As if pioneering the new Halloween tradition All Hallow’s Read — where you share scary books with friends and family — wasn’t enough, Neil Gaiman is making more strides in connecting people with wonderful books they might have missed. He’s teamed up with Audible to create his own curated line of audio books, called Neil Gaiman Presents, and already there are five books for you to enjoy.
Gaiman announced the launch of the site on Tuesday, sharing on his journal how psyched he is that the project is finally coming together. It’s been a year in the making, as he’s worked with Audible’s ACX (Audiobook Creation Exchange) program to help authors and rights-holders meet the proper performers and producers who will do their work justice. And Gaiman recorded an introduction for each title.
Unlike All Hallow’s Read, whose main criterion is that the book be spooky, these five offerings differ in format and style. Gaiman writes, You could say “Why aren’t these books all the same kind of thing?” and I would say “Because I like lots of different things. And so might you.” Here’s what you can look forward to, and Gaiman’s descriptions of each:
Land of Laughs by Jonathan Carroll (read by Edoardo Ballerini) - “one beautiful work of magical realism about the dangers of having a favourite book.”
You Must Go and Win by Alina Simone (also read by her) - “a collection of really funny essays about travel and Russia and being a musician.”
Pavane by Keith Roberts (read by Steven Crossley) - “a collection of stories that become a moving alternate history.”
Light by M. John Harrison (read by Julian Elfer) - “a strange and glorious space opera.”
The Minotaur Takes a Cigarette Break by Steven Sherill (read by Holter Graham) - “a work of contemporary americana with a minotaur in it.”
Each book comes out to about $20-$25 and is available on phones, computers, iPads, Kindles, etc. (I have Samuel L. Jackson’s reading of Go the F—k to Sleep on my Kindle, and it’s an amazing experience to listen to it.) And if you’re an aspiring performer, you can make a profile on ACX and hopefully help to bring an under-the-radar book into the collective consciousness.
Photo by Jutta used under Creative Commons license
Natalie Zutter is a playwright, foodie, and the co-creator of Leftovers, a webcomic about food trucks in the zombie apocalypse. She’s currently the Associate Editor at Crushable, where she discusses movies, celebrity culture, and internet memes. You can find her on Twitter @nataliezutter.