A Favorite Author
Published on October 1, 2005 By Larry Kuperman In Books
First, I must thank AJCrowley for turning me on to this author. The Skinners among us will recognize AJCrowley as one half of the team (along with GreenReaper) responsible for BlackComb, one of the best skins ever made. His nom de skin (heh! I made that up. It means the alias that he uses for skinning) has it's origins in the Neil Gaiman/Terry Pratchett book "Good Omens." AJ Crowley in that book is the modern day incarnation of Crawly, the snake that tempted Eve in the Garden of Eden. He is a demon who is much like the demon from C.S.Lewis "The Screw Tape Letters." Serving Satan, it seems, is much like being a civil servant.

I was hooked the moment the AJ Crowley character pops a cassette into the player of his Bentley and it soon turns into Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody. LOL! "Beelzebub has a Devil put aside for me...." Then the voice of Satan comes on issuing instructions. Good Omens was genuinely funny and engrossing at the same time. It is a variation on the old son-of-Satan storyline, but told with with a dose of humor.

The next book that I read by Neil Gaiman was Neverwhere, a tale of the world that lies below London. No co-author this time. The story is excellent and includes a somewhat subtle social commentary on the plight of the modern homeless. The indigent are somewhat invisible, you see. I was hooked. If you only read one Neil Gaiman book, let it be this one.

I moved on to American Gods, written presumably after Neil Gaiman came to the United States. Born in England, he now lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Why Minneapolis? Those expatriate Brits just can't seem to get enough inclement weather!) American Gods was written in 2001, five years after Neverwhere and Neil's progress as an author in unmistakable. An excellent work and I look forward to reading the recently issued Anansi Boys this week.

Neil also has legions of fans among the readers of graphic novels. His Sandman series is renowned and he also wrote the first volume of The Books of Magic and inspired that series. Credit to my son Jon for turning me on to this.

Neil has written a number of children's books, including Coraline (again an excellent work) and The Wolves in the Walls, which I confess I haven't read. Yet.

Neil is the author responsible for the new Jim Henson Company movie MirrorMask, which opened yesterday. Based on the trailer, I can't wait to see it!

Neil Gaiman is a wonderful writer and I want to thank him for his growing body of work. Visit his website (linked) for additional information and previews of his works.

on Oct 01, 2005
My sister the librarian gave me this book and it rocked.
on Oct 02, 2005
Heh, I agree.

I picked up "Anansi Boys" yesterday. It "rocks" too.
on Oct 04, 2005
Always glad to turn people on to great literature. After the Crowley site you gave me the other day, I was getting ready to give Good Omens yet another read, but I wasn't aware that he'd just come out with another book, so it looks like I've got some reading to do. While I'm inclined to jump to saying that Good Omens was my favourite (Terry Pratchett is also a great author, with his Discworld series now running somewhere in the region of 30 books), they're all good, and Neverwhere and American Gods are also favourites of mine. I also picked up a book of short stories by Neil Gaiman called Smoke and Mirrors (either when I was down in Michigan, or in NY) which I also wouldn't hesitate to recommend as a great read. Cheers, AJ