What is it about Neil Gaiman books that make you feel like you’ve slipped into a surreal dream? The fantasy escapism is real.
It feels real. So you wouldn’t be the first one to finish a Neil Gaiman book only to crave more.
With a number of best-selling books and awards to his name, alongside comics, children’s stories, and even a critically acclaimed Netflix series, one thing’s for sure: Neil Gaiman knows how to craft a good story.
And if you’re hunting for more great stories that read like Neil Gaiman, get your bookmark ready because you’ve come to the right place.
If you love Neil Gaiman, magical realism novels, or fantasy books in general, then you need to read these authors: Susanna Clarke, Terry Pratchett, Joan Aiken, Diana Wynne Jones, Stephen King, John Crowley, Vandana Singh, Silvia Morenno-Garcia, and Haruki Murakami.
Books By Neil Gaiman
And if you haven’t read all of them, they’re a good place to continue, as most of Neil Gaiman’s books share his witty writing style, injection of fantasy into the everyday, and universally relatable themes.
Some of these themes include soul-searching, courage, good versus evil, fate, and innocence.
Take The Graveyard Book and The Ocean at the End of the Lane, for example, which share common themes such as the search for identity and good versus evil.
So if more of the above is what you’re looking for, the following authors won’t disappoint.
Authors Like Neil Gaiman
Terry Pratchett co-wrote Good Omens with Neil Gaiman – Neil Gaiman’s first novel that was later adapted into a TV series.
But that’s not the reason you should read Terry Pratchett if you like Neil Gaiman.
Terry Pratchett’s best-selling Discworld series is an epic fantasy packed with mythology, folk lore, and fairytales, with world-building to rival the likes of Tolkien.
Start with the first book in the series, The Color of Magic, if you want to discover what Discworld is all about.
For something less “epic” (there are over 40 Discworld books to get through – whew), read his collaboration with Neil Gaiman, Good Omens, instead.
- Terry Pratchett is known for his living, breathing fantasy worlds
- Good Omens was co-written with Neil Gaiman
- Some Terry Pratchett books, especially his Discworld series, can be overwhelming for first-time readers
Themes: prejudice, nationalism, humanity, morality
One of Susanna Clarke’s short stories, Stopp’t-Clock Yard, was included in The Sandman: Book of Dreams – an anthology edited by Neil Gaiman.
And like Gaiman, Clarke has written a host of novellas and novels that incorporate fantasy.
Her bestselling debut novel, Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, is a great introduction if you are yet to read anything Clarke’s.
Another must-read is Piranesi, a page-turning book set in a perplexing, labyrinthine house full of mysteries, one of which is a strange man called The Other.
- Susanna Clarke’s novels are rich with fantasy and mystery
- Both Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell and Piranesi are award-winning, critically acclaimed novels
- Some readers find Susanna Clarke’s books slow-paced and excessively bizarre
Themes: reality, magic, time, self-discovery
Joan Aiken wrote supernatural fiction and won an award for her children’s books, so she shares many credentials with Gaiman.
She’s best known for The Wolves Chronicles, a series of children’s alternative history novels following the adventures of two cousins, Bonnie and Sylvia.
The first book in the series is The Wolves of Willoughby Chase.
On the other hand, A Necklace of Raindrops and Other Stories is a more accessible read that includes eight short stories filled with vibrant characters and magic.
- Joan Aiken is an award-winning author
- The Wolves Chronicles series spans over 10 books – lots to keep you going!
- Joan Aiken is sometimes criticized by readers for her “cookie-cutter” characters
Themes: friendship, family, good versus evil, morality
Diana Wynne Jones
Like Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones wrote fantasy for both adults and children.
Neil Gaiman himself cited her as an inspiration, along with Terry Pratchett and Philip Pullman.
Howl’s Moving Castle is an essential read – no matter what you’re into.
The enchanting story was adapted into an anime by Studio Ghibli, which is widely considered one of the best anime films ever made.
Another Diana Wynne Jones book to consider is The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, the first in her popular Chrestomanci series.
- Howl’s Moving Castle is both a critically acclaimed book and film
- For series lovers, the Chrestomanci series spans seven books
- Some of Diana Wynne Jones’ books cater more to younger audiences
Themes: identity, purpose, family, compassion
Stephen King is mostly known for his horror stories: It, The Shining, and Pet Cemetary are a few that come to mind. But he’s also dabbled in fantasy!
King’s The Green Mile is a magical realism novel (later turned into a critically acclaimed film) with a story that’s as endearing as King’s Rita Hayworth and the Shawshank Redemption.
Another bestselling Stephen King fantasy is The Dark Tower series, which follows a lone gunslinger on his quest to find an evil necromancer, The Man in Black.
- Stephen King writes fantasy as well as he writes horror
- King’s novels always have fleshed-out characters and detailed narration
- Some readers may have already watched the film adaptations!
Themes: morality, compassion, good versus evil, prejudice
Many bookworms cite similarities between Neil Gaiman and John Crowley.
Much like Gaiman, he’s won awards for his novels, including the World Fantasy Awards for Best Novella and Best Novel.
Crowley’s Ægypt kicks off a four-part novel series (The Ægypt Cycle) that follows a history professor trying to make sense of memories, chance, and fate.
The award-winning Little, Big is also worth reading for Gaiman fans, following the travels of Smoky Barnable and a family living in an otherworldly, magical house.
- Fans of Neil Gaiman will enjoy the story of Little, Big
- Love reading series? The Ægypt Cycle comprises four novels
- Some readers find Crowley’s books confusing and hard to follow
Philip Pullman is a novelist who needs no introduction. He wrote the bestselling His Dark Materials trilogy, which led to movie and TV show adaptations.
The Golden Compass, also released as Northern Lights, is the first in the trilogy set in a parallel universe filled with magic, talking polar bears, and shocking discoveries.
But if you’ve read His Dark Materials, La Belle Sauvage takes the world-building further, set exactly 12 years before The Golden Compass.
- His Dark Materials is a bestselling trilogy
- Fans of His Dark Materials will love La Belle Sauvage
- Most older readers will already be familiar with Pullman’s His Dark Materials!
Themes: humanity, family, friendship, good versus evil
Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s fantasy novels have been whipping up a storm – so much so that she’s won the Goodreads Choice Awards Best Horror Award, Sunburst Award, and the World Fantasy Award.
Her best known work is Mexican Gothic, a fantasy-horror novel set in a Mexican mansion, following debutante Noemí as she starts to uncover dark family secrets.
Gods of Jade and Shadow is another Silvia Moreno-Garcia novel worth mentioning that, compared with Mexican Gothic, leans more towards the fantasy genre with inspiration from Mexican folklore.
- Silvia Moreno-Garcia has won awards for her fantasy novels
- Most of her novels are uniquely inspired by Mexican culture
- Mexican Gothic may be scary for young readers
Themes: loyalty, love, morality, identity
No Japanese writer is more renowned than Haruki Murakami. And like Gaiman, his stories often weave in the surreal and bizarre with profound meaning.
First-time readers of Murakami should jump right into Kafka on the Shore – a captivating novel following the soul-searching Kafka and the naive, but pure-hearted Nakata, whose stories intertwine in a finale that lingers long after the final page.
Diehard Murakami fans also consider The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle as his best work, but you really can’t go wrong with any Murakami book if you enjoy Neil Gaiman.
- Haruki Murakami’s novels blend the everyday with surreal fantasy
- The characters in Haruki Murakami’s novels always feel real and relatable
- Some readers may find Haruki Murakami’s novels slow-paced
Themes: love, compassion, soul-searching, destiny
If you love Neil Gaiman books, there’s a good chance it’s because of his character-driven stories that blend the real and surreal.
He’s best known for his fantasy novels and magical realism novels, which present thought-provoking themes that resonate with adults and young readers alike.
For fans of Gaiman, the above authors are all worth reading, with novels that are both rich in fantasy elements and relatable characters that spring to life on the page.
So, what are you waiting for? Add these authors to your TBR list!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Main Themes In Neil Gaiman Books?
Neil Gaiman is well-known for weaving themes into his stories – even his children’s books. Just some of these themes include identity, fate, and good versus evil.
What Books Does Neil Gaiman Recommend?
Neil Gaiman reads as much as he writes! Two popular books he recommends are Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrel by Susanna Clark and Johnny and the Dead by Terry Prachett.