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Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman Hardcover – October 28, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Adult/High School—Massively popular fantasy/horror writer Gaiman gets a critical treatment previously reserved for authors of the classics. It's doubtful that even the most avid fan couldn't learn something from this great work. Opening with an introductory biographical piece, the book also has a fascinating gem—an article Gaiman was hired to write in 1984 about Fantasycon VIII of the British Fantasy Society. The piece clearly displays the wit and storytelling ability that would later make him famous. His first published book was a "biography" of new-wave band Duran Duran, but what brought him fame was the writing of the "Sandman" series for DC Comics. Gaiman wrote 10 volumes of the series as well as a few spinoffs of this still frequently read classic. He also wrote quite a few other comics in this time period, and each one is given similar treatment to the "Sandman"—a plot synopsis, trivia, lists of important people and places, and a quote from Gaiman or about him. The novels, short stories, and scripts include the same information. Also included are interviews with artists and cowriters, and occasional photographs. The book ends with a lengthy interview, as well as one with his assistant. A must where Gaiman is popular.—Jamie Watson, Harford County Public Library, MD
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From Booklist

Fans’ guidebooks have been done for many a genre fiction star, most notably Stephen King, but unlike most of the others, this one’s getting a 100,000-copy first printing from a major publisher. Quixotic? Well, if anyone could justify such a splash for such a seemingly narrow-interest item, it would be the man who, more than anyone else, made the graphic novel commercially viable and whose most recent prose novel, Anansi Boys (2005), debuted at number one on the New York Times’ best-seller list: Neil Gaiman. In each of 10 parts, a different period or kind of Gaiman’s output—early work, the Sandman series, graphic novels, comics, novels, children’s books, short stories, verse, screenplays, and “oddities”—is described in chronology. Connections to other books, characters, and real persons are noted; quotes extracted from Gaiman’s interviews and correspondence are provided; and remarks by his many collaborators are inserted where relevant. An eleventh part contains a highly entertaining 60-page recent interview. Other big attractions are previously unpublished writings, including a comics story and a hysterical “special report,” “Who Was Jack the Ripper?” coauthored with Eugene Byrne and Kim Newman. Because Gaiman’s so congenial, witty, and unpretentious, there’s lots to enjoy here, even for those who know only corners of his tremendous oeuvre. If everyone who has bought even just the Sandman series gets a copy, a second, larger printing will be in order. --Ray Olson

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 560 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press; First Edition edition (October 28, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312387652
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312387655
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,032,877 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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This book is truly a must-have for all Neil Gaiman fans.
Little Willow
Prince of Stories is an analysis, a record, and a celebration of the numerous works by acclaimed author Neil Gaiman.
Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews
Great book summarizing Gaiman's body of work, and has additional essays/interviews, etc.
Rhett Oracly

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on December 7, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Over the past few decades, Neil Gaiman has become more than an author of graphic novels and fantasy. He has become one of THE authors.

And "Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman" is more than just a homage to Gaiman's many otherworldly works -- it's also a detailed guide to his assorted comics, graphic novels and books, as well as offering insight into Gaiman and his many collaborators, and a wealth of assorted trivia and information.

First, there's a nice little foreword from Gaiman's "Good Omens" collaborator Terry Pratchett ("There was no natural unity between hat and man") and a steady introduction to who and what Neil Gaiman is.

Then there are the in-depth studies and analyses of his works -- Hank Wagner, Stephen Bissette and Christopher Golden go into the depths of his bestselling, groundbreaking graphic novel series "Sandman." Issue by issue, chapter by chapter they summarize and dissect the entire comic book series, whether it's standalone stories of the Endless, tales of Dream's sister Death, or the long shadowy journey of the titular Morpheus.

And they do plenty of dissection of Gaiman's other stories -- the "Spawn" spinoff about a warrior angel, the Eternals, "The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of Mr. Punch," the legendary "1602," the little-known "Black Orchid," the pre-Potterian budding wizard known as Tim Hunter, "Miracleman," and countless other contributions. There's even the tale of graphic novels that never really made it out into the world, or were cut short prematurely.

Gaiman's novels get the same treatment -- Wagner, Golden and Bissette don't go into quite as much detail, but they do address the important stuff, including listing and describing the poems and short stories Gaiman has written.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer VINE VOICE on October 28, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A note from Hank Wagner, co-author (with Christopher Golden and Stephen R. Bissette) of Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman:

Sometimes, someone blesses you with a review that says everything you could possibly want about your work. That's certainly the case with Rachelle Bilz, who penned the review below for VOYA (Voice of Youth Advocates), a bimonthly library journal devoted to teenagers' information needs. As Neil Gaiman himself might say, it makes me very happy. To be mentioned in the same breath as Hy Bender's fine Sandman Companion is high praise indeed:

"This tribute is a tremendous gift to Neil Gaiman fans. Whether the reader wants to know the inspiration and background information for Gaiman's many works or factual tidbits about the man himself, this volume delivers. The authors, all impressive writers themselves, have conducted extensive research and interviews in their effort to create a compendium of data about one of fantasy's finest writers. Without a doubt, it is the most comprehensive resource about Neil Gaiman to date. Encyclopedic in scope, this book offers reprints of articles by Gaiman, back stories, interviews with illustrators and others who work with Gaiman, photos, illustrations, and sneak peeks at future works. Although broad in scope, this work also contains fascinating minutiae about all things Gaiman as well as entertaining quotes from him. The extensive interview with Gaiman is especially enjoyable, as are his anecdotes about celebrity and fans and his responses to movies such as Stardust. The appendixes offer a chronology, further reading, Web sites, and other helpful information. Well written, well organized, and fun to peruse, this book can be enjoyed as a cover-to-cover read or a random browse.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Little Willow on December 1, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Prince of Stories is the essential, definitive Neil Gaiman bibliography and biography. This book is truly a must-have for all Neil Gaiman fans. It has information on every single project Gaiman has ever touched: every novel, every short story, every comic, every film, every song, every everything is detailed. And by detailed, I mean detailed. Instead of being mere one- or two-paragraph summaries, the entries are packed with character profiles, plot, and publishing info as well as trivia, quotes, and more.

Everything you ever wanted to know about Gaiman's life and writing is contained in this book. The men who collaborated on Prince of Stories - Hank Wagner, Christopher Golden, and Stephen R. Bisette - are published authors as well, and I recommend their novels and comics, too. Their respect and admiration for Gaiman is apparent throughout Prince of Stories, especially in the section which is an in-depth exclusive interview with Gaiman himself.
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Format: Paperback
Prince of Stories is an analysis, a record, and a
celebration of the numerous works by acclaimed author Neil
Gaiman. The book accounts Gaiman's works, from his comics
to his novels and movie scripts, and it provides an analysis
and comparison to other notable pieces of his and of other
authors in the same genre. The analysis also pulls common
themes and elements from Gaiman's stories and discusses the
importance of these themes in Gaiman's world. Prince of
Stories includes hours of interviews with Gaiman as well as
other authors and illustrators who have collaborated with
him. Another bonus for readers is the inclusion of the
beginnings of an unpublished novel and a rare comic strip by
Gaiman. Prince of Stories is a thorough, detailed account
of the genius of Neil Gaiman full of nuggets for fantasy

I am fairly familiar with Neil Gaiman's work
being a comic book and fantasy admirer. I have read The
Sandman, what many consider his magnum opus, along with a
handful of other titles (Murder Mysteries, The Last
Temptation, Neverwhere, and others not mentioned in the
book). This background knowledge helped me to thoroughly
enjoy the book. It also made me reserve more Gaiman titles
at the library. However, those not familiar with Gaiman's
work should not immediately turn away from this book. The
collaborators on Prince of Stories attempted to satisfy both
the strong followers of Gaiman as well as the casual fantasy
reader, and they did an adequate job of both tasks.
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