Gaiman, Neil. The Sleeper and the Spindle. Harper Festival, 2015. Unabridged Version. Audio CD $12.57, 978-0062435132
Recommended Grade Level: 6th Grade and up.
This version of Neil Gaiman’s short story that combines the tales of Sleeping Beauty and Snow White is a uniquely Gothic spectacle to hear that’s perfect for a public library’s collection. The format is a single CD fit for CD players as well as cars, it is an auditory experience where the story is read to the listener(s) along with sound effects to get the listener(s) involved in the story. The story is performed by a full cast, running an hour in length, this version enables the audience to appreciate different styles of tone and through the voices of the characters, visualize the beautifully grim images using their own imagination as well the narrator’s guidance. It presents a capable Queen, Snow White though no calls her that anymore, who decides to investigate a mysterious sleeping sickness infecting the nearby kingdom that’s lasted nearly 80 years (2015). The story is an interesting item, perfect for libraries since the multiple mediums it’s presented in, graphic novel and short story in collections of stories by Gaiman, can be combined to give patrons at libraries a diverse way of viewing a story from many angles. The story has some violence , appropriate for ages 13 and up, with a kiss between the Queen and the Sleeping beauty that some might find controversial despite it being more out of custom than romance with a twist that upends the both narratives and presents a very curiously dark story to enjoy.