Who Killed Amanda Palmer

I called in sick to work today because I needed a mental health day. At least I’m calling it that. Things have just be super stressful lately, not all in a bad kind of way, but working at a psychiatric hospital can just wear you out. So I lay in bed not really wanting to get out of bed, happy being here and the doorbell rings. A twist of fate would pull me out of my funk when this arrived at my door:


Yes, that is Who Killed Amanda Palmer, a collection of photographic evidence WITH stories by Neil Gaiman. And I’ve already read it (for the first of many times). I can’t put into words how beautiful of a book this is and how eclectic of a book it is. It features numerous pictures of the amazing Amanda Fucking Palmer dead. Yes, dead. And there are stories mixed in by the always wonderful Neil (Fucking?) Gaiman. By the way, if the two of them were ever to get married, I totally thing Neil should change his middle name to “Fucking”. But I digress.

Who is Amanda Palmer, some of you may ask. I didn’t really get into Amanda Palmer that much until the last year or so. I had known who she was when she was the lead singer of The Dresden Dolls, a punk cabaret duo. I would see that she was playing at one of my favorite bars here in New Orleans called One Eyed Jacks, formerly known as The Shim Sham. It’s a bar in the French Quarter that used to have a cabaret night and always has amazing bands. I knew a few Dresden Dolls songs…the popular ones, but never fell in lust love with Amanda’s music until she released her solo album, Who Killed Amanda Palmer. If you haven’t checked it out yet, you must. The album is all things good: haunting, meaningful, poppy and catchy at times, goth at times. Just a fantastic album. Oh, and Amanda is now dating Neil Gaiman. Seriously, look at the two of them, they’re adorable:

amandaandneilSo, the book. It’s a companion piece to her new album. Neil Gaiman writes his version of the story behind the book at the beginning. No one knows who killed Amanda Palmer, but she has turned up dead all over the world. And everyone knew she died when she did. There are suggestions that she was taken to another plane of existence and all of the Amandas are copies of the original. He ends his first story by writing “If you see Amanda Palmer on the street, kill her, said the graffiti under the bridge in Boston. And beneath that somebody else wrote, That way she’ll live forever.” I ask only one thing…don’t follow this piece of advice!

The photographs are stunning in so many ways. They are a compliment to her album. There are photos that are completely haunting, photos that evoke so much emotion in one piece, photos that tell endless stories from a glance, and the occasional photo that might just make you giggle. Like the one with three people walking down the street with a severed arm flying in front of them. Ok…so maybe my sense of humor is a little different than others :p There is nudity in the book, just so you know and it’s beautifully done. One of the many beautiful things about Amanda is that she embraces her body rather than fear it, something that seems rare these days. And I think that’s beautiful.

The stories by Neil are right up there with all of the others he’s written. They’re clever and not what you would expect. I’ve never seen a man who can create so many unique stories. It’s proof to any writer that there is a new story to be told still. His stories serve to add depth to many of the pictures, to tell the tale in a different way than you might imagine when you first lay eyes on the picture. I wish there were more stories than what there is, but at the same time, the balance was just right in the book.

The book also has the lyrics to all of the songs from the Who Killed Amanda Palmer album and I have to say that her lyrics rival Neil Gaiman’s words. When listening to the album, I’ve gained an appreciation for Amanda as a songwriter, but it’s different when you see the words in print and read them on their own. She’s a fantastic lyricist as well as a songwriter.

Am I happy with the book? Uh…yeah.


25 Responses

  1. I seriously CAN’T WAIT for my copy to arrive! Come on Mr Postman, you can do it! It yours arrived today it should take another week for me, though, so I’d better be patient šŸ˜›

    And yes to everything you said. She’s brilliant and he’s brilliant and there’s no way the book won’t be brilliant. I WANT MY COPY!1@

  2. Nymeth, Yeah, you’re going to totally love it when it gets to you! Such a beautiful book šŸ™‚ I was thinking you’d get yours in about a week as well. Patience is a virtue šŸ˜‰

  3. Can I read your copy when we come visit? Pretty please? šŸ˜€

    I can’t believe you told Ana that patience is a virtue! Easy for you to say…you got your copy. Now apologize to her for being a smartass. šŸ˜‰

  4. I’m Sorry Ana šŸ˜¦ Debi spanked me and told me to apologize…

    Debi, LOL…I apologized :p seriously, I should take my own advice sometimes, huh? Of course you can read it when you come to visit!!! When are you coming? Next weekend? lol

  5. I want my copy, too! I can’t believe I forgot to change my address when I did the pre-order. Harrumph. Neil (I believe he’s going with the Maddy-appropriate “Freakin'”) Gaiman and AFP are totally adorable together. A friend of mine actually met him in Chicago this week – I’m hoping they’ll be pictures soon, so I can bask vicariously through her. šŸ™‚

  6. Jessi, Oh well, you’ll get it soon! And yes, I think Neil would prefer “freaking” as well :p I’ve yet to meet Mr. Gaiman! I know he loves New Orleans, but I’ve never seen him down here for a signing šŸ˜¦

  7. I’m ravenously jealous right now. I have the album, but not the book. I’m not even sure if I can GET the book here! And they are ridiculously cool, and cute, as a couple šŸ™‚

  8. I must be SO out of it. huh?!?! can I say morbid? Not that anyone will really care what I think…
    Just wanted to say that I keep forgetting to READER you but I am right after I make this comment because I do think you are are the cats meow (and also to tell you that I corrected what I think is a misspelling/typo on your last comment and that you are SO SWEET!) meow!

  9. I’m not sure, but I think that Nymeth might just be looking forward to this one arriving through her letterbox!

    I’d love to see a copy of this one, but I don’t think I’ll be buying a copy, too many other books I want first. Still you never know!

  10. Oh, eck, not my thing. But, you’re right — they’re adorable together. What a cute picture of the two of them!

  11. Now aren’t you glad you needed that mental health day?

  12. Wow this sounds amazing. I really have to hear Amanda’s solo stuff. This post is awesome, thanks so much for posting it =)

  13. Ok thanks for finally explaining the Amanda Palmer phenomenon. I see it all over the music forums I frequent but I was always like Heh? Going to have to check it out!

  14. Hmmmm. Never heard of Amanda Palmer until just now and would you guys like me a little less if I said I listened to a few songs in iTunes and just didn’t get it? Oh wait…just clicked on Straight and that might be more up my alley. Sounds like an incredibly interesting and strange book/collection/album.

  15. Looks great! Glad it brightened your day for you

  16. That looks very, very cool! I have resisted the temptation simply because I’m trying so hard to pay stuff off right now. Its hard to resist though. Looks and sounds fantastic. I haven’t listened to any of her solo stuff but I’ll be giving it a listen since you like it so much and I’ve generally ended up really liking the music you recommend. You’ve got good taste my friend.

    I know I’m a probably in the minority here but I think that picture of Amanda and Neil is both a beautiful picture and incredibly sad. I find myself being really hurt when I think of people divorcing because it means a failure of a relationship. We both work with people who are the results of failed, broken relationships every day and so it certainly is a common part of life and I in no way condemn people who get divorced for any reason, good or bad, but it doesn’t stop me from feeling sad. At the very least the marriage produced 3 children and I cannot help but feel hurt for them regardless of how their parents might be amicable towards one another. I wouldn’t share this everywhere, but I know you and the other readers understand what I’m saying here.

    If they are happy then I am certainly happy for them. Love is a powerful thing and ultimately the only thing that is important.

  17. Oh, and we must really be in sync today because that is what I felt when I woke up. Unfortunately I had a few things that I had to get done and would have had to do them at home anyway so I went ahead and went in. It was such a lovely, dreary, autumn like day today that I really regret not staying at home!

  18. Maree, You should be able to get it! If you follow the link in this post it should take you to the order site. I know a bunch of people out of the US got a copy!

    Care, Well thank you! šŸ˜€ Ditto to you too…sorry about the mistake on your blog, lol. I do have a fairly morbid sense of art, and I definitely think that this is probably not a book for everyone. But personally, I loved it!!

    Bart, What ever would make you think that Nymeth’s excited about reading this?? lol. I hope you get to see a copy of this! It’s really fantastic! Maybe you can come visit with Debi and y’all can share šŸ˜‰

    Bookfool, Yeah, I didn’t think that this one would be your thing šŸ˜‰ But they sure do make a cute couple!

    Staci, Extremely glad! It couldn’t have gone any better!

    Mishel, Thanks šŸ˜€ I’m glad you enjoyed the post! Definitely check out her solo stuff..it rocks!

    Lenore, Hope you like it! I think she’s pretty damn good, but I’ve been known to like some bizarre music. I don’t think she’s for everyone, but not only is she a great musician, but she’s just a really cool, down to earth person.

    Trish, LOL…no one will disown you, I promise šŸ˜‰ Like I just told Lenore, I don’t think she’s for everyone. It also took a little while for her to grow on me, but now that she has, I can’t get her off!

    Kailana, Thanks šŸ˜€ It really was a great book.

    Carl, You’re doing awesome paying stuff off! I was so excited for you to hear the other day that you got your first credit card paid off. That is SUCH a great feeling!I do understand your sadness at seeing the picture. I’ve read a few things that Neil has posted about him and his ex, and thankfully, they seem to be very friendly with each other still. It certainly can be devastating to the family when any divorce happens, especially a nasty one. Glad to hear that wasn’t the case here. I’m sure you deal with children of divorced families as much as I do. And while I don’t always think divorce is for the worst, I do think it should be an absolute last resort. I’ll also report that I stalk the entire Gaiman family on Twitter, and Maddy seems to love Amanda! I just think that the two of them are the cutest, sweetest, most awesome duo I’ve seen in a long time. And take a day off my friend! You deserve it šŸ˜‰

  19. I can not wait to read this!! As you know, I’m a huge AFP fan!! She is awesome and rocks my world almost as much as Neil does. I knew this would be worth the money!

  20. Steph, Did you pre-order it?? You’re going to love it! It is sooooo good!

  21. I’m overflowing with envy!! This looks soo awesome, and the photos are beautiful. I’ve convinced my guy that he simply must get me this because it’s got something to do with Twin Peaks – stretching the truth just a tad is not all that bad right?! Oh and how utterly cool that you guys have a bar named One Eyed Jacks – my Twin Peaks obsessed mind loves this šŸ˜›

  22. When it has to happen, it is best if it can happen like this one seems to have happened for them. “Celebrity” relationships are often doomed and I pray that this one isn’t and that they remain happy together. Not just for the kids sake but for theirs as well. Like I said, love is the most important thing and I never wish for anyone to have failed relationships.

  23. Okay I’ve totally seen Neil Gaiman talking about this book on his blog, but it sounded a little weird to me. I mean… pictures of Amanda Palmer dead? But then your review and the photos totally have me hooked. It would make a great coffee table book, right? Riiiight?

  24. I was at Amanda’s show at One Eyed Jack’s in March as well, and I took a bunch of pictures. You can have a look on my Flickr set for the show (click my name if the link didn’t come through). I have pictures from other Amanda/Dolls shows, too, if you look at some of my other sets.

  25. Amazing review! Nymeth directed me to your review after I read hers. You make me covet this book soooooo badly. I am a new convert to AFP earlier this year, love the album, and to know that she colloborated with Neil and then to discover that they had fallen in love was the icing on the cake for me.
    The concept for this book is fabulous and if I didn’t crave it alone for Neil’s writing then to know that the photographs are truly stunning would make me want it…

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