In Speaking in Tongues, Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman reads a selection of his own stories and poems:
Instructions "is a poem about what to do if you find yourself in a fairy tale. It is guaranteed to work."
The Facts in the Case of the Disappearance of Miss Finch "is a mostly true story, and it has several real people in it, although I have made no attempt to imitate either Jonathan or Jane while reading it. This is about the only time I’ve ever written a story around a painting – in this case a Frank Frazetta painting of a woman and a sabre-toothed tiger that was the cover image of the magazine in question."
The Price "is more or less true. At least, the narrator in both of these stories is pretty much me, the house is my house, the cats my cats, and the family is my family."
Daughter of Owls "was based on a sculpture by Lisa Snellings of a girl surrounded by owls. I knew the story immediately, but didn’t have a clue what the voice of the story was. I tried it as a poem, and it was terrible. So I wrote it in the voice of a marvelous writer, John Aubrey, and was happy."
The Sea Change "was also inspired by a Lisa Snellings statue, this one of an undersea siren. I wrote it in a tiny mews house in Earls Court, with the beaches of my childhood in my mind, remembering the rattling noises that the sea made when it dragged down the pebbles. It was Kipling who called the sea the “old grey widowmaker”, and it’s a name I’ll not forget."
©1995, 1997, 1998, 2000 Neil Gaiman (P)2004 Dreamhaven, Inc.
I thought the stories were phenomenal and was most enthralled by the one called Owls. I felt it more than remarkable that Mr. Gaiman did his own reading and found that aspect the most interesting of all. I loved this.
This was a bit expensive for such a short story. The stories are good and Gaiman is always a good narrator, but I think some of these stories are on other Gaiman productions.
'Speaking in Tongues' is a selection of five short stories. There is a marked difference between reading a story and having the story read to you by the person who wrote it. You can be sure that the emphasis is on the correct word, the inflection is correct and the tone of the tale is as the writer intended. Gaiman's narration is engaging and almost hypnotic, dragging the listener into each story. The stories each have an element of cautionary tale to them. My favourite was 'The Facts in the Case of the Disappearance of Miss Finch', a careful-what-you-wish-for story about a pop-up circus performance on a rainy London evening. There is also 'Daughter of Owls', 'The Price', 'The Sea Change' and 'Instructions', a poem about what to do should you find yourself in a fairy tale.
Like all good books, this one left me wanting more.
Now there is more then one story, but I believe that the first one whit the American Tourist in England is one of my favret stories I have ever heard.
"Be Aware of Repeats!"
I did enjoy this book and, for any other Gaiman follower I would say, have a look at the other collections before you buy. Many of the stories appear in other collections.
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