The Captain’s Log – the sleeper and the spindle (Neil Gaiman)

Ahoy there me mateys!  So a while back I listened to the wonderfully fabulous fortunately, the milk, which I adored.  I immediately added all of Mr. Gaiman’s audiobooks to me list.  I have a wee bit of an obsession (for details click here) and so when I had a short bit of time I decided to listen to this one.

I have to admit that while I thought this was an enjoyable fairy-tale retelling, I am not sure if I would listen to this again.  It does have the beautiful imagery inherent in Gaiman’s works.  I loved the sleeping masses that seemed almost zombie-like in their shuffling rambles.  I loved the idea of everything being covered in spider silk and spiders.  I loved the tangles of vines blocking the castle.  I loved the strong women present within.  The ending was wonderful.  The book just didn’t catapult me into another time and space.  I wasn’t sure if that was just because I was missing out on the illustrations.

I do remember there being a bit of a controversy when this came out due to one of Chris Riddell’s illustrations showing a woman kissing a woman (eek!?!).  Even that kiss is more than it seems when taken in context with the story.

I did look up some of the illustrations online after listening to the story and found them to be compelling.  The “dreaded” kiss one was achingly beautiful.  In fact there is a lovely article in the Guardian in which Chris Riddell gives insight into the images he created for the book.  I recommend this.  So yes while the images were wonderful and magical in their own way, I still wasn’t mesmerized by them.  So while I am glad to have listened to this, I am not sad that I don’t own a copy of me own.

Goodreads has this to say about the novel:

A thrillingly reimagined fairy tale from the truly magical combination of author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Chris Riddell – weaving together a sort-of Snow White and an almost Sleeping Beauty with a thread of dark magic, which will hold readers spellbound from start to finish.

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.

To visit the author’s website go to:

Neil Gaiman – Author

To buy the book go to:

the sleeper and the spindle – Book

To add to Goodreads go to:

Yer Ports for Plunder List

Previous Log Entries for this Author

Broadside No. 11

fortunately, the milk (Captain’s Log – Young Adult Fantasy)


22 thoughts on “The Captain’s Log – the sleeper and the spindle (Neil Gaiman)

  1. I also listened to this book in audiobook form and it didn’t blow me away. However, I didn’t realize at the time this was a graphically-enhanced book at first! Not a graphic novel, per se, but still key illustrations. I wonder if my perception would have been different if I had read the physical book?

    I didn’t realize there was controversy over that illustration. How silly. It’s so important to the story!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The illustrations are lovely but for some reason it just didn’t have a spark. It happens sometimes. Besides, I adored fortunately, the milk so I can listen to that again!
      x The Captain


  2. I still haven’t listened to any of Gaiman’s audiobooks! I really need to get on that but perhaps not with this book… Do you have a favorite you think I should start with? I’ve read quite a few of his books but wouldn’t mind listening to them as well 😀 I’m curious about Coraline…

    PS. I’ve nominated you for The Sunshine Blogger’s award, if you’ve already done it no worries! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the award nomination matey. I think I have done it but I will be happy to answer the questions at some point! Most people I know started with the Sandman comics or Neverwhere. Personally Neverwhere is me favourite. But Coraline or the Graveyard Book are also good bets. Depends on whether ye want to start with YA or adult stuff.
      x The Captain

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I remember the controversy over the kiss illustration! And I think definitely you missed out by not having the illustrations as part of the reading experience. I always enjoy Neil Gaiman short stories as graphic novels — Sleeper & the Spindle and Murder Mysteries are two of my favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Awesome! I’ve thought about reading this one, but wasn’t sure. I’ll look to see if my library has a copy of it, because I really want to see the illustrations as I’m reading it.

    Liked by 1 person

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