by Neil Gaiman
read by the author
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I decided, upon finishing listening to this, that I wouldn’t mind if Neil Gaiman came and narrated my life. He has such a wonderful reading voice, spellbinding on its own, that he could be reading my grocery list, and I would listen, captivated.
But, thankfully, I didn’t have to listen to my grocery list, which would have gotten quite tedious after a while. Rather, I got a collection of some fascinating, some entertaining, some disturbing Gaiman stories. I didn’t love them all, but the ones I liked, I really liked. I think, perhaps, that I like Gaiman in short doses — I absolutely love his stuff for kids — rather than his long novels. So, a collection of stories and poems was just about my speed.
Some of my favorites? “A Study in Emerald,” his take on a Sherlock Holmes story which is weird and wild, and has an absolutely brilliant twist at the end. Or “October in the Chair,” a delightful story personalizing the months of the year and their gathering where they each take turns telling one story, and the story that October (it’s his year) tells. Or “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” which is a mundane awkward boy party until you realize that they crashed a party of alien girls. Or “Sunbird” which is about an epicurean club who have basically tried eating everything there is to eat. Except for the sunbird. Or, the poem “Instructions”, which is one of my favorite picture books.
Sure, there were some missteps (I had issues with ” The Problem of Susan” and another story, where the sex just felt gratuitous), but for the most part, I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this one. Then again, it may have been because I’d listen to Gaiman read anything.