Audiobook Review - Mirrormask (read by Stephanie Leonidas)

Current Theme Song (aka what's playing on my ipod right now): Dare You To Move by Switchfoot.

Sometimes my taste border alongside the weird and wonderful. I see things in a strange way, and through a different lens. It may explain why I like such things as The Nightmare Before Christmas and might explain why I have a propensity for Neil Gaiman. Sewing buttons on eyes? A boy raised by ghosts in a graveyard? There is something slightly shudder-inducing and yet compelling about them. They are... different, and that would explain why I am drawn to them. One of his lesser known creations is a novella of sorts called Mirrormask, and the best way I can describe it is Alice in Wonderland on acid.

I knew it first as a small, independent movie coming out (which did not come to my small college town by the way. Still bitter about that one). Pair up Neil Gaiman with the Jim Hensen Company and color me intrigued. It is strange, in some ways unnerving, but also good. It is about a girl named Helena who is a part of a circus and wants to run away to real life. Things only get more interesting from there.

But the best part of this whole deal is that the book (novella really. The entire book is only one disk on audio and barely over an hour from start to finish) is read by the girl who played Helena in the movie. She is a really good reader. I like the book because it offers insights not offered in the movie. Because honestly, it is kinda trippy. No matter how many times you watch it. Okay, really trippy (remember - Alice in Wonderland on acid). The sphinxes with rainbow wings who eat books are rather creepy and intimidating (not to mention odd), but the library is one heck of a cool scene. As well as the advice for rejecting books. :) This story is not for everyone, and honestly teeters on the verge of my weird limit, but it is makes me see things in a different way, and I like seeing in a different way.

If you listen carefully, you can hear how great a writer Neil Gaiman is. He can weave words in a powerful way, telling so much in so little. Listening to him on audiobook is one way to hear him, really hear him, savoring each inflection, the cadence and rhythm of every word. It really kind of a wonderful thing. If you want a more lighthearted and less weird example of him, The Graveyard Book is also excellent, and read by Mr. Gaiman himself, British accent and all. But I am rather fond of this little audiobook.