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.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Not every writer—not even many literary greats—could pull off a book like this. It’s a collection of random speeches, front matter from books (not his own), liner notes, and the occasional eulogy for individuals living and dead. While the book is organized into sections on topics like other authors, comic books, films, and music, it seems that organization derives organically from the topics on which Neil Gaiman is asked to comment--rather than a desire to tighten the book’s theme.
If you’re a Neil Gaiman fanboy/girl, you’ll need no excuse to read anything that he puts out (even though--if that is the case--you’ll probably have read much of this before in separate outings.) So the question is why the rest of us—who may enjoy Gaiman’s writing tremendously but who don’t qualify as fanboys / fangirls—should read this. The reason that it’s worth reading is that Neil Gaiman is funny, has a way of framing...
To paraphrase the author, this book contains some things Neil Gaiman loves, cares about, and believes. It’s a collection of speeches, articles, introductions, and essays on a variety of topics ranging from light-hearted to serious. There’s something in here for every kind of Gaiman fan, whether you love his Sandman comics, his fantasy/sci-fi novels, his Dr. Who episodes, or all of the above. There are also pieces decrying the suppression of free speech and the civil war that has displaced millions of Syrians. Gaiman’s famous “Make Good Art” commencement speech is in here, too. Overall, Gaiman is articulate and enticing in whatever he writes about, and above all, this is a book for readers.
In one of the pieces near the beginning, a speech called “Why Our Future Depends on Libraries, Reading and Daydreaming,” Gaiman sets the tone when he says (one of my most favorite quotes in the book), “I’m going to suggest that reading...
Wonderful work. I found myself hearing each one of these in Neil's voice, especially the speeches - this is the very essence of Neil Gaiman. I've been a huge fan of his fiction for years ever since my dad introduced me to Sandman, then Coraline, when I was young, and fell in love again after discovering Good Omens and American Gods. A freelance artist myself, I snapped up the book version of Make Good Art as soon as I found out it was available. Recently I've been trying to get my hands on all of his work that I can find, and this was definitely a good pick. Pure Gaiman as I said and at turns nostalgic, delightful, charming, foreboding, informative, thoughtful, funny, and so much more. Definitely recommend.
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