gaiman is a treasure, and I genuinely appreciate his existence.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Suad Shamma

    It is very inspiring to see the thought process that goes into creating works of fiction of any kind. Especially when it is Neil Gaiman himself, who has dabbled in every form of writing there is. He's done graphic novels, films, TV series, novels, children's books, middle-grade books, novellas and everything in between. I've always been a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and I honestly can't remember when or how it started, but I do know it began with his novels - American Gods, Neverwhere - the classics. It is very inspiring to see the thought process that goes into creating works of fiction of any kind. Especially when it is Neil Gaiman himself, who has dabbled in every form of writing there is. He's done graphic novels, films, TV series, novels, children's books, middle-grade books, novellas and everything in between. I've always been a huge Neil Gaiman fan, and I honestly can't remember when or how it started, but I do know it began with his novels - American Gods, Neverwhere - the classics. Later, I started reading books targeted at younger readers, like Coraline and The Graveyard Book, and I found that I really enjoyed those as well. Then I started reading his illustrated books like A Cave in the Black Mountain and The Sleeper and the Spindle, then his children's books like Crazy Hair and Blueberry Girl, and finally...I picked up his famous graphic novels - The Sandman series. There were things I felt 'meh' about, but the good always outweighed the bad, and soon, my bookshelf was filled with Gaiman's works. Reading this book was enlightening, because I realized that on top of all this stuff, there was a ton more stuff that Neil Gaiman worked on that I was familiar with, but had no idea he was involved in! Things like films and TV series to be specific. He's a very talented person, very gifted writer, with a mind that baffles. The characters he produces, the stories he comes up with - his muses and inspirations are all revealed in this biography. I really enjoyed reading about him and his work, and it only made me respect him more as a writer.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tamsien West (Babbling Books)

    "The world is simply composed of stories" It might look like a coffee table/photo book, but the Art of Neil Gaiman is a thorough biography, with plenty of photos, sketches, and drafts. There were a few sections at the end which felt oddly grouped and not as in-depth (The Ocean at the End of the Lane for example gets just 3 pages, which is mostly images). Overall really insightful and interesting for fans who are familiar with the majority of his work and are keen to hear about what happened behind "The world is simply composed of stories" It might look like a coffee table/photo book, but the Art of Neil Gaiman is a thorough biography, with plenty of photos, sketches, and drafts. There were a few sections at the end which felt oddly grouped and not as in-depth (The Ocean at the End of the Lane for example gets just 3 pages, which is mostly images). Overall really insightful and interesting for fans who are familiar with the majority of his work and are keen to hear about what happened behind the scenes.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Ever since I discovered Neil Gaiman I have become infatuated with most of his work. He even got me interested in short stories. But there is so much more to this man as everyone will discover upon following him on any social media site. This book was written by a friend of Neil Gaiman's called Hayley Campbell and puts everything NG has done so far together. The first special thing about this: Neil Gaiman is only 55 and this book is already so big! Seriously, I knew he was involved in a lot of stu Ever since I discovered Neil Gaiman I have become infatuated with most of his work. He even got me interested in short stories. But there is so much more to this man as everyone will discover upon following him on any social media site. This book was written by a friend of Neil Gaiman's called Hayley Campbell and puts everything NG has done so far together. The first special thing about this: Neil Gaiman is only 55 and this book is already so big! Seriously, I knew he was involved in a lot of stuff but I had no idea of the true scale of things - he even worked on Princess Mononoke! Moreover, the author of this compendium makes an excellent point (actually IS an excellent example of said point herself) of how well-connected Neil Gaiman is across all art forms. The chapters in this book give great insight into how comic books, screenplays, short stories, novels, picture books, movies and many other projects came into existence. However, it's always funny while being packed with information so it never gets boring. The comic book chapters weren't all up my alley but I still wanted to know how Sandman was connected to Black Orchid and all the rest. We also get to know young Neil Gaiman and his motivation for writing poems before he was 10 years old, his love for Punk, his frustration with Hollywood and his geekiness over Doctor Who. All that rounded off with hand-written notes, comic panels drawn on napkins, scribbles and sketches and photographs. I would have wished for a little more family background (after all he is married the second time now and has several children, most of which seem to be very creative themselves) but maybe he just wanted to keep that part private - or we get more of that in the 2nd volume. After all, I sincerely hope Neil Gaiman isn't done making me laugh, cry, pull my hair and scare me half to death! What I like the most about NG is his passion for freedom of speech (I learned quite a lot about the UK's law system and was very negatively astounded when reading how bad the legal situation there is compared to the US), his advocacy for it and everything he does against censorship. Not to mention his commitment to help children around the world and refugees from Syria!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jon Huff

    I liked this book quite a bit, but there is this nagging sense that it's not quite the book it could be. Or, perhaps, that one day we'll get another book like it or an expanded new edition that will be even better. I admire Neil Gaiman a huge amount, of course. I'd count him as my favorite writer, on most days. And usually I do not care much about the personal lives of my favorite creators. It's not so much that I'm disinterested, just that I'm more interested in what they are creating versus th I liked this book quite a bit, but there is this nagging sense that it's not quite the book it could be. Or, perhaps, that one day we'll get another book like it or an expanded new edition that will be even better. I admire Neil Gaiman a huge amount, of course. I'd count him as my favorite writer, on most days. And usually I do not care much about the personal lives of my favorite creators. It's not so much that I'm disinterested, just that I'm more interested in what they are creating versus their lives. So, even though I was a big fan, a lot of this was new to me. I'd just read his non-fiction articles book, which meant that I knew a bit more than I would have going into this one. But, even still, there was a lot of new stuff, and the photos and bits of notes and pieces of art here and there were great to look at. The problem is, the book is ascribed to "Hayley Campbell in conversation with Neil Gaiman" and there is a little of that. But I wish there was so much more. The book starts off really promisingly, but towards the end there's a feeling it's running out of steam. The detail becomes more sparse about the creation of various works, for one thing. But, the worst thing is that Neil is almost always only present through quotes from older articles. I really would have loved to get his perspective on, say, Mirrormask after 10 years have passed. Or, even what he feels about things like his Doctor Who episodes. You get more insight the further back in his career he goes, mostly because he's talked about it in some other interview. Maybe we'll have to wait to get more insight into those things, but it does make the back half of the book less interesting.

  12. 5 out of 5

    A

    If you love toned arms as much as you love Neil Gaiman (and even if you don't), than this is the book for you! The content is so FANTASTIC that I sacrificed two days of my life to it. However, my love for its content will not stop me from joining the chorus of complaints regarding its design. I can forgive that it is a big and heavy book (I'm into those), but I really disliked how close to the binding the words are; particularly the written content on the left. I found it to be most annoying in If you love toned arms as much as you love Neil Gaiman (and even if you don't), than this is the book for you! The content is so FANTASTIC that I sacrificed two days of my life to it. However, my love for its content will not stop me from joining the chorus of complaints regarding its design. I can forgive that it is a big and heavy book (I'm into those), but I really disliked how close to the binding the words are; particularly the written content on the left. I found it to be most annoying in the first half of the book, as you are literally forcing it open the whole time in order to read it (the tension eases a bit as the book concludes). Design flaws aside, this is a fascinating book about a fascinating man, which also happens to double as a light strength and toning exercise. Biceps from books, anyone?

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jeffrey

    I'm not a die-hard, huge Neil Gaiman fan but I've enjoyed Sandman and various other works. I didn't realize until reading this book that he wrote the 'Don't Panic' book about Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which I now have the itch to go and re-read. Hayley Campbell managed to find the right voice for this book, informative but casual, and there's the right mix of text and image. I felt it lagged a little toward the end - possibly because of the inherent structure, where I'm not a die-hard, huge Neil Gaiman fan but I've enjoyed Sandman and various other works. I didn't realize until reading this book that he wrote the 'Don't Panic' book about Douglas Adams and The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy, which I now have the itch to go and re-read. Hayley Campbell managed to find the right voice for this book, informative but casual, and there's the right mix of text and image. I felt it lagged a little toward the end - possibly because of the inherent structure, where the last few chapters cover random odds and ends and more recent work that don't have the support of time passing to give them the weight you find with the earlier chapters. I enjoyed it, though.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    Now I want to reread all his books...

  15. 5 out of 5

    Steven Wittenberg Gordon

    http://stevesofgrass.blogspot.com/201... http://stevesofgrass.blogspot.com/201...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I love this man. I'd love to meet him. I didn't realize he was this cool. I mean I knew it when I had listened to his speeches but he just got to a whole other level of cool. I'm completely enamored.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Beastnessa

    The summer I turned 19, I made it my mission to read everything Neil Gaiman had ever written. I had just finished my first year of college, and I had just finished reading The Sandman, excavated from one of my older brother's multitude of long boxes containing comics he intended to get around to reading, someday. What that usually meant is I ended up devouring everything in those boxes before he was sure what some of them were even about. Sandman was one of those series, and one of the only ones The summer I turned 19, I made it my mission to read everything Neil Gaiman had ever written. I had just finished my first year of college, and I had just finished reading The Sandman, excavated from one of my older brother's multitude of long boxes containing comics he intended to get around to reading, someday. What that usually meant is I ended up devouring everything in those boxes before he was sure what some of them were even about. Sandman was one of those series, and one of the only ones I can remember from that time. I remember reading the entirety of Preludes & Nocturnes sitting on the floor of the hottest room in the house in a California summer, quietly sweating, only a few feet away from the box I pulled it out of, because I flipped it open to see if I wanted to read it and couldn't stop long enough to walk away before I was done. That was nearly ten years ago, and though that's a time of life when you're always running into books and movies and music that seem amazing and mind-blowing simply because you haven't lived very long, I can safely say that that day, and in fact that summer, changed my life. I've read the entirety of Sandman a few more times since then. I never really succeeded in reading (or watching, or listening to, or...) everything Neil Gaiman had ever done, thankfully, because he never stops making stuff, and a lot of that stuff isn't necessarily something that can be read, but has to be watched, or listened to, or experienced, as fans of his will attest to. In fact, it brings me back to one of my favorite things about Sandman, which is that when you explain it to people, you kind of can't explain it, really. It has to be experienced, felt, lived and dreamed inside of, in order to understand what makes it what it is. In the words of Gaiman quoted in this book about his work, it has to be "sub-created" separately, uniquely, by everyone who reads it. This is recommended, obviously, to fans of any or all of Gaiman's work. And also for people who seek advice about making good art. A wonderful thing about Neil Gaiman is that he is very generous with his thoughts on that subject, and there aren't very many people who I would want to hear speak about that more.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jason Lundberg

    I'll say right up front that I am a Neil Gaiman fanboy. A Gaimaniac, if you will. So this book hit my squee buttons before I even opened it up. But, oh, what a beauty it is. Much of the fact-based stuff here I already knew, from following Gaiman throughout his career, but the thing that sets this volume apart is the incredible access that Hayley Campbell had to both his papers and miscellaneous notes, and to the man himself. The fact that she has known him as a family friend (or honorary eccentri I'll say right up front that I am a Neil Gaiman fanboy. A Gaimaniac, if you will. So this book hit my squee buttons before I even opened it up. But, oh, what a beauty it is. Much of the fact-based stuff here I already knew, from following Gaiman throughout his career, but the thing that sets this volume apart is the incredible access that Hayley Campbell had to both his papers and miscellaneous notes, and to the man himself. The fact that she has known him as a family friend (or honorary eccentric uncle) for much of her life lends the book an authoritative air that could not have been accomplished in any other way except if Gaiman had written it himself. Campbell's choice to organize the book thematically by medium rather than chronologically occasionally irked me, as I would have been much more interested to see how one piece of writing influenced or was influenced by another by dint of temporal proximity, but the whole thing holds together so well that I got over my gripes fairly quickly. Her insertion of anecdotes within each section helped to accentuate the feeling that we're really getting a behind the scenes look into Gaiman's work (with some peeks into his private life as well). This is a book that I will very likely come back to again and again for inspiration, in terms of both creativity and work ethic. It's a must-have for Gaiman fans anywhere.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    Part biography, part exploration of the creative process of the incredibly talented Neil Gaiman. Divided into chapters that trace his evolution as a writer; from teen journalist, through comics, short stories, novels, poetry, screen-and radioplays, even to his first attempts as a movie director, this is a thorough exploration of Mr. Gaiman's work. Copiously illustrated with photos, drawings and hand-written notes, Ms. Campbell shows how Gaiman's worldview was shaped, and how he has been able to t Part biography, part exploration of the creative process of the incredibly talented Neil Gaiman. Divided into chapters that trace his evolution as a writer; from teen journalist, through comics, short stories, novels, poetry, screen-and radioplays, even to his first attempts as a movie director, this is a thorough exploration of Mr. Gaiman's work. Copiously illustrated with photos, drawings and hand-written notes, Ms. Campbell shows how Gaiman's worldview was shaped, and how he has been able to tap into the common mythos so many of have ingrained in us, and tell it in his own unique voice.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Alex Sarll

    I cannot see that subtitle anywhere on the copy I read, which is a blessing. Lovely coffee table survey of his vast and variegated oeuvre, plus a bit of biography. Errs a little on the side of tactfulness - so there's plenty on 'The Doctor's Wife', for instance, and then a bit about the plan for 'Nightmare in Silver' but nothing on the unlovely result. Still, it's packed with insights and oddities, and Neil does seem like a very nice man so the politeness is wholly understandable.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Dave

    More of a scrapbook and collection of anecdotes and behind the scenes stories of an interesting and successful career than either art book or biography. This is a coffee table book that needs to be read in short bursts. Entertaining, but ultimately shallow. I liked it but, unless you are a fan, I’d say pass on this.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Anything you ever wanted to know about Neil Gaiman but were afraid to ask. This is everything and man is it comprehensive. There is plenty to just look at let alone read all that's there as well. Perfect addition to your Neil Gaiman collection - or someone else's.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mender

    I was beyond excited when I found a hardcover copy of this for $10. For multiple reasons, the first of which is that I really like Hayley Campbell. Honestly, that is my number one reason. Her website has some of her freelance articles on it. She's genuine and engaging and I love her writing, give it a shot. I also quite like some Neil Gaiman. I love his blogging. I love stardust and oceans at the end of the lane, although now I come to think of it I can't remember what happens in the latter. I lov I was beyond excited when I found a hardcover copy of this for $10. For multiple reasons, the first of which is that I really like Hayley Campbell. Honestly, that is my number one reason. Her website has some of her freelance articles on it. She's genuine and engaging and I love her writing, give it a shot. I also quite like some Neil Gaiman. I love his blogging. I love stardust and oceans at the end of the lane, although now I come to think of it I can't remember what happens in the latter. I loved the tv adaptation of American Gods which made me appreciate the book more - I think the show is better. So I was very excited for this book, but in a lot of ways it wasn't what I was after. Because I was looking for Hayley, and I found Neil. Surprise, right? *headdesk* This book is a breakdown of things Neil got up to on the way to becoming Neil Himself. He was always driven. He worked incessantly at many things and had gumption and put himself out there and it's very inspiring for a young person to read and feel like, yeah, I could do that. Also his handwriting is atrocious and I can't read a word of it. My son says the same thing about mine. All in all the book is fine. But I'm not hugely interested in Neil, or learning more about his works, and it didn't have a heap of aha moments for me. So it was fine. Just fine. And I'll keep my eye out for more of Hayley's work in the future.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Erik

    "The Art of Neil Gaiman defies classification beyond the fact that it is nonfiction. Is it a biography or is it a coffee table book? Yes. Like Gaiman, the book can fall into many genres but takes the best bits of both and creates something new with them. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. There are insights to be found through explanations of his process and outlook that have inspired me to go back to some projects that have been lying dormant, and I thi "The Art of Neil Gaiman defies classification beyond the fact that it is nonfiction. Is it a biography or is it a coffee table book? Yes. Like Gaiman, the book can fall into many genres but takes the best bits of both and creates something new with them. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. There are insights to be found through explanations of his process and outlook that have inspired me to go back to some projects that have been lying dormant, and I think that is the greatest gift this book gives." - https://thepastduebookreview.com/2016...

  25. 4 out of 5

    Dan

    This is an excellent and thorough look at just about everything Gaiman had written at time of publication, much of which I've read. Seeing it laid out in this way made grudgingly push him up a tier in my author pantheon. I'd always described him as "not one of my favorites but I'll always get his books when they come out." That was nonsense. Recommended if you've read a fair amount of his work. If you haven't, get on it. Maybe start with Sandman, Anansi Boys or one of the short story collections This is an excellent and thorough look at just about everything Gaiman had written at time of publication, much of which I've read. Seeing it laid out in this way made grudgingly push him up a tier in my author pantheon. I'd always described him as "not one of my favorites but I'll always get his books when they come out." That was nonsense. Recommended if you've read a fair amount of his work. If you haven't, get on it. Maybe start with Sandman, Anansi Boys or one of the short story collections.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sachin Prabhu

    Neil Gaiman is among my favorites and this book gives insight about his work. I dint really knew he even worked on princess mononoke! it informs about each book Neil has written or worked on. It has lot of photographs with Neil's handwriting, comics, each book he worked on, family photos. So if you want to know more about Neil's work this is for you!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mia

    This coffee table book is more like a biography and annotated bibliography mashed together with pictures in. That's not a bad thing, it's just not quite what I expected. Still, as a dedicated fan of Neil's, this was an interesting look into some of the moments in his life and the hows and whys of his work so far.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenna

    It took me some time and I savored this book as I would a delicious meal. If you are at all a Neil Gaiman fan, this is a marvelous book and one I intend to purchase for my own library. What an incredible body of work across so many mediums, I love it! One of my biggest inspirers, I very much enjoyed this.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Jacob

    A fascinating creative biography of one of the world's greatest living storytellers. If you like anything written by Neil Gaiman or are interested in learning about an author's creative process (including its highs, lows, and very confusing bits), I think you'll like this. Also, there are pictures on just about every page.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Hodgson

    A deep look at Gaiman through art and writing. I skimmed much of it, but really loved some of the original art and draft writing notes, and his story of following a vision and hustling to get published.

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