THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS by Neil Gaiman
Kirkus Star

THE VIEW FROM THE CHEAP SEATS

Selected Nonfiction
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KIRKUS REVIEW

The acclaimed author shares his thoughts on stories of all kinds: books, comics, movies, music, and more.

Gaiman (Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, 2015, etc.) is a fan. Of course, as a writer, he’s created unforgettable worlds and characters, but in this collection of essays, introductions, speeches, and other nonfiction works, it’s his fan side that comes through most strongly. The author writes about the thrill of discovering a piece of art that feels like it was made just for you; the way certain books or songs seem to slot into a place in your heart you didn’t know was there; the way a text can mean different things at different times in your life. If the idea of going on a long, rambling walk with Gaiman and asking him about his influences sounds appealing, this is the book for you. He discusses art and life and arbitrary divisions between genres, the film The Bride of Frankenstein, the band They Might Be Giants, the war in Syria, and the work of Edgar Allan Poe, H.G. Wells, Cory Doctorow, H.P. Lovecraft, James Thurber, Douglas Adams, Harlan Ellison, G.K. Chesterton, Stephen King, and Ray Bradbury, among plenty of others—and anything else that sparks his endlessly creative mind. The book will also double his fans’ to-read lists and inspire readers to browse the secondhand sections in their favorite book or record shops. Gaiman is big on rereading. It’s one of several themes that weave in and out of these pieces, in addition to telling the truth in fantastic forms, finding your voice, breaking the rules, and making something new. This is a book to dip in and out of; while themes and ideas do repeat, they will also change and take on new resonances over time.

Gaiman’s many fans will love this collection, which showcases the author’s wit, wisdom, and deep appreciation for art and the people who make it.

Pub Date: May 31st, 2016
ISBN: 978-0-06-226226-4
Page count: 544pp
Publisher: Morrow/HarperCollins
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2016




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