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The Sleeper and the Spindle Hardcover – September 22, 2015
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From School Library Journal
“Told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork.” (GeekInsider)
“A refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.” (The Guardian)
“Spellbindingly illustrated.” (Gaby Wood, Saturday Telegraph)
“Magical, sumptuous, transporting.” (The Big Issue)
“Unforgettable, unpredictable and utterly enchanting for anyone between the ages of seven and seventy.” (Amanda Craig, The New Statesman)
“A genuine treat.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review))
“A spectacular art object...certainly a treasure.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“Riddell’s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman’s inventive story to life...This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.” (School Library Journal (starred review))
“A wholly original reimagining...Riddell’s artwork is the reason a library should own this title in their collection. His details are exquisite.” (Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA))
“A striking volume...thrums with malevolence and confounds our expectations...[the pictures] seem to writhe creepily on the page.” (Wall Street Journal)
“Unabashedly feminist...So sonically tuned that it breathes on its own from the very first line. Adding to the wonder are Chris Riddell’s dazzling illustrations.” (New York Times Book Review)
Top Customer Reviews
The Sleeper and the Spindle is a new novelette by Neil Gaiman with illustrations by Chris Riddell. I imported it from the UK because I couldn't wait for it to be available here in the US. (I also got the UK edition of Shades of Milk and Honey because it has two extra chapters. I’m not obsessed. Hush.)
First off, let me just say that this is a gorgeous book. The picture to the left doesn’t even really do it justice. The picture of the sleeper is printed on the actual book cover, then there is a velum dust jacket that has the title and the roses. The vines are all detailed in gold. I can’t find a good picture of the actual cover, and my cell phone can’t do it justice either, so I’ll leave it for you to search.
As with so many things Gaiman has done, this book weaves fairy tales together. The two main stories are Sleeping Beauty and Snow White, but there are hints of Rapunzel, Red Riding Hood, and others I’m sure I’m not catching.
Three dwarves set out on a quest to get the best silks for their queen. But when they reach the neighboring kingdom they are met with stories of a plague, a sickness, a curse, a spell. People are falling asleep. Everyone knows that there is a princess asleep in the castle. She’s been there for 70 years, but everything outside the castle full of roses, on this side of the haunted forest had been fine. Until recent. The sleeping curse is spreading west at two or three miles a day.
The dwarves rush back to their kingdom to tell the Queen. She can do math and determines that the curse will reach her kingdom in a matter of weeks. So, she puts off her wedding, kisses her prince, and rides to the east.Read more ›
This one is no different, as he brings to life two fairytales and combines them effortlessly that you don't see it coming. Intertwining different aspects of Snow White with Sleeping Beauty, he takes you on a journey that is new and into uncharted territory, in the process creating a completely new story. I loved the twists and turns, I love the unpredictable ending and the creepiness of it all.
I've already ordered Hansel and Gretel, and I'm sure to expect a lot of new twists added to that fairytale. Can't wait.
I loved fairytales as a child, in fact I still love them now as an adult, but I got a little sick of reading about princess who sit around waiting to be rescued by their handsome prince so I absolutely loved this story for bucking that trend. There are no handsome princes in sight, well there is one but he's only mentioned in passing as Snow White postpones her wedding to go off and save a fellow princess so he doesn't really count! This is a story where girls take centre stage and prove that they are more than capable of fighting their own battles and I loved every minute of it. Neil Gaiman has written a fabulous story that turns the usual fairytale tropes upside down and the twist at the end was fantastic.
I can't review this book properly without talking about Chris Riddell's gorgeous illustrations. The black and white drawings with gold foil accents are on every page and they're so beautifully detailed that I probably spent longer looking at the pictures than I did actually reading the words of the story! The illustrations really bring the characters to life and help to make the story even more special. The hardback is just stunning, from the transparent slip cover to the gold foil throughout this is a book to treasure and it would make a wonderful gift for children of all ages.
Neil Gaiman's The Sleeper and The Spindle, is a kind of mash-up hybrid of Snow White and The Seven Dwarves (except that austerity has obviously hit fairy-land too, as we are down to only 3) and The Sleeping Beauty - though there are sly little nods to several other fairy tales which creep in as well - it's a bit like `spot the fairy celebrity!' and I won't reveal them because it would spoil a reader's enjoyment and `aha'! moments
Part of the delight of an earlier Gaiman novel, The Graveyard Book (which I have in paper version) was Riddell's illustrations, so I was expecting good things with this one. Sometimes illustrations fare reasonably well in the ereader format, but this is not the case here, as Riddell's style is so full of fine details, which can't really be seen properly, as if you try to zoom in, to get detail, you then lose the whole. This story (it is a mere 72 pages long, with several pages of illustrations) though full of some lovely little twists and spooky strangenesses, not to mention redundancies of princes, who needs them! - is a moderately long short story, a mere mouthful of a read. It seems overpriced on eReader, purely because those lovely illustrations, black, white, gold, which you can see on the Look Inside, don't translate into the dedicated eRead format
The story on its own is probably a little slight; unillustrated, I'd probably have felt a little cheated and wished that Gaiman had published several different shortish fairy tale mash-ups in one volume.
1 star for eReader version : however, if I HAD got it in the proper format, 3 ½ so I have rounded up to 4
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a delight to read a fairy tale with an empowered and autonomous heroine. The drawings are also entertaining.Published 3 days ago by Susan Koehne
Start with classic fairy tales. Add zombies. Stir in an old Twiligjt Zone episode and voila! This is a dud.Published 19 days ago by SugarArtist
Not a good story line for young girls to read. 'Don't become a wife and mother'. Too feminist for me. Too negative. But cool drawings.Published 27 days ago by Ninja
A classic Fairy Tale retold. Only Neil Gaiman can reimagine stories this well.Published 1 month ago by SiliconValleyTeacher
The dust jacket was ripped in some parts. A little frustrating. The book itself is beautiful.Published 1 month ago by Amandaletta
Bought as a gift for my daughter, but I read it first! Great story, and the illustrations will blow you away.Published 1 month ago by Thikacat