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The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

The View from the Cheap Seats (original 2016; edition 2016)

by Neil Gaiman (Author)

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5292319,057 (3.99)48
Title:The View from the Cheap Seats
Authors:Neil Gaiman (Author)
Info:William Morrow (2016), Ebook, 486 pages
Collections:Your library, Read but unowned
Tags:nonfiction, essays, ebook, library, read, 2017, checked

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The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman (2016)



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The View from the Cheap seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman is a compilation of essays on many subjects the author composed. Neil Gaiman is a very prolific author who writes comic-books, TV shows, and books.

I remember hearing about Neil Gaiman when I was still reading comic books (I now moved on to graphic novels – collected works – because I can no longer have the time to keep up with monthly series), I heard about these great, must read, comic book called Sandman. I didn’t pick one up until much later because I enjoyed superhero stories and Sandman was not my kind of hero. Maybe I wasn’t sophisticated enough.

Maybe I’m still not.

I was browsing at a bookstore one day, I don’t remember why, it could have been a trip or maybe I just wanted something different to read – most likely both. I walked into the fiction section because i just finished Alexander Hamilton’s biography by Ron Chernow (this was about a decade or two before the play) and I was looking for something different. I picked up American Gods and never looked back.
I enjoyed the book so much I gave it to a worker at the deli I frequented (I’m still trying to lose that bagel weight).
Ever since then I read anything Mr. Gaiman writes, and even got my beloved wife to read (and enjoy) his works.

The View from the Cheap seats: Selected Nonfiction by Neil Gaiman is a collected book of selected essays and speeches. The book is divided into ten logical sections (comic books, musicians, observations, people, movies, etc.) which, unfortunately do not create a narrative but are interesting on their own nonetheless.

I mostly enjoyed the speeches included in this collection. I don’t know if these are the speeches he wrote or are they were transcribed later on – this is because I can hear him talk in my head and know him to be an excellent writer so it could be that either or. The speeches also seem target to a more specific audience (me?) and hence are personalized more than simply talking to the public at large.
The essays and articles are for people, the speeches are for persons.

The book includes old favorites (“Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming” and “Make Good Art”), as well as new favorites (“The View from the Cheap Seats” about Gaiman’s experience at the Oscars) and much in between. Fans of the author will not be disappointed as he writes about his favorite books, music, movies and projects he worked on including Dr. Who and comics. Mr. Gaiman also wrote about some of the people he cares for and, obviously, love. The obituaries and writings about his wife and daughters are touching, sometimes funny but always full of heart.

And my reading list got much, much longer – I’m even thinking to try reading fantasy again.
Just thinking though.

For more reviews and bookish posts please visit: http://www.ManOfLaBook.com ( )
  ZoharLaor | Jul 8, 2017 |
As in many collections of short pieces the quality of the contents varies. The first section of probably of the most general interest since it contains speeches given on a variety of occasions. Other sections contain reviews of authors, comics, books, and music and will accordingly interest some readers more than others. ( )
  ritaer | Jul 5, 2017 |
A collection of what must be every speech and book introduction Gaiman has ever written, along with a few interviews and short articles. At just over 500 pages, there are speeches about bookstores, myths and comic books. He visits Stephen King at home and interviews Lou Reed, spends an entire night in Soho looking for something seedy to report on, and discusses Poe, Wells and Bradbury.
This is one of those books that needs to be read with a pen and paper nearby. I found myself stopping to rummage my shelves, wondering if I had the books he discussed, had a seen that movie, do I own enough Lou Reed, can I find the podcasts he refers to? I love books like that. I admit to skimming over the comic books introductions because I have little interest and there were so many of them, but nearly all of the writings here have fascinating little asides. ( )
  mstrust | Jun 22, 2017 |
The View From the Cheap Seats is a compilation of Neil Gaiman's best non-fiction. Some of these are essays, some are introductions, some are speeches and all of them are thoughtful. In this book, Neil Gaiman shares things he believes, things about the people he is fortunate enough to know, movies, comics, music and more.

You might be thinking that Neil Gaiman is best known for stories, fantasy or science fiction works and why would anyone want to read 500 pages of speeches and introductions, who reads introductions anyways? Well, I always read introductions and hopefully you will too.

In The View from the Cheap Seats I have learned what I have always known, but have never put into complete thoughts; stories are important, stories have power. I have learned that words are magic that turn into ideas, ideas that can make you change the world.

In his essays, speeches and introductions about other authors I learned of the deep respect held for fellow mentors and writers. I also gleamed some insight into how authors work and develop ideas. Most of all, I discovered some authors that I have never had the pleasure of reading and have now been added to my to-be-read pile.

With any compilation, you could pick and choose which sections to read or individuals selections. If you do choose to read this, read it however you choose, skip around, devour or meander through, but I do suggest reading it all and letting the power of the words soak in.

This book was received for free in return for an honest review. ( )
1 vote Mishker | May 24, 2017 |
These are all the speeches, articles, blog entries, and forewords Neil Gaiman has written over the years. A lot of them were about stuff I know nothing about -- old authors that he admired, music I don't listen to, stories from his youth I'm too young to appreciate. It's not a memoir, it's a series of essays. Most of them are gushes about someone. There's nothing about the writing process or creation in here, except the "Make Good Art" speech which everyone knows.

And it's long. His writing style is unchanged -- full of comfort and warmth, like when Luke Skywalker meets Obi-Wan Kenobi for the first time, and you know that this guy is one of the good ones. But I am not the kind of guy who has found solace in any of Gaiman's influencers -- Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, Will Eisner, etc. There are a few memorable ones, but as a whole, this is only for the most diehard Gaiman fan. ( )
  theWallflower | Mar 20, 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.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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)

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