Best Neil Gaiman Books (Rated with Synopsis)

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Neil Gaiman is one of the most recognizable writers of our time, not only because he has dozens of publications but also because his style is one of a kind. Known for his satirical blend of scifi, fantasy, and horror, Gaiman’s novels welcome ghosts, spaceships, Norse gods, witches, supercomputers, precocious children and humdrum adults into their fold. All will be teased. All will be offered a chance to become a hero. Seriously, in a Gaiman novel, anything can happen.

Gaiman’s versatility has allowed his work to flourish across genres. He has adapted multiple novels into TV shows and movies, collaborated on comic book series, and swept up the most prestigious awards in children’s literature. He has co-written novels with literary legends and edited anthologies for emerging writers.

With all his accolades, it’s safe to say Neil Gaiman has something for everyone. The problem is figuring out which one of his novels is for you. That’s where we come in. 

Best Neil Gaiman books, with book cover.

(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)

For the purpose of this book list, we are including Gaiman’s longer form fiction and have excluded short essay collections and graphic novels. But for the fiction, we have included his reads for adults, young adults and middle readers.

For our format, this guide has three sections. First, we’ve listed Gaiman’s top 10 novels according to their ratings on Goodreads. Second, we’ve organized all his long form fiction books by their publication date. Finally, we’ve provided a short synopsis for each of Gaiman’s novels. Use this guide to choose your first Gaiman novel–and come back when you’re ready for more!

What Are the Best Neil Gaiman Books? Nine 4-Star Reads

4.3Good Omens
4.1American Gods
4.1The Graveyard Book
4.1Norse Mythology
4.0Anansi Boys
4.0The Ocean at the End of the Lane

5 Most Recent Neil Gaiman Books (by Pub Date)

2017Norse Mythology
2015Eternity’s Wheel
2013The Ocean at the End of the Lane
2013The Silver Dream
2008The Graveyard Book

All Neil Gaiman Books, Ranked

Good Omens

(Co-written with Terry Pratchett)

  • Published: 1990
  • Rating: 4.25
  • For: Adults

Aziraphale, an angel, and Crowley, a demon, should never have become friends, but hanging out on Earth since the collapse of the Garden of Eden has left them all too familiar with each other. When a new prophecy predicts the coming of Judgment Day, Aziraphale and Crowley team up to save Earth by kidnapping the Antichrist. Unfortunately, they’ve got the wrong kid.

Meanwhile, in Oxfordshire, freak events seem to coincide with the imagination of a little boy named Adam. The lost city of Atlantis pops out of the ocean after he reads about it in a magazine. UFOs appear after he chats with his friends about the existence of aliens. As the apocalypse unfolds around him, Adam realizes his power, and it’s up to him whether he will stop the chaos or revel in it.

Neil Gaiman appeared on the literary scene with a bang when he teamed up with legendary fantasy writer Terry Pratchett to publish Good Omens. Still ranked as one of Gaiman’s most beloved novels, this comedy battle between good and evil taught readers what to expect from a Neil Gaiman novel.


  • Published: 1996
  • Rating: 4.17
  • For: Young Adult and up

Young Richard Mayhew is finally settling into London life. He has a decent job, a pleasant fiance, and no awareness of the seedy magical underbelly of the city. All that changes when a wounded girl named Door appears in the street in front of him. Guided by his sturdy middle-class morals, Richard attempts to rescue Door, but when the girl heals up and disappears, Richard’s identity vanishes with her. 

No longer recognized by his London chums, Richard pursues Door into the bizarre world of London Below to try to reclaim his ordinary life. Despite danger, confusion, evil friars and tribes of talking rats, Richard begins to question whether he wants to return to the regular world of London Above at all.

Gaiman’s breakout solo novel, Neverwhere is the book that hooked fans on his adventurous antics and gritty sense of humor. It checks all the boxes for Gaiman fans.

American Gods (American Gods #1)

  • Published: 2001
  • Rating: 4.11
  • For: Adults

Shadow has been counting the days until his prison sentence ends, but when his release comes three days early, it brings sorrow with it. Shadow’s wife, Laura, has been killed in a gruesome car accident along with her secret lover. Devastated and isolated, Shadow throws himself at the first job that comes his way. He begins working as a bodyguard for the mysterious Mr. Wednesday. 

Soon, Shadow’s travels with Mr. Wednesday have introduced him to a crew of unhinged characters, including leprechauns, Norse gods, and even his wife’s ghost. But when Shadow begins to piece together the connections between all these characters, he realizes he’s stumbled into something much bigger than a day job. Shadow has been enlisted in a war between the gods.

A fantasy epic, American Gods combines elements of classic mythology with a rollercoaster plot, full of traitors, shapeshifters, and reincarnations. The novel also satirizes modern America’s devotion to its god-like technology. If you’re looking for surprise and irreverence, American Gods won’t let you down.

The Graveyard Book

  • Published: 2008
  • Rating: 4.15
  • For: Middle grade and up

Perhaps for some, it takes a village to raise a child. But in this case…it takes a graveyard.

As a toddler, Bod’s family was killed by “Jack”. When Bod toddled off into the graveyard, the ghosts and the local “guardian” decide to adopt and protect him. He grows up with ghouls, werewolves, vampires and magic— experiencing all of it as a grand adventure.

Follow along for the ride as this sweet, resourceful kid comes of age.


  • Published: 2002
  • Rating: 4.11
  • For: Middle grade and up

The book features a young girl named Coraline who has just moved into a new house. She is intent on exploring and discovers a mysterious door that has been walled up. However, one day, the door is left ajar.

And what she finds through the door seems like a better version of her own house. Except that it isn’t better. What’s going on there is creepy and disturbing, and Coraline has to summon all of her bravery to set things right.

Norse Mythology

  • Published: 2017
  • Rating: 4.11
  • For: Adults

Many Gaiman fans are drawn to novels like American Gods and Anansi Boys because of their connection to ancient mythology. In Norse Mythology, Gaiman pulls out all the stops for these fans, retelling a selection of the Norse tales that have informed so many of his novels.

In this book, you’ll find the gods making mead out of their saliva, Thor dressing up as a bride to ambush the ice giants at a wedding, Loki up to his usual tricks, and yes, Ragnarok, the dreaded final battle of the gods which will lay waste to the world below.

Written in Gaiman’s characteristic voice, Norse Mythology makes the ancient myths accessible to contemporary readers. It’s a crash course taught by a passionate and wildly charismatic professor, perfect for those who want to learn about lost cultures.



  • Published: 1999
  • Rating: 4.10
  • For: Young Adults and up

Tristan Thorn has small hope of winning Victoria Forester’s heart. He’s an ordinary boy with obscure origins, and she’s the most beautiful girl within a hundred miles of the village of Wall. Still, when a star plummets from the sky above their heads one night, Tristan sees his chance. Vowing to bring the star back to Victoria in exchange for her hand in marriage, Tristan crosses over the wall that separates his village from the kingdom of Faerie. 

Little does Tristan know, his quest will embroil him in political feuds that span multiple kingdoms. He will have to outwit princes, witches, pirates, and most importantly the star herself, who turns out to be a walking, talking, heart-stealing young woman named Yvaine.

The most traditional fairytale in Gaiman’s repertoire, Stardust is written with a sweetness and innocence that’s missing in his other novels–even in some of his children’s books! If you’re looking for a heartwarming and imaginative romcom, Stardust is Neil Gaiman’s way of making your wish come true.

Anansi Boys (American Gods #2)

  • Published: 2005
  • Rating: 4.04
  • For: Adults

Charles “Fat Charlie” Nancy has always been a bit embarrassed of his father, but nothing could’ve prepared him for the ridiculous circumstances of his father’s death. Summoned to Florida to settle his father’s estate, he learns that the elder Mr. Nancy died of a heart attack while singing to a girl half his age in a karaoke bar. 

Fat Charlie hopes to put Florida and his father’s legacy behind him as quickly as possible, but complications arise when a family friend reveals that Mr. Nancy was actually a reincarnation of the West African spider god, Anansi. And if that’s not enough, Fat Charlie also learns he has a brother: a trickster named Spider who inherited his father’s powers. Fat Charlie’s first meeting with Spider tangles him in a web of magical shenanigans that make all his efforts to reject his family futile.

Gaiman’s novels are usually anchored in the folklore of England, Scotland, and Scandinavia. Anansi Boys spices up his literary canon by exploring West African traditions. You won’t soon forget the flamboyant personalities of the animal deities whose feuds set the backdrop for Anansi Boys!


The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  • Published: 2013
  • Rated: 4.02
  • For: Young Adults and up

A young boy is shocked when he stumbles upon the body of a stranger who has died by suicide inside his father’s car. Panicked, the boy runs to his neighbors for help. Little does he know, Lettie Hempstock, the peculiar hippie child who lives next door, is one of the most powerful beings in several multiverses. 

When evil spirits begin sneaking through a door opened by the tragedy of the stranger’s death, the Hempstocks are the only ones who can protect the boy and his family, but as the boy grows more and more attached to Lettie and her quaint, magical family, he is unsure that he should let them endanger themselves on his behalf.

Written with a dreamlike quality, The Ocean at the End of the Lane brings back all the anxieties and charms of childhood. It’s a perfect book for young adults or adults who shy away from some of the more graphic moments in Gaiman’s other novels.

Read this one for book club and use our Ocean at the End of the Lane reading guide.

Odd and the Frost Giants

  • Published: 2008
  • Rating: 3.99
  • For: Middle grade and up

This cute story is somewhat tamer than Gaiman’s other works. But he’s still bringing the mythology!

Odd has had enough of his mean step-father, so he picks up his crutch and leaves home, seeking out his natural father’s hut in the woods. Along the way he meets a bear, a fox and an eagle– who are actually Loki, Thor and Odin. They’ve been transformed into animals and banished from Asgard.

Odd steps it up to help them out.

Eternity’s Wheel (InterWorld #3)

(With Michael Reeves and Mallory Reeves.)

  • Published: 2015
  • Rating: 3.72
  • For: Young adults and up

The final and most highly-rated book in the InterWorld trilogy, Eternity’s Wheel opens with our time-traveling, multiverse-jumping hero Joey Harker on the lam. Stranded on his home planet, Earth, while the rest of the multiverse dissolves around him, Joey recruits new allies to try to rebuild the InterWorld and strike a death blow against the Binary and HEX.

Though Gaiman consulted on the development of Eternity’s Wheel, most of the writing was done by his co-authors Michael Reeves and Mallory Reaves. Still, the book stays true to others in the series and tidily wraps up the galactic adventure readers began with InterWorld.

The Silver Dream (InterWorld #2)

(With Michael Reeves and Mallory Reeves.)

  • Published: 2013
  • Rating: 3.59
  • For: Young adults and up

The second book in the InterWorld trilogy, The Silver Dream begins with Joey Harker enjoying the talents he’s honed during his short career at InterWorld. But Joey’s respite is short lived. When a girl named Acacia tracks Joey’s team to their base, she threatens his position as InterWorld’s newest and most talented star. Joey has his suspicions about Acacia, and his thoughts darken when evidence of a traitor working inside InterWorld comes to light. 

Though Gaiman consulted on the development of The Silver Dream, most of the writing was done by his co-authors Michael Reeves and Mallory Reaves. The final product is a smooth continuation of the InterWorld saga (if Gaiman’s brain-twisting plots can ever be called smooth!)

InterWorld (InterWorld #1)

(With Michael Reeves.)

  • Published: 2007
  • Rating: 3.55
  • For: Young adults and up

The first book in an eponymous trilogy, InterWorld introduces a young earthling, Joey Harker, who discovers he has strange and dangerous talents when he accidentally begins crossing between universes and meeting other versions of himself. It doesn’t take long for Joey to be recruited by InterWorld, a technologically advanced band of misfits (mostly other Joeys), who have vowed to protect the multiverse by balancing the amount of scientific and magical power wielded by their enemies, Binary (science) and HEX (magic).

A unique adventure story that blurs the line between sci-fi and fantasy, InterWorld is loved most by young adult readers, although adults who are young at heart might enjoy it too!

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