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Description

Product Description

In a beautiful collaboration, New York Times bestselling and Newbery and Carnegie Medal-winning author Neil Gaiman and Kate Greenaway-winning illustrator Chris Riddell have created a thrillingly reimagined fairy tale, "told in a way only Gaiman can" and featuring "stunning metallic artwork" (GeekInsider.com).

The result is a beautiful and coveted edition of The Sleeper and the Spindle that the Guardian calls "a refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story."

In this captivating and darkly funny tale, Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell have twisted together the familiar and the new as well as the beautiful and the wicked to tell a brilliant version of Snow White''s (sort of) and Sleeping Beauty''s (almost) stories.

This story was originally published (without illustrations) in Rags & Bones (Little, Brown, 2013). This is the first time it is being published as an illustrated, stand-alone edition, and the book is a beautiful work of art.

From School Library Journal

Gr 7 Up—Snow White meets Sleeping Beauty in this fairytale mash-up where things are not what they seem. When three dwarfs learn of a sleeping plague spreading throughout the land, they alert their queen. The queen, already feeling that marriage means the end of her ability to make choices in her life, gladly postpones her wedding, grabs her sword, and sets off with the dwarfs to get to the bottom of the magical curse. On their way, they encounter throngs of cobweb-covered sleepers. To their surprise, the slumbering masses talk in their sleep and eventually begin to lumber after them. The team forges ahead to the castle, where they find the sleeping princess and an old woman. The queen''s kiss, shown in a sumptuous spread, wakes the princess. The quest turns out to be just what the queen needs to be reminded of the choices she has. Riddell''s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman''s inventive story to life. Each page is packed with marvelous details—vines claustrophobically twist everywhere and expressions convey far more emotion than the words let on. Gaiman''s narrative about strength, sacrifice, choice, and identity is no simple retelling; he sends readers down one path then deliciously sends the story veering off in an unexpected direction. The only downside—the tale ends far too soon. VERDICT This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.—Amanda MacGregor, Great River Regional Library, St. Cloud, MN

Review

“Gaiman and Riddell’s greatest [collaboration] to date.” -- Tor.com

“Told in a way only Gaiman can” and featuring “stunning metallic artwork.” -- GeekInsider

“A refreshing, much-needed twist on a classic story.” -- The Guardian

“Spellbindingly illustrated.” -- Gaby Wood, Saturday Telegraph

“Magical, sumptuous, transporting.” -- The Big Issue

“Unforgettable, unpredictable and utterly enchanting for anyone between the ages of seven and seventy.” -- Amanda Craig, The New Statesman

“A genuine treat.” -- Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“A spectacular art object...certainly a treasure.” -- Kirkus Reviews  (starred review)

“Riddell’s spectacularly intricate ink drawings, gilded with gold, bring Gaiman’s inventive story to life...This highly recommended visually stunning twist on two classic fairy tales will be well received by fans of graphic novels and fantasy stories.” -- School Library Journal (starred review)

“A wholly original reimagining...Riddell’s artwork is the reason a library should own this title in their collection. His details are exquisite.” -- Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

“A striking volume...thrums with malevolence and confounds our expectations...[the pictures] seem to writhe creepily on the page.” -- Wall Street Journal

“Unabashedly feminist...So sonically tuned that it breathes on its own from the very first line. Adding to the wonder are Chris Riddell’s dazzling illustrations.” -- New York Times Book Review

From the Back Cover

It was the closest kingdom to the queen''s, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it.

You may think you know this story. There''s a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and a princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.

But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing. . . .

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of books for children and adults whose award-winning titles include Norse Mythology, American Gods, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Coraline, and The Sandman graphic novels. Neil Gaiman is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR and Professor in the Arts at Bard College.



Chris Riddell is an acclaimed British artist who lives in Brighton, England. He has written and illustrated many books of his own, including Ottoline and the Yellow Cat and Ottoline Goes to School, and has illustrated, for Bloomsbury UK, The Graveyard Book; Coraline; and Fortunately, the Milk; as well as The Sleeper and the Spindle.

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Customer reviews

4.6 out of 54.6 out of 5
1,523 global ratings

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Top reviews from the United States

SH
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Gaiman nails it again
Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2019
I feel like there''s nothing more I can add to the praise of Neil Gaiman''s brilliance and skill, except that this story is yet one more example. Gaiman twists familiar tales like nobody else, and The Sleeper and the Spindle is no exception. Chris Riddell''s gorgeous... See more
I feel like there''s nothing more I can add to the praise of Neil Gaiman''s brilliance and skill, except that this story is yet one more example. Gaiman twists familiar tales like nobody else, and The Sleeper and the Spindle is no exception. Chris Riddell''s gorgeous illustrations are just the icing on the cake. Readers need to keep in mind that this was originally a short story in another collection, and this printing is that story with added illustrations. I didn''t want it to end so soon, but Gaiman doesn''t waste any words along the way. I highly recommend this to any Gaiman or fairy tale fan.
17 people found this helpful
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Asia Spina
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Read me this while you tuck me in
Reviewed in the United States on January 14, 2016
Isn''t everything Neil Gaiman writes magical? Well, I''m not sure about the Duran Duran biography he did but everything else is haunting, magical and humorous. The Sleeper and the Spindle is no exception. I was surprised that he managed to slip in a twist in such a short book... See more
Isn''t everything Neil Gaiman writes magical? Well, I''m not sure about the Duran Duran biography he did but everything else is haunting, magical and humorous. The Sleeper and the Spindle is no exception. I was surprised that he managed to slip in a twist in such a short book but really that''s just me selling the man short. The illustrations are gorgeous to go with the story. The cobweb strands of other fairy tales can be felt it the book but it certainly stands a part. When my son is a bit older I look forward to reading him this particular story. The heroine is pragmatic and brave with nary a hint of foolhardiness that seems to plague these hero types. Truly magical.
29 people found this helpful
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MyOwnWorld2100
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It''s a Fairy Tale you will know, but yet not know
Reviewed in the United States on August 16, 2018
This story reminded me of Sleeping Beauty only instead of telling us about the sleeping princess, we learn of what is going on in the world once the princess fell asleep and it''s not all good. There is a Queen who sets out on a quest to find out why parts of her land... See more
This story reminded me of Sleeping Beauty only instead of telling us about the sleeping princess, we learn of what is going on in the world once the princess fell asleep and it''s not all good.
There is a Queen who sets out on a quest to find out why parts of her land are disappearing. She sets out with a group of misfits, she is the strong woman who finds a way into the castle where not only the sleeping princess is, but an evil she must battle. Not a long story but found the view point of outside the castle while the princess slept interesting. It''s a quick read and suitable for teens and adults.
8 people found this helpful
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Chris H.
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Dark and twisting with a very strong lead
Reviewed in the United States on July 31, 2016
I really enjoyed this twist on the stories of both Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Neil Gaiman''s writing paired with Chris Riddell''s art is once more a great pleasure. Unlike "Fortunately, the Milk," "The Wolves in the Walls," and "The Day I Swapped My... See more
I really enjoyed this twist on the stories of both Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. Neil Gaiman''s writing paired with Chris Riddell''s art is once more a great pleasure. Unlike "Fortunately, the Milk," "The Wolves in the Walls," and "The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish" this will not be going on my son''s bedtime bookshelf for some time. This story, despite it''s length, is dark, matching it''s much older source material. This volume will have a place of distinction on my shelf... along with all the other Neil Gaiman books I''ve fallen in love with (in particular, next to Neverwhere).
19 people found this helpful
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SFA
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Not impressed 3 star story, but 5 star art.
Reviewed in the United States on April 22, 2020
I feel like the reviews are so high due to Neil Gaiman''s name and popularity. Were this some random Kindle author I feel like they would be slammed for such a weak narrative. I don''t want you to think the story is not enjoyable, it''s just a mediocre retelling with... See more
I feel like the reviews are so high due to Neil Gaiman''s name and popularity.
Were this some random Kindle author I feel like they would be slammed for such a weak narrative.
I don''t want you to think the story is not enjoyable, it''s just a mediocre retelling with a twist ending.
I like the fairy tale format of it and were it part of a collection it would be just fine.

The art is gorgeous, however, and deserves 5 stars. Unfortunately, the Kindle version is NOT the way to enjoy it.
It clumps it together and is difficult to view on a smaller screen.
2 people found this helpful
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Haon the GreatTop Contributor: Chess
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Strange, awesome [pricey] book
Reviewed in the United States on January 24, 2018
Spoiler free! Such a strange book. A strange start, a strange middle, a phenomenal (yet strange) end. The writing style is strange, the prose is unique, there are no names used at all. Strange is good; breaks us out of molds and all that. Basically, I loved... See more
Spoiler free!

Such a strange book. A strange start, a strange middle, a phenomenal (yet strange) end. The writing style is strange, the prose is unique, there are no names used at all. Strange is good; breaks us out of molds and all that. Basically, I loved every page of Sleeper!

So why only 4 stars? For the cost, this book is short. I finished this in about an hour and a half. For some, that''s not worth the price of admission. If I hadn''t received it for Christmas, I would have agreed. But hey, that''s art!
5 people found this helpful
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Gearald Becker
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another fractured favorite from Neil
Reviewed in the United States on July 16, 2018
This is a great book. Not only is it a great book AND a Neil Gaiman book, it''s a great Neil Gaiman book. If you love "fractured fairy tales" as much as he and I do, you''ll treasure this wonderful little "picture book for grown-ups." (Get the hardcover... See more
This is a great book. Not only is it a great book AND a Neil Gaiman book, it''s a great Neil Gaiman book. If you love "fractured fairy tales" as much as he and I do, you''ll treasure this wonderful little "picture book for grown-ups." (Get the hardcover version - that translucent vellum dust jacket over the book cover itself could never look as good in digital or single-layer form.)
5 people found this helpful
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C Orr
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Another amazing story by Neil Gaiman
Reviewed in the United States on March 28, 2021
This is a deliciously dark take on the traditional fairytales Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. There is a strong female protagonist and no Prince Charming in sight. There are such wonderful subtleties in the telling that allow the reader to make connections to traditional... See more
This is a deliciously dark take on the traditional fairytales Sleeping Beauty and Snow White. There is a strong female protagonist and no Prince Charming in sight. There are such wonderful subtleties in the telling that allow the reader to make connections to traditional tales. I feel like I could read it again and again and discover new details every time. It’s a short book, all the better to savor. Neil Gaiman’s storytelling is unparalleled, and Chris Riddell’s illustrations are, as usual, a perfect accompaniment for Gaiman’s words.
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Top reviews from other countries

janifitz
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
It got great reviews as an alternative fairy tale and I''m a ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on February 27, 2018
Haven''t read this all the way through to my daughter yet. It got great reviews as an alternative fairy tale and I''m a massive fan of Neil Gaiman but it''s a bit creepy and I don''t want to scare my child before bed! I love the book and the spin on the traditional tale. It...See more
Haven''t read this all the way through to my daughter yet. It got great reviews as an alternative fairy tale and I''m a massive fan of Neil Gaiman but it''s a bit creepy and I don''t want to scare my child before bed! I love the book and the spin on the traditional tale. It helps to know the stories its talking about though which has been another problem for my daughter. As beautiful as the illustrations are, she also finds them a bit scary so this is a book for her when she''s that bit older. Buy it though because every girl needs to know she doesn''t need a prince to save her!
13 people found this helpful
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Miss K. Southern
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
and I think this might be my favourite of them all so far
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 26, 2018
I''ve made my way through a small portion of Neil Gaiman''s books now, and I think this might be my favourite of them all so far. My love of Fairy Tales (especially when they have a slightly creepy twist to them) obviously contributes to that, but I think most of all it was...See more
I''ve made my way through a small portion of Neil Gaiman''s books now, and I think this might be my favourite of them all so far. My love of Fairy Tales (especially when they have a slightly creepy twist to them) obviously contributes to that, but I think most of all it was in this book that I really found myself unable to draw my eyes from Gaiman''s writing. He has a serious knack for re-tellings with a twist. I was completely engrossed from start to finish! What''s more, his unique take on the stories of Snow White and Sleeping Beauty were a joy to read, and I was really taken aback by the surprise twist at the end. It''s a really good one! The characters were memorable, I loved the idea that Snow White wanted more than just her ''happily ever after'' and really enjoyed reading from her perspective (for the most part). The only thing that lost this one half a star was the fact that it was a mere 70 pages long! Yes, I know it was a book aimed at children, but I would have loved this one to be turned into a three hundred page, padded out adventure! Still, this is a wonderful story and Chris Riddell''s illustrations were absolutely divine and really helped to enliven the imagination.
5 people found this helpful
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J. Proctor
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Such a gorgeous book and story!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 21, 2017
This is a brilliant book. A wonderful retelling of a well-known fairy-tale but with a twist or three along the way. The illustrations are sumptuously drawn and almost tempt the reader to colour them in because they look as though they are from a mindfulness colouring book....See more
This is a brilliant book. A wonderful retelling of a well-known fairy-tale but with a twist or three along the way. The illustrations are sumptuously drawn and almost tempt the reader to colour them in because they look as though they are from a mindfulness colouring book. The only real low point about this book is getting to the end of it. I read it on a journey to see my Dad the afternoon after it arrived and I thoroughly enjoyed the story and the illustrations. If you''re a Neil Gaiman fan (which I am anyway) I think you''ll love this story, but this isn''t essential to enjoy the story. It''s just a shame it''s such a short one. However, I can''t recommend it highly enough. You can''t tell from looking at the book in the illustration here, but the image of the girl on the front? It''s on the book jacket itself and on the back there''s a skull. The dust jacket itself is a little like thick tracing paper so it gives the images on the book itself a little of a dream-like quality, which is very fitting for this story. I found that you can make the picture on the back appear and disappear, depending on how close the dust-jacket is to it (but that soon gets a bit boring).
4 people found this helpful
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Jess Gofton
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell are like the Tim Burton and Johnny Depp of the literary ...
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2015
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell are like the Tim Burton and Johnny Depp of the literary world. Everything they produce is wonderfully weird and a tad creepy, and The Sleeper and the Spindle is no different. Now I''ll admit the main reason I picked this up is that stunning...See more
Neil Gaiman and Chris Riddell are like the Tim Burton and Johnny Depp of the literary world. Everything they produce is wonderfully weird and a tad creepy, and The Sleeper and the Spindle is no different. Now I''ll admit the main reason I picked this up is that stunning cover, which the picture above does no real justice. Seriously if you find this book in your local bookstore just pick it up and try not to buy it. I dare you. Gaiman''s prose is lovely and peculiar, and accompanied by Riddell''s illustrations the entire story comes to life; reading this was like going back to my childhood and reading the fairy tales I read then, each one beautifully illustrated with stunning princesses and ghastly crones. The plot itself I loved. I don''t think it spoils anything if I say the main protagonist of this tale is Snow White, and it was great to see a Snow White who''d already defeated her stepmother, a Snow White who was already Queen and whose people were in need of her help. Having said that, I guessed what was coming at the end which is the main reason I didn''t give this story a full 5 stars. I was hoping to be completely surprised as so many other readers had mentioned the big twist at the end, but it wasn''t quite twisty enough. I still thoroughly enjoyed the read, though. If you''re a lover of fairy tales then this is a must read for you, and even though the story is included in Gaiman''s latest short story collection, Trigger Warning, I highly recommend getting your hands on this gorgeous illustrated edition. If you''re looking for an LGBT* fairy tale, however, you will be disappointed. I''ve seen quite a few people describing this as an LGBT* retelling and it''s really not, so if that''s the main reason you want to check this story out I''m afraid it won''t meet your expectations. But as I said this is a beautiful story, and I''m so glad to have this beautiful book on my shelf.
8 people found this helpful
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Laurel C Kriegler
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Clever Fairytale Mashup
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on July 15, 2018
I don''t really know what to say. My initial rating was four stars, but knowing this is Neil Gaiman, five stars it is. I''ll be musing over this story awhile, and that rates five stars. What I do know is this: don''t go into any Gaiman book with expectations (I didn''t in this...See more
I don''t really know what to say. My initial rating was four stars, but knowing this is Neil Gaiman, five stars it is. I''ll be musing over this story awhile, and that rates five stars. What I do know is this: don''t go into any Gaiman book with expectations (I didn''t in this case, but he still surprised me) because whatever they are, he WILL defy them. A clever mashup of Sleeping Beauty and another fairytale I won''t mention (spoilers, you see...), with excellent illustrations from Chris Riddell. A very, very good book.
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