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The Sleeper and the Spindle Kindle Edition
In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, "told in a way only Gaiman can" and featuring "stunning metallic artwork" (GeekInsider.com).
The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls "a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story."
In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White's (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty's (almost) stories.
This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.
From School Library Journal
From the Back Cover
It was the closest kingdom to the queen's, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it. You may think you know this story. There's a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.
But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing. . . .--This text refers to the audioCD edition.
- ASIN : B00RLV2LCQ
- Publisher : HarperCollins (September 22, 2015)
- Publication date : September 22, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 43025 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Not Enabled
- Print length : 72 pages
- Lending : Not Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #216,633 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from the United States
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There is a Queen who sets out on a quest to find out why parts of her land are disappearing. She sets out with a group of misfits, she is the strong woman who finds a way into the castle where not only the sleeping princess is, but an evil she must battle. Not a long story but found the view point of outside the castle while the princess slept interesting. It's a quick read and suitable for teens and adults.
Such a strange book. A strange start, a strange middle, a phenomenal (yet strange) end. The writing style is strange, the prose is unique, there are no names used at all. Strange is good; breaks us out of molds and all that. Basically, I loved every page of Sleeper!
So why only 4 stars? For the cost, this book is short. I finished this in about an hour and a half. For some, that's not worth the price of admission. If I hadn't received it for Christmas, I would have agreed. But hey, that's art!
Top reviews from other countries
The only real low point about this book is getting to the end of it. I read it on a journey to see my Dad the afternoon after it arrived and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the illustrations. If you're a Neil Gaiman fan (which I am anyway) I think you'll love this story, but this isn't essential to enjoy the story. It's just a shame it's such a short one. However, I can't recommend it highly enough.
You can't tell from looking at the book in the illustration here, but the image of the girl on the front? It's on the book jacket itself and on the back there's a skull. The dust jacket itself is a little like thick tracing paper so it gives the images on the book itself a little of a dream-like quality, which is very fitting for this story. I found that you can make the picture on the back appear and disappear, depending on how close the dust-jacket is to it (but that soon gets a bit boring).
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
Now I'll admit the main reason I picked this up is that stunning cover, which the picture above does no real justice. Seriously if you find this book in your local bookstore just pick it up and try not to buy it. I dare you.
Gaiman's prose is lovely and peculiar, and accompanied by Riddell's illustrations the entire story comes to life; reading this was like going back to my childhood and reading the fairy tales I read then, each one beautifully illustrated with stunning princesses and ghastly crones. The plot itself I loved. I don't think it spoils anything if I say the main protagonist of this tale is Snow White, and it was great to see a Snow White who'd already defeated her stepmother, a Snow White who was already Queen and whose people were in need of her help.
Having said that, I guessed what was coming at the end which is the main reason I didn't give this story a full 5 stars. I was hoping to be completely surprised as so many other readers had mentioned the big twist at the end, but it wasn't quite twisty enough. I still thoroughly enjoyed the read, though.
If you're a lover of fairy tales then this is a must read for you, and even though the story is included in Gaiman's latest short story collection, Trigger Warning, I highly recommend getting your hands on this gorgeous illustrated edition. If you're looking for an LGBT* fairy tale, however, you will be disappointed. I've seen quite a few people describing this as an LGBT* retelling and it's really not, so if that's the main reason you want to check this story out I'm afraid it won't meet your expectations.
But as I said this is a beautiful story, and I'm so glad to have this beautiful book on my shelf.