Neil Gaiman in the 21st Century review – rich, scholarly analysis

A fascinating and wide-ranging collection of essays that celebrates the popular, prolific and endlessly innovative author

Neil Gaiman’s “astonishing flexibility and willingness to transcend genres” is, as Tara Prescott says in the introduction, one of the clear messages in this fascinating and wide-ranging collection of essays. From novels, poems and children’s books to screenplays and video games (Wayward Manor), Gaiman is nothing if not innovative, even embracing crowdsourced storytelling for his A Calendar of Tales (2013). In every medium he remains true to his goal of giving people what he terms “waking dreams”. Exploring Gaiman’s post-2000 writing, from American Gods (2001) to his return to his most famous creation in Sandman: Overture (2014), this collection brings rich, scholarly analysis to the famously prolific and popular author. Highlights include Jenn Prosser on American Gods (“a modern recreation of the Odyssey”), Emily Capettini on the Dr Who episode “Nightmare in Silver”, in which Gaiman returned “the Cybermen to their original, terrifying selves”, and Rebecca Long on The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013), a deeply personal novel in which he shows that “childhood is no protection from the world”, from the knowledge that “nothing is perfect, not even parents”.


PD Smith

The GuardianTramp

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