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Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman [Hardcover]

Christopher Golden , Hank Wagner , Stephen R. Bissette
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Dec 30 2014

Over the past twenty years, Neil Gaiman has developed into the premier fantasist of his generation, achieving that rarest of combinations—unrivaled critical respect and extraordinary commercial success.  From the landmark comic book series The Sandman to novels such as the New York Times bestselling American Gods and Anansi Boys, from children’s literature like Coraline to screenplays for such films as Beowulf, Gaiman work has garnered him an enthusiastic and fiercely loyal, global following.  To comic book fans, he is Zeus in the pantheon of creative gods, having changed that industry forever.  For discerning readers, he bridges the vast gap that traditionally divides lovers of “literary” and “genre” fiction.  Gaiman is truly a pop culture phenomenon, an artist with a magic touch whose work has won almost universal acclaim.
Now, for the first time ever, Prince of Stories chronicles the history and impact of the complete works of Neil Gaiman in film, fiction, music, comic books, and beyond. Containing hours of exclusive interviews with Gaiman and conversations with his collaborators, as well as wonderful nuggets of his work such as the beginning of an unpublished novel, a rare comic and never-before-seen essay, this is a treasure trove of all things Gaiman. In addition to providing in depth information and commentary on Gaiman’s myriad works, the book also includes rare photographs, book covers, artwork, and related trivia and minutiae, making it both an insightful introduction to his work, and a true “must-have” for his ever growing legion of fans.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Review

“This tribute is a tremendous gift to Neil Gaiman fans. . . . Well written, well organized, and fun to peruse.” —VOYA magazine


“There’s a lot to enjoy here, even for those who know only the corners of [Gaiman’s] tremendous oeuvre.” —Booklist

 

“Simply terrific . . . This is just essential reading for Gaiman fans. Highly recommended.” —Loglines

 

“Verdict: 8/10. An impressive and heartily researched tome on one of pop culture’s giants. A must for fans of the author in any of his mediums.” —Total Sci Fi

 

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

HANK WAGNER’s reviews and interviews have appeared in Mystery Scene, Cemetery Dance, Hellnotes, and The New York Review of Science Fiction.  Wagner is a co-author of The Complete Stephen King Universe. 
CHRISTOPHER GOLDEN is the award-winning, bestselling author of numerous novels, of which there are 8 million copies in print. His non-fiction work includes The Complete Stephen King Universe and Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Watcher’s Guide.
STEPHEN R. BISSETTE is a cartoonist, writer, editor, and publisher. He is best-known for Saga of the Swamp Thing, Taboo, '1963,' Tyrant, and co-creating John Constantine. Bissette also illustrates books and has authored fiction and non-fiction.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman Guide Jan. 11 2009
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Dec 30 2008
Format:Hardcover
PRINCE OF STORIES: THE MANY WORLDS OF NEIL GAIMAN is a wonderful book for any fan of Neil Gaiman. It is an overview of his work as well as his life. It is clearly a book written by friends of the man himself and has a jovial feel to it, almost like friends telling stories about one of their own to one of their own. As a reader, one feels almost included in the circle of friendship that clearly helped to generate this book.

Virtually everything a Gaiman fan could want is included in this book, from a list of websites to discussions on characters, from family photos to cover art, and from interviews to journal entries. Gaiman's amazing accomplishments in the Science Fiction, Fantasy, Graphic Novel, and Film worlds come to life through the anecdotes and commentary in this book.

A reader comes away feeling like they have known the man for years. It is not simply a cut-and-dried look at Gaiman's amazing accomplishments or life. It carries in it the liveliness all of Gaiman's own works include.

While there is nothing that a parent of a younger child would particularly object to, this is a book written for older readers, for people who have already read Gaiman's work. If one has not read his books yet, it would be giving away some of the most wonderful joys and secret pleasures of reading books written by a master.

Gaiman is THE fantasist of our time, and his ability to shift between mediums is amazing. Considering that this book covers all of his work, some even that have not yet been published, it would be a shame to read this book before you have read or watched what Gaiman himself has created.

Reviewed by: Christina Tsichlis
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5.0 out of 5 stars A book "you can get lost in," per VOYA Dec 9 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.
Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman Guide Dec 7 2008
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
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. And there's the children's books such as "Interworld," "Coraline," "Odd and the Frost Giants," "The Wolves in the Walls." At the time it was written, "The Graveyard Book"

There's even a section devoted to Gaiman's forays into television (a "Babylon 5" episode) and film (the translation of "Princess Mononoke," "Beowulf," and the stunning "Mirrormask"). Not to mention his work with Alice Cooper.

It's pretty obvious from the start that this is a labor of love for Wagner, Bissette and Golden -- it's a colourful, slightly mad patchwork of various quotes, trivia, summaries and interviews having to do with Gaiman. This isn't just a homage, but a sort of composite portrait of the artist and his work -- and it succeeds brilliantly.

Part of this is because they are so thorough -- they include detailed character summaries after every book/graphic novel, bits of trivia ("Anansi Boys" actually predated "American Gods"), influences (G.K. Chesterton and Shakespeare, among others), and quotes from Gaiman on his works at the end of each chapter ("I owe an enormous debt to Hope Mirrlees, Lord Dunsany, James Branch Cabell and C.S. Lewis...").

It also has a number of interviews with people who collaborated with Gaiman -- Charles Vess, Terry Pratchett, Mark Buckingham, Rogues, his personal assistant Lorraine Garland, and of course longtime collaborator Dave McKean.

But the best part is where Gaiman himself is. Not only is there a highly detailed, extensive interview at the end (and some sprinkled through the text), but also clever, lesser-known writings: essays on making 24 pages in 24 hours, an intricate study of the "vegetable theology," a recounting of his first-ever fantasy convention, and a hilarious study of who Jack the Ripper truly was ("'Lord Alfred, would you care to slice the tarts?' Tennyson misunderstood his monarch's request").

"Prince of Stories: The Many Worlds of Neil Gaiman" is the sort of detailed, intelligent tome that actually does justice to Gaiman's peculiar, haunting genius. Definitely a must-read.
12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A book you can get lost in," per VOYA Oct. 28 2008
By Henry W. Wagner - Published on Amazon.com
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. Readers will learn a lot about Gaiman, storytelling and the writing process. A book you can get lost in, it will appeal to Gaiman fans of all ages. This impressive resource should find a place on the shelves alongside Hy Bender's The Sandman Companion (DC Comics, 1999). Reviewer: Rachelle Bilz."
5.0 out of 5 stars Good overviews - plus bonus essays June 5 2013
By Rhett Oracly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Great book summarizing Gaiman's body of work, and has additional essays/interviews, etc. Very little academic theory or critical material, but the review essays offer clues that can tell you where to look if you're trying to make correlations.
5.0 out of 5 stars Flamingnet.com Top Choice Book-highly recommend this book Feb. 26 2010
By Flamingnet Teen Book Reviews - Published on Amazon.com
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
enthusiasts.

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. Casual
fantasy readers can gain a lot of insight from and
exposure to Gaiman's world as this book sternly argues
that one's fantasy readership background is not complete
without Neil Gaiman (beware there are plot spoilers in the
book). I was very pleased with the amount of the book
devoted to The Sandman, including synopses and detailed
literary analysis. However, it seemed that the level of
detail dropped off after that. Nevertheless, there is a
great deal of insight dedicated to the titles discussed in
Prince of Stories. I highly recommend this book to all
Gaiman fans as well as the casual fantasy reader. Readers
will walk away with a greater understanding of the great
author and the genre.

Reviewed by a young adult student reviewer
Flamingnet Book Reviews
Teen books reviewed by teen reviewers
5.0 out of 5 stars Pick Up This Prince Dec 1 2009
By Little Willow - Published on Amazon.com
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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