|Author Neil Gaiman, courtesy of |
The New Yorker
“Everybody has a secret world inside of them. I mean everybody. All of the people in the whole world, I mean everybody — no matter how dull and boring they are on the outside. Inside them they've all got unimaginable, magnificent, wonderful, stupid, amazing worlds... Not just one world. Hundreds of them. Thousands, maybe.”It is hard to describe English author, Neil Gaiman. He knew he would be an author when he was a child; he fanboys over Ray Bradbury; he is a beekeeper. He is also is an award winning author (I lost count after 75) and has had several books conquer the bestseller list. Gaiman cannot be pigeonholed into a single genre; he has written fantasy (Stardust), comedy (Good Omens, with late author, Terry Pratchett), graphic novels, collections of short stories (Trigger Warnings is his newest book, published February 2015), children's books (some of the books lovingly referred to as "Kid Goth"), screenplays, music, general fiction... you get the idea. He has become an almost cult-like figure in the literary world; fans wait for hours, in any weather conditions to meet Gaiman, who will sign autographs and chat with fans for hours on end; his books are wildly and highly anticipated; and he makes an effort to reach out to his audience through social media, book talks, and countless interviews. He has become a major champion of libraries, leading the crusade to stress importance of libraries to our society. He loves the arts and encourages people to explore their creative side; he is not afraid to discuss and embrace his own failures. He has become the poster boy for weird. And it is magnificent.
The thought above, taken from Gaiman's comic book series The Sandman, encapsulates the overall
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Gaiman's children's books are also beautifully crafted and equally thought-provoking (even for an adult reader.) Winner of British Carnegie Medal and the American Newbery Medal for children's literature, The Graveyard Book is about an orphan who is raised by spirits that live in a nearby cemetery. Their powers keep him safe. Yet, there are forces at hand which are working
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No matter your favorite genre, you cannot deny the exemplary vocabulary and prose that permeates Gaiman's work. One of the best parts about reading his stories is that you are guaranteed to learn a word you did not previously know. Gaiman makes writing seem easy. The flow of the diction in his stories is lyrical and spell-binding. Throughout all of his novels, comics, short stories, screenplays, etc., there is a sense of consistency. One knows that when reading Gaiman, you are guaranteed a story that will be sharp witted, tight, informative descriptions, and excellent dialogue. I have never read a Gaiman work that wandered or seemed lost in thought. Every word he writes has a purpose and plays a part in the overall scheme of the story. Whether the ending leaves you hanging or not, Gaiman's intended ending is always achieved. If you are still thinking about the story days after you finished it, then the goal was achieved.
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