Review: Neil Gaiman’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties

Written by Nicole T. Feleo

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Have you ever heard something mind-blurring and beautiful at once and were never been able to remember it? Fifteen-year-olds Enn and Vic go to the (actual) wrong party one night and discover that the particular girls at the party are (actually) from a different planet. It ends with tears and confusion, not necessarily by the same person, and not unlike what you might feel stumbling home from a party late one night in South London.

How to Talk to Girls Parties is the latest book written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by rockstar Brazilian artists Fabio Moon and Gabriel Ba. The story is a relentless soliloquy of Enn, the youngin’ from an all boys school at a party with his stud of a best friend, Vic. If you think you’ve heard this story before, you have not. If you think you know this story already, you do not. It is beautiful, ironic, smart, and just strange and outlandish enough to feel like real life — with the most unreal plot twist.

Gaiman, Moon, and Ba have brought Gaiman’s 2006 Hugo Award nominated short story and transformed it into a water-color looking wash of enchanting proportions. While the girls at this party are stunning in themselves, Ba and Moon have conjured up foreign depictions that are completely dazzling.

I don’t presume to know what it is like to be a shy and/or young male, but many of them I’ve befriended or been approached by have spoken about a common struggle — talking to girls at parties — and being dreadfully and paralyzingly awkward. Behind this relatable title for a portion of the male homo sapiens of today, here is another great graphic novel.

Although some critics say that this particular piece could have been more— more of what? who knows— I am confident that the illustrations and lettering, along with the story itself, was compiled to its greatest potential. Rest assured, the triplet has done justice to the original and if you find yourself at the wrong party where you were not invited and you meet a universe or poem, you should — 1. Properly listen to girls when they speak, and 2. Just go home.

How to Talk to Girls is one of the highly anticipated adaptations of Gaiman’s science fiction as film adaptation began production in the UK in 2015. See-Saw films is overseeing the movie which will be produced by Howard Gertler, Iain Canning, and Emile Sherman. John Cameron Mitchell has been chosen as director from a script he co-wrote with Philippa Goslett. The lead roles belong to Elle Fanning (Super 8,Maleficent) and Alex Sharp (who won a Tony Award in 2015 for his Broadway lead in The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, knocking out Bradley Cooper and Bill Nighy for the award). Additionally, it has been made known that Nicole Kidman will join the cast. Ruth Wilson (The Affair, Lone Ranger) and Matt Lucas, know to American audiences as Nardole on Dr. Who, have been announced as part of the supporting cast.

Rating: 8/10