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The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected…
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The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction (2016)

by Neil Gaiman

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A View from the Cheap Seats is for hardcore Gaiman fans, lovers of introductions and speeches, and aficionados of the inspirational word. ( )
  JaredOrlando | May 21, 2018 |
A brilliant collection of introductions to other books, speeches written about various events, and discussions on the people important to Neil Gaiman.

The last one is about Sir Terry Pratchett, and will probably make you at least tear up, but don't read it first because then nothing else will be appetizing.

All entries in this book are quite moving. ( )
  m_mozeleski | May 13, 2018 |
True confession: this is the first Neil Gaiman book I've read. And I thoroughly enjoyed it. And it won't be the last. I enjoy non-fiction, especially memoir and I expected this to be a bang up memoir. I was wrong. Not about it being a bang up book, but about it being a typical memoir. From what I've learned, nothing Neil Gaiman does is typical.

Instead, the book is a compilation of various talks, interviews, and writing that Gaiman has done primarily for the benefit of others. For example, he writes introductions for esteemed colleagues new books or for new anthologies. Or alternately, he tells about talks he gave to various gatherings.

Through these, the reader does indeed get to know quite a lot about Gaiman from his childhood to the present day. He is a masterful storyteller and will make you chuckle at muggings and bookshop visits. You may even tear up as he shares private moments with treasured friends.

Gaiman offers thoughts for readers to ponder:
"I believe we have an obligation to read for pleasure, in private and in public places. If we read for pleasure, if others see us reading, then we learn, we exercise our imaginations. We show others that reading is a good thing.”

He has encouraging words for writers and artists:
“Another piece of advice: I've learned over the years that everything is more or less the same amount of work. So you may as well set your sights high and try and do something really cool. There are other people around who can do the mediocre meat and potatoes work that anybody can do. So let them do that. You make the art that only you can make. You tell the stories only you can tell.”

All wrapped up in his perspective on being human:

"We all have stories. Or perhaps it's because, as humans, we are already an assemblage of stories and the gulf that exists between us as people is that when we look at each other we might see faces, skin color, gender, race, or attitudes. But we don't see - we can't see the stories. And once we hear each other's stories, we realize the things we see as dividing us are all too often illusions; falsehoods. That the walls between us are, in truth, no thicker than scenery.”

"Honesty matters. Vulnerability matters. Being open about who you were at a moment in time when you were in a difficult or an impossible place matters more than anything. Having a place the story starts and a place it's going, that's important. Telling your story as honestly as you can and leaving out the things you don't need, that's vital.”

Through reading this book, I learned about comics and graphic novels. I learned about about fantasy and speculative fiction. I amassed a large list of books for my TBR list. I learned about Neil, and most especially about the people who influenced him. ( )
  TheBibliophage | Mar 20, 2018 |
Reads vert easily, little sweet Neil writing nibbles. He loves comics and movies and libraries and books and music and his people and tells you why. ( )
  quondame | Dec 28, 2017 |
This is a collection of non-fiction, only some of which has been previously published. Included in this volume are speeches and book reviews as well as introductions, articles, interviews, and essays. I had encountered only a few of these before, so most of the book was entirely new to me.

Some of the book introductions here were for books I’d never read or even heard of, but quickly added to my To Read list. A couple of the essays moved me to tears and many had me laughing out loud. If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, you will love this book. I’m not sure it will have much of a wider appeal outside his fan base, but I think everyone can find something to enjoy in this collection. I also highly recommend listening to the audio book because Gaiman himself reads it and it adds an extra layer of intimacy to the essays when they are spoken in his voice. ( )
1 vote Jessiqa | Dec 19, 2017 |
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For Ash, who is new, for when he is grown.
These were some of the things your father loved and said and cared about and believed, a long time ago.
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I fled, or at least, backed awkwardly away from journalism because I wanted the freedom to make things up. (Introduction)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0062262262, Hardcover)

An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author 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 bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia 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 the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 11 Feb 2016 11:13:41 -0500)

"An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics--from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories--observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author 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 bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia 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 the author's experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood. Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman--offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time"--… (more)

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