There have been several books about Neil and his work. This one attempts to cover all of it: comics, fiction, non-fiction, scripts, poems, everything. And though it’s quite a thick book, Neil has written a lot, so much of the work is covered lightly. About half the book consists of synopses of the works, and I have to admit I skipped most of those, except in cases of rare works I’m not likely to ever see. I’m not fond of synopses. If you’re a longtime Gaiman reader, you’ve probably read most of the major works already and they’re unneccesary, except perhaps as a memory jog. If you’re a new Neil fan, the synopses are liable to spoil some plot points for you.
Fortunately there are lots of other things in the rest of the book that make it worth having. Though not a lot of in-depth criticism is attempted, the authors do bring out some interesting points on many of the works, discuss how they came to be, give extensive character descriptions, which could be handy, and add a short section of “trivia” about many of the works that include things you might not know. I didn’t know a lot of them. There are also quite a few pictures, new or hard to find articles by and about Neil, and best of all, a long interview at the end that I found full of interesting information, much previously unknown to me. I’ve worked with Neil a long time, and any interview that can provide that is a fine one indeed. For instance, I never knew of Neil’s fondness for Gilbert & Sullivan, something we share, though I came to it later, in my late teens.
Recommended, but would have been a better (and thinner) book without the story synopses. Worth buying for Neil fans, even so.