Charlotte was a 2008 semi-finalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award. In a review of the unpublished manuscript written for judging purposes, Publishers Weekly had this to say:
Thursday, April 25, 2013
Saturday, April 6, 2013
Back in 1984, at the start of his career, Neil Gaiman—the best-selling, award-winning, widely-acclaimed author of Coraline, Stardust, the Sandman comics, etcetera—wrote a book titled Duran Duran: The First Four Years of the Fab Five.
Naturally, I had to get my hands on a copy. This sounded important.
These days, the book is a sought-after collector’s item. The publisher only did a single print run before going bankrupt, and Gaiman has resisted offers to get it back into print. (His feelings on the project seem somewhat less than positive: In an interview with January magazine, he stated, “I spent several months writing a book that I wouldn't have wanted to read.”) The book could’ve used some judicious editing, as it’s riddled with typos throughout (to the best of my knowledge, Duran Duran never released a song titled “Hungry Like a Wolf”), but small stuff aside, you know what? It’s good. Dry, witty, and insightful, it features a comprehensive biography of each band member, plus thoughtful reviews of each song and video, padded out with general observations about the societal influences in England in the seventies and eighties (sample sentence: “To understand Duran Duran, one must understand the scenes and the pendulum swings in the Britain from which they emerged”). The book is short—only 126 pages, and maybe half of those are devoted to glossy photos of the boys—but it’s got some heft.
I’m going to jump right past all the insights and heft, though, and focus on the frivolous, gossipy stuff, because that’s the way I roll. Here we go: