Book Review: The View from the Cheap Seats by Neil Gaiman

  If you've read this blog for any length of time, you'll know how much I love (and talk about) Neil Gaiman; writer, dreamer, human. He inspires the writer in me unlike anyone else--although Stephen King is a close second. Which is why I am unabashedly dedicating yet another blog post to him and his most recent of books (for me, anyway) with The View from the Cheap Seats.

Now full disclosure, I only received this book yesterday, and yet with the dozen or so entries I have read thus far, I know like I know like I know this is most definitely going to be my most favorite book I've read of his to date. I have said before in previous posts and in the podcast that although I am more a fan of the man Neil Gaiman than I am of his works, this in no way means I don't enjoy his writing because I most certainly do. I am enamored of his generosity as a gifted writer in the way that he offers help and insight to us fellow writers, but also the generosity of his truth in his non-fiction works--which by the way, The View from the Cheap Seats is a collection of non-fiction by way of essays, book introductions he was asked to write, personal observations and articles written for various and sundry magazines, newspapers and such. It is absolutely enthralling.

So far, I've only read one essay that didn't resonate with me, and I'm sure there will be others, but that's simply a matter of taste (i.e; I'm not a comic book reader or a Tori Amos fan), however I suspect I will still find lines of interest within these brief essays/articles/intros. And not that I want to sway your opinion on the pieces I have read, but I have found the following especially poignant and touching: (note that I am currently reading this book in no particular order)

The Dresden Dolls: Halloween 2010
The View from the Cheap Seats (about his evening at the Oscars)
Make Good Art (which I previously bought when it was published as a standalone piece)
Harlan Ellison: The Beast That Shouted Love at the Heart of the World
Banging the Drum for Harlan Ellison
On Stephen King for The Sunday Times
and many more...

Normally I would not write a book review about a book I had not finished reading, but I promise you now, if you are any level of a Neil Gaiman fan, you will greatly enjoy this wonderful collection. It came out over a year ago, but I always have to wait for a softcover edition, which I prefer. The above links will take you to the softcover edition, but the hardback is available there too. Hell, buy 'em both. Enjoy.

A Shadowed Path Podcast Episode 7: New Year, New To Me aka EARGASM

 My goodness, a New Year is here. Time for renewal, reassessing and reevaluation. And I think we could all agree that the entire planet is in great need of all of these things. So while we work on all of that, I hope you'll enjoy an hour's worth of new-to-me tunes and books that maybe, just maybe you haven't heard of yet.

This episode solidified my desire to enter the production world, in whatever way I can make it happen. Be it another podcast, editing someone else's podcast, voice-over work etc. This is actually something I've had a secret desire to do for going on 25 years now, maybe even longer, but never knowing just how to get into this line of work, or having the guts to pursue it. So I'm trying to embrace the fact that it's never too late to change your career, and you're never too old to try something new. We'll see how it goes.

I'm excited to say that with episode 8, I will have my first guest! Guest episodes will alternate with regular episodes, and I hope it will bring a vastly more intriguing tone to the podcast. Also, as I say in this episode, there has been a small change to the schedule and A Shadowed Path will air every other Wednesday, with episode 8 airing on Wednesday, Jan. 31st. I hope you'll tune in!