Throughout his writing career, Neil Gaiman has produced masterpiece after masterpiece that makes it impossible for anyone to rank his books in order. Although each book of his has been positively received by critics and fans alike, some stand out from the crowd. This includes American Gods, Good Omens (co-written by Terry Pratchett), Coraline, The Graveyard Book, and so on.
American Gods is undoubtedly one of the most popular books that Neil Gaiman has ever written. A fantasy story that is a combination of ancient mythology with modern urban fantasies and Americana, American Gods was published in 2001 to great critical acclaim.
The novel follows the story of the mysterious Shadow, an ex-convict who is fresh out of prison. His wife, Laura has been tragically killed 3 days earlier in a car accident along with his best friend, Robbie. To his horror, Shadow finds out that his wife and best friend had been having an affair with each other. Shadow is then recruited as a bodyguard by a mysterious figure known as Wednesday. He is ultimately led on a cross-country journey full of mythical adventure as he witnesses a magnificent battle between the Old Gods and the New Gods.
Co-written by Terry Pratchett, Good Omens by Neil Gaiman is a fantasy comedy that is both light-hearted and exciting at the same time.
The story revolves around the son of Satan and the coming of the end of the world. Two mythical creatures, Aziraphale (an angel) and Crowley (a demon) go head to head in an attempt to save the world and destroy it respectively. However, things do not turn out as expected. Unbeknownst to both the protagonists, the son of Satan has been switched at birth with an ordinary boy, and both Aziraphale and Crowley have got accustomed to their peaceful lives in England.
Published in 2002, Coraline is one of Neil Gaiman’s most well-loved children’s books. This is a short novella that revolves around the story of Coraline Jones, a young nine-year-old girl who discovers a mysterious corridor behind a door in her new house. At the end of the corridor lies a parallel universe that contains the Other Mother, an evil witch determined to devour the souls of children. The Other Mother captures Coraline’s real parents and persuades her to go over to the other side. However, using her wits and courage, Coraline manages to defeat the Other Mother and rescues her parents.
The Graveyard Book
An immensely popular young adult novel, The Graveyard Book was published by Neil Gaiman in 2008 to great critical acclaim. The novel revolves around the story of Nobody Owens, otherwise known as “Bod.” Bod has lost his family in an incident involving brutal murder and is left all alone in the world. He is then adopted and raised by the ghosts and ghouls of the graveyard, with whom he undergoes several dangers, trials, and adventures.
Neverwhere was originally developed as an urban fantasy television series by Neil Gaiman in 1996. Following the popularity of the television series, a companion novel was then written by Neil Gaiman and Lenny Henry.
The novel focuses on the story of Richard Mayhew, a young businessman who has recently moved from Scotland to London. Through the course of his journey, he is faced with many trials and tribulations, all of which begin when he meets a mysterious girl who appears bleeding and weakened before him one day.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Published in 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a novel that focuses on the search for identity and a disconnect between adulthood and childhood.
The book revolves around an unnamed middle-aged man who returns to his hometown, Sussex, for a funeral. On his visit, he begins to randomly drive around to watch childhood sights and comes across the Hempstock farmhouse. The man also happens upon a mysterious farmhouse from his childhood, where three generations of strange and powerful Hempstock women lived their lives.
Stardust is a popular fantasy novel written by Neil Gaiman in 1999. Set in 1856, this book is extremely different in tone and style from Gaiman’s other fictional works. Reminiscent of the pre-Tolkien era of English fantasy, the novel follows the adventures of a boy, Tristan from the supernatural village of Wall. Determined to win the heart of his beloved, Tristan decides to capture a fallen star and bring it back to her. As it turns out, the fallen star is a girl herself, and she is dragged across the countryside back to the village of Wall by Tristan.
InterWorld is a best-selling young adult novel written by Neil Gaiman and Michael Reeves. Published in 2007, this is a science fiction and fantasy novel that revolves around the story of Joey Harker. Joey, an average kid on earth, is thrown into an intergalactic adventure when he discovers that the earth that he lives in has a trillion other alternative earths in parallel universes. The earths are at war with each other, and is it up to Joey and his alternate selves to keep the balance of power between the earths stable. Neil Gaiman, Michael Reeves, and Mallory Reeves brought out a sequel to InterWorld known as Silver Dreams in 2013.
Anansi Boys is a 2005 fantasy novel written by Neil Gaiman, which follows the story of Mr. Nancy, a character that was previously introduced in American Gods. In the novel, Mr. Nancy, who is an incarnation of Anansi, West African trickster God, dies, leaving his son to discover his father’s supernatural powers. His son also comes across his hidden twin who has inherited all of his father’s powers. The story then follows the adventures of the “Anansi” boys who could not be more different from each other in the world of gods and men.
Norse Mythology is one of Gaiman’s most recent works. Published in 2017, the novel is a rendition of the Norse Gods and the origin of the world after the upheaval in Ragnarok. Odin, Thor, and Loki all come together in this Primeval story full of dwarves, giants, deities, and tricksters. The competitive personalities of Odin, Thor, and Loki make for an exciting adventure full of deception, thrilling action, and immense passion. Containing brilliant retellings of popular Norse stories, such as the binding of Fenrir and the theft of Thor’s legendary hammer, Norse Mythology has been largely received positively by both critics and fans.
What is the best Neil Gaiman book to start?
The most influential book that Neil Gaiman has ever written in his career is American Gods. The novel cleverly combines America’s history and culture with urban fantasy to produce a story that is embroiled in divine forces and mythical adventure. This is the reason most people would recommend new readers to start with American Gods.
In what order should I read Neil Gaiman’s books?
Neil Gaiman is an extremely versatile writer that has penned works spanning several genres and styles. None of his books have much connection with each other, which means that you will be able to read them in any order. However, it is recommended that you begin with his most popular books, American Gods and Good Omens.
Is there a sequel to American Gods?
No, there is no sequel to American Gods yet. However, fans can enjoy the special collector’s edition of American Gods which was published by The Folio Society in 2017. This edition contains many corrections to the original publication of American Gods.
Is Neil Gaiman for adults?
Neil Gaiman is an author that has published books both for adults and children. Some of his works that are most popular with adults include American Gods and Good Omens. However, his children’s literature is also ageless and timeless which means that adults can enjoy them too. For instance, adults have known to be extremely appreciative of Coraline, which is a dark fantasy children’s literature written by Neil Gaiman.