Books,  Reading Challenge

2017 Reading Challenge, Book 44 – The View From the Cheap Seats

Hi, Hey, Hello!

This my last Neil Gaiman book of the year and I was almost so sad about it when I realised that. I’ve had a lot of Gaiman in my life this year and I never really thought about it coming to an end.

But it did.

And it came to an end with this:


Now I knew that this was a non-fiction book. I just didn’t really know what the exact set up of it was. Turns out it was just a collection of his non-fiction writing, be they introductions that he has written for books, speeches he has given or interviews that he did for various things.

It was full of things that I really needed to read in the run up to Nano (let’s not talk about that one though. I mean I will, but not right now. The relationship remains complicated.). There was a lot of inspirational stuff, there was a lot of stuff in there that meant that I just added to my ever growing reading list, there was just a lot of stuff in it.

A lot of great stuff.

The kind of stuff that just reaffirms your belief in something. I don’t even know what exactly, but it just soothed some part of my soul.

I love the worlds that Gaiman creates, I love getting to fall into them and seeing what is going to happen with them. His non-fiction work is funnily enough similar in that respect. Only it’s grounded in a bit more reality.

It talks about genre and writing and other authors/musicians in such a gorgeous way that it’s hard not to be somewhat enthralled by it all.

For example, there is a heavy focus on sci-fi in this, which for the most part is not a genre I read all that often. I mean I do and I usually love it, but it’s just not high on my list of go to books when I go to pick up a new book. But making my way through this book I found myself more intrigued by it as a genre. There is a foundation for me to build on. Starting points for me to go through. I ended up with a well compiled list that were sold to me so well just by the way that Gaiman spoke about them that it just felt natural.

It gave me a different perspective on fantasy as well, which is a genre that I read, but I tend to be relatively safe with it. I stick with what I kind of know and for that reason a lot of the worlds that are created in the books I read have a lot of similarities and I don’t tend to venture into high fantasy partly out of fear. Again this book changed those views somewhat. In that it makes me want to dip my toe in slightly deeper fantastical waters. Again, this book provided some kind of foundation for that.

It gave me a perspective on some music that to be honest I’ve never really thought about before. It changed the way that I viewed music in terms of lyrics and things. It sort of fuelled a different appreciation for music just by the way that Gaiman talks about it.

That’s the thing that I love so much about this is just getting to swim in all of Gaiman’s thoughts on things and getting to feel his appreciation for them. Finding out what fuels other people and getting to see/hear/read them talk about something that they care about is one of my favourite things, which means that this book was just right up my street.

If you want to read some non-fiction, have a particular interest in science fiction or just want your faith in literature restored then I would recommend this book in a heartbeat. Especially if you love Neil Gaiman in the first place. But if you only read one part of this book then make it the Make Good Art piece. And if you love Terry Pratchett then read the last story, although be warned it may break your heart a little….

4/5 stars

Parentheses count: 1. See you tomorrow!

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