March 25, 2017

REVIEW| The Sleeper and The Spindle [Audiobook]

The Sleeper and The Spindle
Neil Gaiman (Author), Chris Riddell (Illustrator)

Voice Actors: Julian Rhind-Tutt, Lara Pulver, Niamh Walsh, Adjoa Andoh, Peter Forbes, John Sessions and Michael Maloney.

Find on Goodreads



On the eve of her wedding, a young queen sets out to rescue a princess from an enchantment. She casts aside her fine wedding clothes, takes her chain mail and her sword and follows her brave dwarf retainers into the tunnels under the mountain towards the sleeping kingdom. This queen will decide her own future – and the princess who needs rescuing is not quite what she seems. Twisting together the familiar and the new, this perfectly delicious, captivating and darkly funny tale shows its creators at the peak of their talents.

Lavishly produced, packed with glorious Chris Riddell illustrations enhanced with metallic ink, this is a spectacular and magical gift.


The Cover:

I don't know if you know this about me but, the reason I always look and explore covers is because I wanted to be a book cover artist. I've always had an interest in it and of illustrators. That's why I took graphics at A-Level; only, I ended up moving to Wales to study Creative Writing. Completely worth the two years of agony. 

Before we start a book we are always precedented with pre-designed notions on what the book will be about- so, I like to reflect on that. To try and stop you guys in lunging in, just for the cover buy.

The cover for The Sleeper and The Spindle reflects exactly the tone of, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell's work. It speaks of old-age fairy tale revamped. Re-worked. The black and white line work of Riddell's illustration reminiscent of the illustrations published in older works of children's literature. 

Just more clean around the edges and a lot more gold foiling.

The Content:

If you couldn't tell already, I didn't read The Sleeper and The Spindle in the traditional format.  Over the holiday period I took out an Audible free trial, as I was close to failing my Goodreads reading challenge and cue: The Sleeper and The Spindle.

I'm not very experienced with audiobooks but, what I am quickly learning is that I prefer full-cast narrations or voice actors who are able to embody numerous characters with a clear difference. Otherwise, I tend to loose all attention and prospect as to what is going on. 

The Sleeper and The Spindle has a full cast, including Lara Pulver who you may recognize from playing Irene Adler in the BBC adaptation of Sherlock, starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman. 

This book very much plays on the younger side of Gaiman's audience but, still remained able to hold that core, of storytelling, that makes his work great. This is definitely a new take on the old gruesome fairy tales of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty, mixing them in a way to add and recreate them in a way that was unexpected. 

I did have the book to act as a visual aid whilst reading this, so I could follow along and see the illustrations as it was progressing on the audiobook. It felt like I was reading a 19th Century Gothic children's tale. As in the likes of the genre of the periodical time, of Frankenstein and Wuthering Heights. It had those elements that these books can be broken into. That so better fit's with the fairy tales of The Brothers Grimm and Charles Perrault.

My only restraint on loving this book anymore was that I felt at a distance from the characters. There was no clear definition of who they were. Just their impressions of dialogue. Which is understandable in the restraints of the short story.

I would recommend to anybody who already enjoys Neil Gaiman's writing style or those who wish to dip their toes in like I was. I'd also recommend just to stare at Chris Riddell's stunning artwork.

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