The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman

24331386This is a mixed-bag collection of Gaiman’s non-fiction writings: transcripts of speeches and addresses, introductions to books by favourite authors, newspaper reviews, and other articles on diverse subjects. Not surprisingly, he offers a passionate argument for the value of reading and the importance of libraries and bookshops. He was a precocious reader as a child, reading and then re-reading authors like CS Lewis. He also describes how reading some of the same books to his children has changed his perceptions. He also writes extensively about comics, aka graphic novels, which is a form of writing that has distinct and unique features compared to novels. So, there are some redundancies but overall this is a very good read with lots of favourite author recommendations.

 

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American Gods – Neil Gaiman

American Gods - Neil GaimanAmerican Gods – Neil Gaiman (the author’s preferred text). This is a fascinating book about America, an imaginative fantasy with old gods and new gods and their conflict. How can you not love a book with a central character named Shadow? Gaiman’s writing reminded me of Stephen King’s The Stand (this is meant to be a compliment). Gaiman readily acknowledges that reaction to this book has been mixed: some readers love the book and some hate it! Mark me down in the “loved the book” camp.