15 Highly Recommended Books By Neil Gaiman With Summary of What They are All About

An excellent and imaginative writer described as one of the most entertaining storytellers of our time, no true fan of literary works in the fantasy, science fiction, horror, dark fantasy, and comedy genres would not have read any book by Neil Gaiman. The renowned English writer began his career as a journalist before writing comic books and then becoming a New York Times bestselling author of novels.

Gaiman is the author of novels like Stardust, American Gods, The Graveyard Book, and Coraline which have earned him numerous literary awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. For The Graveyard Book, he became the first author to win both the Newbery and Carnegie medals for the same work. Including the aforementioned books, here are other works by Gaiman that we highly recommend you read.

List of Must Read Books By Neil Gaiman

15. M Is for Magic

  • Publication Date: October 6, 2009
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 277 pages

Neil Gaiman

Selected from previously published works, M Is for Magic is a collection of eleven child-friendly stories by Neil Gaiman. One thing that is constant in the short fiction stories is that they accurately bring to light Gaiman’s stellar imagination and his ability to illuminate the real and the fantastic. The book is a favorite of many of his fans and is highly recommended to those who are interested in reading his work for the first time.

14. Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances

  • Publication Date: February 3, 2015
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 381 pages

Like most of his other books that are collections of short fiction stories, Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances is full of reprints from other sources. Gaiman, however, added a never-before-published story called “Black Dog” that was written exclusively for the book. The sum of it all is a captivating, haunting but entertaining book full of horror and ghost stories, sci-fi and fairy tales, fabulism, and poetry that explores the masks people wear and who they are deep down.

13. The Sleeper and the Spindle

  • Publication Date: September 22, 2015
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 72 pages

Having originally published the story in Rags and Bones (2013), Neil Gaiman teamed up with Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell to publish an illustrated, stand-alone edition of a thrillingly reimagined twist of two classic stories that can best be described as a mash-up between the Snow White and Sleeping Beauty fairytales. As anyone familiar with Gaiman’s work would expect, he sends readers down a path with his story that ends up going in an unexpected direction.

12. Don’t Panic: Douglas Adams & The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

  • Publication Date: October 30, 2018
  • Publisher: Open Road Media Sci-Fi & Fantasy
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 287 pages

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman gives an in-depth exploration of Douglas Adams’s cultural phenomenon, chronicling all things Hitchhiker from its beginnings as a UK radio series to its expansion into a wildly popular book trilogy and other iterations that include stage, records, film, and computer games.

11. Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

  • Publication Date: March 17, 2009
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 384 pages

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions is another extraordinary collection of short stories, poems, and other unclassifiable brief pieces by Neil Gaiman. Using his supreme artistry and imagination, the very inventive writer is able to provide twists to familiar tales and scary peaks into the impossible with the stories in the book having themes of sex, death, dreams, and the end of the world.

10. Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders

  • Publication Date: October 13, 2009
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 400 pages

Gaiman’s astonishing litrary ability is on display again in Fragile Things which won the 2007 Locus Award for Best Collection. While the stories here vary widely in theme and tone, it promises to dazzle the reader’s senses, haunt their imagination, and move them to the very depths of their soul.

9. Coraline

  • Publication Date: 2 July 2002
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (UK), Harper Collins (US)
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 186 pages

Winner of the 2002 Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers, 2003 Hugo Award for Best Novella, and 2003 Nebula Award for Best Novella, Coraline is a dark fantasy children’s novella about a little girl who finds herself having to put aside some pleasures of life to fight a soul-eating horror that inhabits an apartment next door.

It all began after Coraline and her family moved into a new apartment. There has always been a brick wall behind one of the doors in the house until one day she finds the wall to be gone. While exploring what is on the other side, the little girl finds herself to be in an apartment just like her own, however, with nicer food, a box full of toys, and parents who have buttons for eyes. Coraline is tempted to stay although in order to do so she must allow buttons to be sewn into her eyes. Terrified about this, she ultimately returns to her apartment where she finds that her real parents are missing. She later finds out that the parents next door have not only stolen her real parents but also the souls of other children, prompting her to do whatever it takes to free them.

8. The Graveyard Book

  • Publication Date: 30 September 2008
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing (UK), Harper Collins (US)
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 312 pages (first edition)

Neil Gaiman

After seeing his then-two-year-old son ride his tricycle around a graveyard, Neil Gaiman got the idea to write a story similar to The Jungle Book that was set in a graveyard. The young adult fantasy novel titled The Graveyard Book was thus born from that idea and has won several awards, including the annual Hugo Award for Best Novel from the World Science Fiction Convention and the Locus Award for Best Young Adult Book among others. It has further since been included in Time magazine’s list of the 100 Best Young-Adult Books of All Time and is the only novel to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

The Graveyard Book follows the story of a young boy named Nobody who is adopted and raised by the supernatural occupants of a graveyard. This happens after Nobody’s family was brutally murdered when he was a toddler. It traces the boy’s adventures as he grows up in and out of the graveyard.

7. Anansi Boys

  • Publication Date: September 20, 2005
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 400 pages

Neil Gaiman

Upon release in 2005, Anansi Boys debuted at the top of The New York Times Best Seller list. The following year, it won numerous awards, including the Locus Award, Mythopoeic Award, and the British Fantasy Society Award. The fantasy novel, which is thought by many to be a sequel to American Gods as a result of the reoccurrence of the character of Mr. Nancy, begins after Mr. Nancy dies. The story then mainly follows one of his twin sons, Fat Charlie Nancy, whose life is turned upside down as a result of his father’s death and his discovery of a brother he never knew he had. While he and his brother explore their common heritage, Charlie finds out that his father was not an average human, but the trickster god Anansi.

6. The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

  • Publication Date: 18 June 2013
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 178 pages

Neil Gaiman

A recipient of many awards, including being voted Book of the Year in the British National Book Awards in 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a bewitching and harrowing tale of mystery and survival, exploring the themes of the search for self-identity and the inability to control one’s own life.

The story begins after an unnamed middle-aged man returns to his hometown to attend a funeral. While his childhood home is long gone, he revisits the location and is drawn to the farm at the end of the road where he had met a girl named Lettie Hempstock who had lived with her mother and grandmother. What follows are recollections of events that began forty years earlier.

5. Neverwhere: A Novel

  • Publication Date: March 17, 2009 (New Edition)
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 400 pages

Neverwhere is a novel based on a British TV series of the same name. It is a funny and suspenseful adventure tale of an honest, unassuming young businessman in London named Richard Mayhew. The protagonist had recently moved from Scotland hoping to carry on living a normal life with his dull job and pretty but demanding fiancee. Things, however, take a different turn after his kind-heartedness prompts him to stop and help a mysterious young girl bleeding on the sidewalk. Several hours later, Richard sees his life vanish right in front of him, along with the girl, as he is erased from the world with his landlord renting out his apartment, credit cards no longer working, and taxis not stopping for him.

4. Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch

  • Publication Date: June 28, 2011 (Reprint Edition)
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 383 pages

Neil Gaiman

A collaboration between Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman originally published in 1990, Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch is an entertaining take on the Apocalypse. Filled with eccentric characters and funny footnotes, the comedy is about the birth of the Antichrist and the coming of the End Times. There are, however, a few people, including the angel Aziraphale and the demon Crowley, who want to sabotage the long-planned war between Heaven and Hell because they have grown accustomed to their comfortable life on Earth.

3. Norse Mythology

  • Publication Date: February 7, 2017
  • Publisher: W.W. Norton & Company
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 198 pages

Using 21st-century knowledge and his very imaginative mind, Neil Gaiman provides a new spin on several stories and characters from ancient Norse mythology. He retells stories like the binding of Fenrir and the theft of Thor’s hammer with funny and very human renditions of Thor, his father Odin, and trickster Loki among other gods. His interpretation of these Norse myths proved addictive for both young and old readers as it received positive reviews from critics.

2. American Gods: A Novel

  • Publication Date: 19 June 2001
  • Publisher: William Morrow, Headline
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 465 pages

Originally published by William Morrow in the United States and by Headline in the United Kingdom in 2001, American Gods is unarguably one of the most popular works by Neil Gaiman. The book, which won the Hugo Award for Best Novel (2002), Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2002), Nebula Award for Best Novel (2002), has a tenth-anniversary edition published in June 2011 by William Morrow that includes the author’s preferred text and 12,000 additional words.

The story follows the adventures of an ex-convict named Shadow who through his eyes, readers get to see the behind-the-scenes dynamics of human religion and faith. Shadow gets out of prison and becomes a bodyguard and errand boy of Mr. Wednesday (Odin), the Old Norse god of knowledge and wisdom. Through this role, he finds himself in the midst of a number of gods such as Anansi, Loki, Thor, and a multitude of others who all struggle to survive in a modern, technological America that is not good for gods.

1. Stardust

  • Publication Date: October 13, 2009
  • Publisher: William Morrow (Reprint Edition)
  • Language: English
  • Print Length: 368 pages

Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman in Stardust tells the thrillingly scary and very funny story of Tristran Thorn, a young man from the rural English village of Wall who is on a pursuit of love and the utterly impossible. In a bid to win the hand of the prettiest girl in town, Tristan promises to retrieve a fallen star from beyond the Wall, the Faerie realm, a place where no one ever goes except every nine years to attend an enchanted flea market. On his journey through the magical land, he escapes evil old witches, deadly clutching trees, and encounters talking animals, gnomes, magic trees.

Chux Dezman
Chux has been writing and editing for several major websites and publications for over 16 years, when he is not crossing the T’s and dotting the I’s, you might catch him at home watching his favourite TV shows


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