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Instructions by Neil Gaiman
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Instructions (2000)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6754721,187 (4.27)36

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» See also 36 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
An interesting take on a story that reminds me of important details in various folk and fairy tales that help the protagonist ultimately succeed. The reader, who might be the character, is given "instructions" for nothing in particular, but the advice is still wise in it's way.

The illustrations are interesting and detailed. I like the recurring character, who isn't human but might be an anthropomorphized cat or dog or something similar.

I'm not sure what the ideal audience for this book would really be. I feel like people would either enjoy the openness or ambiguity of the instructions and what they are for, while others might be annoyed at the lack of a specific story to follow. ( )
  WeeTurtle | Oct 17, 2018 |
A synthesis of fairy tale wisdom, or perhaps: a condensed assay of mythopoeic themes and tropes, doled out as if imparting life lessons.

W pronounced it "interesting but weird". I cannot improve upon that review. ( )
  elenchus | Sep 6, 2018 |
Overall, I liked this book, but it seems very wordy and esoteric for a children’s picture book. I can see a child asking “what does it mean” and having a long talk that they may not understand. ( )
  LibrarianRyan | Jul 31, 2018 |
The protagonist is a cat who goes on an adventure and the narrator gives a how-to on questing.

The instructions given can be applied to almost any situation in a fairy tale and can also apply to real life situations. Monsters are treated with respect and wariness and the illustrations are what make this book. They are colorful and detailed and show the magic of the fairy tale realm. The story has very good advice about being polite and careful at the twists and turns that life can throw as us . ( )
  kvedros | Apr 24, 2018 |
Vital information if you’re going on a quest, whatever it may be. Short and sweet.

The quester is an anthropomorphic cat and as she travels, she makes friends with a tabby cat who follows her on her quest. I kept thinking 'I know that story ... and that fairy tale ...' but I can't quite remember them.

Instructions opens with
Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before,

There are other instructions which would apply equally well to Life as to a quest, such as
Remember your name.
Trust your heart
Do not forget your manners.


Richly illustrated by [[Charles Vess]].

4 stars ( )
  humouress | Feb 4, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 47 (next | show all)
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Vess, CharlesIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This one is for Terri Windling, for going on ahead and illuminating the twisting path through the wild wood. —CV

For Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman, for coming back and telling us what they found. —NG
First words
Touch the wooden gate in the wall you never saw before,
Quotations
Do not be jealous of your sister:
know that diamonds and roses
are as uncomfortable when they tumble from one's lips as toads and frogs:
colder, too, and sharper, and they cut.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Go on a journey to unknown, but strangely familiar, lands and then travel home again.

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