The Dangerous Alphabet
The Dangerous Alphabet
By Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by Gris Grimly
On Sale: 4/29/2008
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A is for Always, that's where we embark . . .

Two children, treasure map in hand, and their pet gazelle sneak past their father, out of their house, and into a world beneath the city, where monsters and pirates roam.

Will they find the treasure? Will they make it out alive?

A delightfully dangerous journey from national bestselling author Neil Gaiman and the monstrously talented Gris Grimly, The Dangerous Alphabet is sure to captivate and chill readers.

Critic Reviews

“In the end, Gaiman and Grimly have combined forces to produce an acrid, gothic confection that bubbles with vitriol and wit.”
   — Booklist

"Normal abecedarian fodder gets a poke in the ribcage with this most unusual alphabet tale. A boy and a girl clad in rumpled Victorian weeds and their stalwart gazelle navigate both monsters and madmen in hopes of reaching their final destination. Grimly’s gleefully ghoulish Tim Burton-esque line-and-watercolor illustrations are the star here. Fans of both creators’ works will seek this title out, as will adults of the macabre persuasion. Children appear to be a secondary consideration."
   — Kirkus Reviews

A Note From Neil

I've always loved formal verse forms, and a few years ago I thought it might be fun to write an Alphabetical Poem, the kind I'd read in children's books when I was a boy.  So I wrote one -- a very odd one, filled with pirates and ghosts and treasure, and I sent it out as a Christmas Card. My editor, Elise Howard called me up and said, "That Alphabet poem of yours is hanging over my desk. Why don't we do it as a book?"

And I said, "It's a very DANGEROUS alphabet, though."

She agreed that it was. We would need an artist who was up to the job.

Elise sent me books by Gris Grimly and asked if I would like him to illustrate it, and I grinned and grinned.

Gris and I had several long phone conversations, plotting out what we wanted to see in an Alphabet book, working out the story. And then Gris went down into the sewers, and drew pirates and monsters and tribes of mysterious people and treasure, and he came up and showed me what he'd found.

It's the story of two brave children and their pet Ibex. Or the story of treasure and a gang of cut-throat criminals who will stop at nothing to get what they want. It has an author in it, too, and some very dodgy-looking meat pies.

And 26 letters, most of them in the correct order.


Chapter Excerpt