An enthralling collection of nonfiction pieces on myriad topics - from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories to comics, films, and literature - observed in award-winning number-one New York Times best-selling Neil Gaiman's probing, amusing, and distinctive style.
An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his fiction. Now The View from the Cheap Seats brings together, for the first time ever, more than 60 works of his outstanding nonfiction on topics and people close to his heart.
As Neil explains, "This book is not 'the complete nonfiction of Neil Gaiman'. It is, instead, a motley bunch of speeches and articles, introductions and essays. Some of them are serious, and some of them are frivolous, and some of them are earnest, and some of them I wrote to try to make people listen."
In prose that's analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, Neil explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to) authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts his experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.
Neil ponders the truth of fiction and the power of stories (and why we tell them) and offers his own profiles of and insights into writers who have influenced him, including C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Ray Bradbury, Diana Wynne Jones, Stephen King, Rudyard Kipling, James Thurber, and his dear friend, Terry Pratchett. He offers unlikely perspectives on subjects as diverse as The Bride of Frankenstein, Doctor Who, Batman, Tori Amos, Lou Reed, They Might Be Giants, and Amanda Palmer. And he includes a moving essay on the plight of Syrian refugees in a United Nations camp in Jordan.
Illuminating and incisive, witty and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores some of the issues, subjects, and people that matter most to Neil Gaiman - and offers a unique glimpse into the mind of one of the most beloved and influential writers of our time.
©2016 Neil Gaiman (P)2016 HarperCollins Publishers
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"A pleasure for Gaiman fans"
If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, the man, not necessarily his works, you will be thrilled with this book. If the individual introductions to the short stories in Trigger Warning interested you as much as the short stories themselves did, pick this book up. It will not disappoint.
If you have only read some of his novels, it's still worth a go. You'll learn a lot about the man, and what went into shaping him into the author who created those wonderful books.
I loved it.
"The very best View is from the Cheap Seats"
This is the most surprising and touching book I've ever read.
I am a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's. Every book I read of his, I've liked more than the previous. I've loved his stories, how he pulls magic from seams you didn't even realize were there. I've loved his complex characters who spiral down their own emotional and thoughtful rabbit holes: Fat Charlie discovering his own strength. Bod growing up. The Ocean at the end of the Lane's protagonist making us question what's really happened or hasn't.
If there were ever a doubt that these (and all of his other) characters were real, this book will rid you of it. His fiction characters are as real as Lou Reed, Amanda Palmer, Tori Amos and Terry Pratchett.
This book is a gift. I want to read it again and again and again. I want to hug Neil Gaiman and thank him for, well, believing in the magic that is this world. I want him to know how touched I am. I want everyone who's thinking of listening to this audible recording to do so as soon as possible, but to also be cautious in their timing because there will be times you'll have to pull off the freeway because you're crying too hard to safely drive.
Listen to this book. Whoever you are, listen to it. Learn from it. And go make the world a better place like Neil Gaiman has.
"non-optional, optional heading"
Not a binge read, probably better to pick it up and read a little then come back to it again later. But, it's fantastic. I literally did laugh and cry.
"Amazing. Required reading for fans"
I must admit that I am only half way through this, but I am already enjoying it immensely. It is a collection of Neil Gaiman's non-fiction writing. So this includes speeches given, introductions written and other miscellaneous things. The writings here come in a wide variety of flavors including, funny, entertaining, heartfelt and thought provoking. If you are generally not a fan of non-fiction, however, you may want to skip it or rent it from the library to get a feel for it before you spend the credit. It is very different from listening to fiction, but I find it equally rewarding. Neil Gaiman also narrates. For me, this is a huge plus. I LOVE Neil Gaiman's voice and narration style.
"A beautiful mind."
I have not read the printed version.
There is not another book like this one.
I saved a seat for you.
This book matters very much today. It will matter a thousand years from now. It will matter 10,000 years from now and as long as we can communicate with one another. There are book I have read more than once, but only twice. This one I know, I will read over and over.
The best narration of any audio book I have listened to. I think I have listened to between 3 and 400.
I could listen to Neil Gaiman read anything, but listening to him read his own writing is the best.
"Thoughtful and amusing"
Wide ranging short essays on popular culture, criticism, the arts, and artists.
Brilliantly read by the author. At least listen to the sample!
"Beautiful and Insightful "
Loved every minute. If you've ever wondered what makes Gaimain such a unique voice, look no further. Many of the people who helped mold Neil are discussed, analyzed, and honored. Many of the entries are beautiful homages and a few are heartbreaking requiems. Enjoy them all in your own time.
"Consumed this nonfiction with greedy pleasure"
I had an appetite for something nonfictiony but not boring. Sometimes boring is a matter of how you're feeling at the moment and what you've just finished reading and want more of.
I've always liked Neil Gaiman. His fiction. So I thought, eh, I'll give this compilation of intros, speeches, articles and whatnot a try.
I wasn't prepared to like it as much as I did. Gaiman kept me listening. He writes about writers. Lord Dunsany. Poe. Lovecraft, Stephen King. Dianna Wynn Jones. He writes about musicians. Lou Reed. Tori Amos. Amanda Palmer. Comic book artists and illustrators. Movie deals.
He throws in essays that make you think about the importance--and magic--of book stores, libraries and friends.
Another reviewer mentioned that along the way Neil Gaiman gives us an unintentional memoir. He does that. He chronicles his life, his ups and downs, his passions, while he gushes fanboy-like over the best and brightest minds in comics, literature, art and music.
This book is worth the purchase price for his essay on his night at the Oscars (in the "cheap seats") alone. And for the insightful piece on Stephen King. And I could name a dozen.
This is one to return to again. And if you want to know how to write a really smashing introduction to a book, this is full of them.
"Need to be familiar with the author."
This book really is not for readers unfamiliar with the author, cause so much of it refers to his other books. Also many essays are forwards to other author's books, speeches given for particular awards/societies/clubs, most of which I am unfamiliar with. Although obviously well written and thoughtful, there is just way way way too much insider references for my mind to stay engaged. I'm stopping for now, may return to it after I've read a little more stuff by the author.
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