"Enn is a fifteen-year-old boy who just doesn't understand girls, while his friend Vic seems to have them all figured out. Both teenagers are in for the shock of their young lives, however, when they crash a local party only to discover that the girls there are far, far more than they appear!"--
Two 15-year-old boys, Enn and Vic, gatecrash a party Vic has heard about. Confident Vic wants to kiss the most mesmerizing girl there, while self-doubting Enn expects to end up "in the kitchen listening to somebody's mum going on about politics or poetry or something." There are only young women at the party, and they, along with the unusual pulsating music, draw the boys in.
The scenes are well-drawn, many with a celebratory wildness like a bacchanal. The girls are preternaturally pretty, with large light-filled eyes, and they may not be all that they seem.
Gaiman's writing is always a cut above others in this genre, and the combination with the Brazilian brothers makes for a winning, albeit pretty brief, read.
Two boys decide to go to a party, the address of which they do not exactly have. So when they find a party, they go in. One of the boys is a ladies man, the other one is shy and cannot speak to girls. And the girls he meets at the party do not exactly help - telling stories of impossible places.
There is more than one way to read the story - you can choose to see it as a fantasy story (which I prefer) or you can think of it as the way a boy sees women. Or something in between.
It is a short and sweet story about that age when everyone wishes to be just a bit older. And if you read it as a fantasy story, it is also a story about universes, changes and longing.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties written by Neil Gaiman was originally released as one of the short stories in Fragile Things in 2006. It is now being released as a graphic novel by Dark Horse. Neil Gaiman has adapted it to the genre and it is illustrated by Brazilian brothers and award winning artists, Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba.
This is a relatively short book at just 67 pages and, on the surface, it is a fairly simple albeit smart story. But this is Gaiman and his stories are never quite what they seem and there are layers here. It can be read as straightforward scifi or as a story about how teenaged boys perceive girls – as a completely different universe, beautiful like poetry but, when you get too close, as terrifying and dangerous as the sun. However you read it, it is a beautifully written and drawn tale, witty, humorous in places, creepy in others but always a compelling and fascinating read.
Thanks to Edelweiss and Dark Horse for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review
A young man goes to a party with a friend, and is encouraged to just talk to girls, and listen to them. He seems to nervous to actually listen most of the time. It seemed like all the girls he spoke to were completely alien, some may have been foreign, but his experience seems as though they were actually from another planet.
I appreciate that there are metaphors happening, but it lent a very surreal quality to the story, and one that doesn't really resolve with understanding.
There are several unexplained moments, but I think it encapsulates the experience of a teen in a situation that feels foreign and uncertain, and abruptly changes tone.
I think I would have liked a little more understanding of what happened, but the tone of the story was excellent, and resonates with a lot of experiences people have had growing up.
The art works really well with the story and really gives it a nice touch of magic and depth to the plot. I’m interested in seeing how the movie will add extra meat to the story.
Digital review copy provided by the publisher through Edelweiss
The first half translates alright - and does this goofy thing, which is the crux of the premise, suggesting that a young man's fear of being unable to communicate with young women is fully founded on the possibility that they aren't even fellow human beings. The joke aspect is clever for a few pages, then I started wondering if anyone needs to keep extending that concept out to such a drastic extent - - truly preaching this notion that men and women are incalculably separated by such a gulf of misunderstanding. What a depressing concept that joke became.
The ending leaves you with a lot of uninteresting intentional questions.
I'm glad I took the time to read this short story, which is a nicely-written tale of teenage self-consciousness; the ending felt annoyingly abrupt, but I would assume that it was the author's intention to leave us to imagine our own conclusions.
I read the taster for the new novel, and found myself being drawn in. I may be about to experience my first full Nick Gaiman novel
She stood out of the way, letting us enter. “There’s a kitchen in the back,” she said. “Put it on the table there, with the other bottles.” She had golden, wavy hair, and she was very beautiful. The hall was dim in the twilight, but I could see that she was beautiful. “What’s your name, then?” said Vic. She told him it was Stella, and he grinned his crooked white grin and told her that that had to be the prettiest name he had ever heard. Smooth bastard. And what was worse was that he said it like he meant it. Vic headed back to drop off the wine in the kitchen, and I looked into the front room, where the music was coming from. There were people dancing in there. Stella walked in, and she started to dance, swaying to the music all alone, and I watched her.
This was during the early days of punk. On our own record players we would play the Adverts and the Jam, the Stranglers and the Clash and the Sex Pistols. At other people’s parties you’d hear ELO or 10cc or even Roxy Music. Maybe some Bowie, if you were lucky. During the German exchange, the only LP that we had all been able to agree on was Neil Young’s Harvest, and his song “Heart of Gold” had threaded through the trip like a refrain: I crossed the ocean for a heart of gold. . . .
The music playing in that front room wasn’t anything I recognized. It sounded a bit like a German electronic pop group called Kraftwerk, and a bit like an LP I’d been given for my last birthday, of strange sounds made by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop. The music had a beat, though, and the half-dozen girls in that room were moving gently to it, although I only looked at Stella. She shone. Vic pushed past me, into the room. He was holding a can of lager. “There’s booze back in the kitchen,” he told me. He wandered over to Stella and he began to talk to her. I couldn’t hear what they were saying over the music, but I knew that there was no room for me in that conversation.
Worth the short read. It's nostalgic without being sappy.