The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book is yet another Book written by the Great Neil Gaiman. Yes my dearest reader you surely have noticed that i am working myself through his catalogue right now xD.

The Book is a homage to the Jungle Book, telling a similar Story. The Protagonist is the Boy Bod. But Bod is just his Nickname as he was named Nobody Owens by his adoptive Parents who raise him living at a graveyard. Where he got protection from the mysterious murderer of his birth parents.

It’s a fun and spooky Story that can be enjoyed by young and old alike. It tells different short episodes in the life of Bod until he comes of age. It’s a Book about horror’s, mysteries, bully’s, standing up for oneself and the trust and love we but in our real Family and Friends.

While playing in present day England we get to know many different Monsters or rather characters of Mythology, like Ghosts, Vampires, Werewolfs, Ghouls and old celtic curses and even a Manisfestation of Death.

With that the Graveyard Book is a great Story full of adventure and Mystery.

Coraline

The title of this Story was a lucky Mistake by it’s Author Neil Gaiman. He started to write a story about a little Girl, just like his daughter. He wanted to call her Caroline. But on paper he twisted the letters and he thought, Coraline sounds like a real name. Weird maybe, but real.

Coraline is the Story of a little smart Girl. She and her Parents just moved into a new Flat and Coraline is ready to explore her new neighbourhood. She gets to know her new quirky neighbours, a circus of singing mice and a suspicious black cat.

Her exploring leads her to a strange place where she has to engage with an old and deceptive Evil.

Coraline is a great scary read and teaches some quite excellent lessons about what true bravery is and the value of the mundane everyday life.

Fortunately the Milk

“Fortunately the Milk” in the Edition in front of me is Childrens Book written by Neil Gaiman and Illustrated, like so often, by the great Chris Riddell. It was published 2013 by Bloomsbury.

The plot of the Story is easily explained: a Dad is left alone with his two Kids, as his Wife is on a important Business Trip. The Milk is empty and the Dad has forgotten to buy a new one. To safe the Family Breakfast from ruin he steps out to buy some.

What starts as a mundane everyday Story develops faster than Light to a colorful Adventure as the Dad in his quest for Milk is Meeting Aliens, Dinosaur Space Cops, an Aztec God and many more strange figures through the space time continuum.

It’s a fun and silly Story that will lighten your heart 😀

Art Matters

Art Matters is a motivational Book written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Chriss Riddel. My edition was published in the year 2018.

The book is quite short but beautifully illustrated very fitting to the contents of each Essay. The Book is basically a compilation of different Essays about Art and the Process of Creation written by the author. The Essays are titled: “Credo”, “Why our Future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming”, “Making a Chair” and “Make Good Art”.

The book talks about our power of imagination, learning from other people, cultures and stories. It’s about the joy of writing and creating. The worries and hopenessless of an Artist. The motivation for creation in the first place and how it will influence the world view of our children.

It’s a very short read, beautifully written and inspirational!

The Courage to be Disliked – Introduction

The Courage to be Disliked from Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga is a Book I’ve read and it deeply impressed me. It impressed me so much that i want to note down the main points of the book and want to share them.

The “plot” of the book starts with a young man, unsatisfied with his own life, who is visiting a known philosopher. This philosopher claims that:

  • The worls is simple
  • Every human can change
  • Every human can find happiness

The young man can’t except these claims and wants to have a discussion with the philosopher about it. Which he gladly accepts, as he also wants to learn from the young. And so the book goes on in the form of a dialog between the young man and the philosopher.

The young man(YM) can’t accept that the world is simple. A simple world only exists for children. Children know no worries, they have no responsibility’s and don’t have to worry about money. Their parents and society protects them. When the child grows up, it’s world becomes a lot more complicated. There are personal relationships, work and money to be taken care of. In the past humans tried to please the gods and to follow religion. But nowadays religion has lost most of it’s power. People have to think for themselves. This makes the world complicated. There are a lot of contradictions in the world.

The philosopher(P) answers that yeah, what YM says is right. But still the world is simple. It is the human that makes the world complicated. Or more like, it’s the human who sees the world as such an complicated thing. Ones worldview is highly subjective. For example: Water in a fountain keeps relative constantly the temperature of 18° Celsius. But in the summer this is refreshing and in the winter quite warm. But the 18° is a objective fact. That fact doesn’t change. It is the view the humans have on it that changes. In the same way, if the world is complicated, then it’s the human that has to change and start to see the world how it really is. A person needs the bravery to see the world in the way it is. To make that change.

YM goes on to the other thesis. A person can’t change. He knows that, because he himself is unable to change. P says that he can understand that notion. He himself had it in his younger years. At that time he studied the ancient Greek classics. But then he started to study a new philosophy and everything changed for him.

He leads YM into his study and offers him coffee. He says it will be a long night. And in this way the introduction ends.

Odd and the Frost Giants, a book review

Odd and the Frost Giants is a story written by Neil Gaiman in 2008 for the World Book Day. Gaiman is well known through the Amazon Prime series American Gods and Good Omens, which are based on his works. But he has also gained fame through the movies Stardust and Coraline based on his stories. I personally only became aware of him when I happened to get hold of his book on Nordic myths.

With only under 100 pages this book is a short story suitable for children. The edition was illustrated by illustrator Mark Buckinham. Even though this story is probably written for children, it also has its charm for adults. Gailman achieves this by making profound connections to Nordic myths and choosing timeless themes.

The story begins in a small Norwegian village during the Viking Age. The spring months have already begun, but there is still an unusually harsh winter. Odd has recently been half-orphaned, as his father was killed on a Viking journey. Therefore, to feed the family Odd’s mother decided to remarry. As many stepparents do, Odd is treated badly by his new stepfather and older stepbrothers and sisters. Unable to endure the verbal and physical violence, he takes off into the woods to his father’s hut, who was a mainly a forester and carpenter. There he meets three animal companions and together they get to the bottom of the origin of the continuous winter.

Gaiman has a deep knowledge of Nordic mythology which he proves in this story and has borrowed many characters from it. The plot is practically a continuation of several different myths. The whole cast of characters is extremely likeable, even the antagonist of the ice giant is not a blunt villain. And even if they give Odd a hand, his companions are no innocent. This gives them all a three-dimensional quality. However, the most interesting thing about Odd is that he is a disabled boy who bravely overcomes adventure not by brute force, but by his bright head.

And in my opinion, this underlines the most important theme of this book: It doesn’t matter what you are. It depends on what you make of it! And I consider this an important lesson. Therefore from me, absolute a reading recommendation!