How to Talk to Girls at Parties turned out to be a terrible tease of an experience. But one that, luckily for me, led to better things.
The short e-book is made up of two elements: The short story of the title (previously published in the collection Fragile Things) and an excerpt of Gaiman’s forthcoming novel The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I have read most of Gaiman’s stand alone books but have not read his short story collections. So this was a new story for me and I enjoyed it. A humorous exploration of teenage nervousness and angst over girls with a science fiction twist.
I quickly moved on to the excerpt and was soon enthralled in this new Gaiman work. And then, quite abruptly, the excerpt ends. This is not right! I am in the midst of the story and do not want to stop reading. I furtively seek to immediately purchase said novel so I can continue reading. But alas, the book has not been published! In fact, the pub date isn’t until June 18. Drat. I did the next best thing and downloaded Fragile Things on my Kindle so I could at least try to satisfy my Gaiman fix; but it was not the same.
Never fear dear reader, for this story has a happy ending.
What did I find upon returning from work this week but a package in my door. Excited as I always am by the potential delight a new book brings, I quickly opened it. And what should be enclosed but The Ocean at the End of the Lane! Through some serendipity, or a HC staffer who was on the ball and saw my despair on Goodreads, I was able to finish reading this wonderful story before its publication rather than having to wait interminable days.
So if you want to get a taste of the what is coming next from Neil, How to Talk to Girls at Parties offers you that chance. But beware, you may be left impatiently waiting for the novel to be released so you can finish what you have started.
I promise to post my review of the new novel in this space soon.