Saturday, July 08, 2017

A Hugo Review: Best Related Work - The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

The View From the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman is an anthology of essays, introductions and speeches given by Gaiman over the years.

This is actually a really long book and it took me longer to read than I expected. It's just got so much substance to it that I would get caught in an essay and read it to the end, then want to read the next. This is absolutely a perfect book for short readings - have it by your bedside and read an essay/intro/speech each night. It's definitely not as good to power through it, like I did, even when the subject matters were great.

The good: You can learn a lot about Gaiman and his life from this book - it's practically an autobiography if taken all together. You can also learn a lot about his philosophy of writing and get a great deal of hints and helps on how to write. He wrote many introductions to works - some I was familiar with and some I was not. The ones I was familiar with I found myself nodding along as I read or thinking about the work in a slightly different way. The ones I wasn't familiar with I found myself wanting to read. There is a LOT of material here, and that makes it a good collection to give to any fan of Gaiman or good writing.

The bad: If I have to nitpick, there is some duplication of stories. It's only natural, he's writing about the same types of subjects, so there will be some repetition of tales of how he grew up and got into reading certain types of books and such. But some might find it difficult, especially if trying to read straight through - which is why I recommend reading this book in bits and pieces, if you can.

Conclusion: Yes, the best of the three I've read so far. But there's still three more to go.

Best Related Work: I've read The Women of Harry Potter, The Princess Diarist, and The View From the Cheap Seats. I still need to read The Geek Feminist Revolution, Traveler of Worlds, and Words Are My Matter