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Unnatural Creatures [Kindle Edition]

Neil Gaiman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
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Book Description

The griffin, the sunbird, manticores, unicorns ­– all manner of glorious creatures never captured in zoos, museums or photographs are packed vividly into this collection of stories. Neil Gaiman has included some of his own childhood favourites alongside stories classic and modern to spark the imagination of readers young and old. All contributors have given their work free to benefit Dave Eggers’ literacy charity, 826DC. Also includes a new Neil Gaiman Story.

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Product Description

Book Description

Chosen and introduced by Neil Gaiman, this thoroughly beguiling collection of short stories is inhabited by an amazing menagerie of creatures from myth, legend and dark imagination

About the Author

Neil Gaiman has written highly acclaimed books for both children and adults and is the first author to have won both the Carnegie and Newbery Medals for the same work - The Graveyard Book. His ground-breaking picture books include The Wolves in the Walls. The L.A. Times has described his multi-million-selling graphic novel series Sandman as 'the greatest epic in the history of comic books'. Many of his books, including Coraline and Stardust, have been made into films. In 2011 he wrote The Doctor's Wife episode of Doctor Who and appeared as himself in The Simpsons.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 2657 KB
  • Print Length: 481 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Childrens; 1 edition (13 Jun. 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1408845466
  • ISBN-13: 978-1408845462
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #128,295 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not by Neil Gaiman 22 Nov. 2013
By MiB
Format:Kindle Edition
I think that on his best form Gaiman is one of the most talented and creative (although erratic) writers of his generation.

Sadly, this book is not written by Gaiman. It is a collection of mixed quality short stories loosely held together by lame introductions from NG. The stories are mostly young teens level.

If you read the small print on the cover you can see the Gaiman is not the author. Not so easy if you are buying on a kindle.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unnaturally Delightful 25 May 2014
By J. Ang
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Compiled by fantasy-scribe extraordinaire, Neil Gaiman, this exceptionally enjoyable anthology of short stories that make up this volume is bound by the subject of fantastical creatures - the ones "that only exist in our minds". The writing is eclectic; there's the noirish "The Compleat Werewolf" by Anthony Boucher, which boasts Nazi spies, a femme-fatale Hollywood starlet, a magician, and of course a werewolf; the 19th-century tale of "The Griffin and the Minor Canon" by Frank R. Stockton, where the titular Griffin learns of his carven image on the church grounds of a small village and comes to see his likeness, throwing the lives of the parishioners and a young canon into disarray; and the contemporary YA story by Caribbean writer Nalo Hopkinson that interweaves the perils of teenage parties with an age-old myth in "The Smile on the Face".

Gaiman too, contributes his own piece "Sunbird" (found also in his earlier collection "Fragile Things"), about a group of epicureans who have exhausted their quest for every known kind of animal, and still seeks for more. Gaiman credits children's author E. Nesbit for introducing this creature to him, and I was pleasantly surprised to read her story, "The Cockatoucan; or Great-Aunt Willoughby", in this collection. I have never associated her with fantasy writing, being more familiar with her children's classics like "The Railway Children", though I had read her trilogy about five children and the mythical "psammead" as a child. Elsewhere in the collection are also tasty nuggets by familiar names like sci-fi writer Samuel R. Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, and even Saki, whose "Gabriel-Ernest" make up the other werewolf story in this collection.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unnatural Tables of Contents 11 April 2015
By Roochak
Bloomsbury and editor Neil Gaiman have a novel strategy for marketing an anthology: omitting the authors' names from the table of contents.

For those who don't find listing the titles AND authors in the table of contents to be too louche, here's the information the editor and publisher have declined to include. (The original publication dates are a bonus I decided to throw in.)

"Inksplot" by Gahan Wilson (1972)
"The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees" by E. Lily Yu (2011)
"The Griffin and the Minor Canon" by Frank R. Stockton (1885)
"Ozioma the Wicked" by Nnedi Okorafor (original to this anthology, 2013)
"Sunbird" by Neil Gaiman (2006)
"The Sage of Theare" by Diana Wynne Jones (1982)
"Gabriel-Ernest" by Saki (1909)
"The Cockatoucan; or, Great-Aunt Willoughby" by E. Nesbit (1900)
"Moveable Beast" by Maria Dhavana Headley (original to this anthology)
"The Flight of the Horse" by Larry Niven (1969)
"Prismatica" by Samuel R. Delany (1977)
"The Manticore, the Mermaid, and Me" by Megan Kurashige (original to this anthology)
"The Compleat Werewolf" by Anthony Boucher (1942)
"The Smile on the Face" by Nalo Hopkinson (2004)
"Or All the Seas with Oysters" by Avram Davidson (1958)
"Come Lady Death" by Peter S. Beagle (1963)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great compilation of short stories, as always 28 Dec. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I just love Neil Gaiman. I love the stories he writes, and I also love the stories he likes reading that are from other authors. This book is no exception - it's packed full of wonderful short stories about creatures that exist in other worlds (at least I hope some of them do) and the authors transport you to great places full of adventures.

A perfect way to get to know new authors, read good stories and understand a little of what Neil Gaiman finds inspiring. So what's not to like?
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4.0 out of 5 stars nicely done for Kindle 23 Nov. 2013
By tallmanbaby TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I don't usually read fantasy fiction, I just bought this as Kindle deal. It is a collection of 16 stories by different authors about fantastical creatures.

Initial impressions were not great, the first story was not a bad idea, but really needed an edit, there seemed to be some random text and it fluffed the ending by being a bit garbled. Subsequent stories seemed to struggle on, each with an underwhelming resolution. By the half way point the standout story was by Saki, and surely anyone who enjoys reading has read all the Saki stories already. But from the midway point the quality of the stories seemed to be on a constant upward trajectory, with quite a few that would warrant the purchase price on their own.

If you are less inclined to persevere with dull stories, then probably best to just read a few pages per story to decide whether you want to stick with it.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable 9 Feb. 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of Neil Gaiman and was interested to read the authors that influenced him. It was particularly gratifying to find that he and I share a love for the same authors, like Peter S Beagle.

The book itself is attractively presented and arrived well packaged and on time.

But while packaging past stories by other authors and putting a very popular name on the front may help the readership find new writers they haven't considered before, it's still, to my mind, lazy publishing. The publishing world needs to find and promote new names - we can't and shouldn't go on living in the past!
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