Thursday, April 9, 2009

Ten Reasons to Love Neil Gaiman (a.k.a. He was aware of my existance for a brief moment)

As stated in a previous post, I have recently discovered and have become a member of Neil Gaiman fandom.  For lack of anything else to post, I am going to list my top 10 reasons for loving Neil Gaiman.   I love Gaiman:

1) Because Tori Amos references him by name on her album "Little Earthquakes." "Little Earthquakes" was one of my favorites in high school.  If you are at all familiar with the song "Tear in Your Hand," the lyrics are as follows, "If you need me, me and Neil'll be hanging out with the dream king."  I always wondered who Neil was. . .now I know.

2) Because he has a great speaking voice- more specifically his accent. I always feel a bit embarrassed when American girls swoon over British accents because it seems so silly and superficial, however, listening to Gaiman read, is definitely worth while.  Not only is he a superb writer, he is also a superb reader.  His interpretation adds dimension and significance to his work.

3) Because Gaiman is no Bradbury:  he is not a social recluse. Nor is he a technophobe.  He doesn't seem to mind that his fans want to know what he is up to so he blogs, Twitters, Goodreads, and has a website for his children and young adult fans.  I'm sure there's other ways to cyber-stalk him.  Fill me in if you know them.  As a matter of fact he randomly selected my lame question to answer on his blog today. (The last one on his post.  Yup, that's me.)

4)  For his crazy hair.

5) Because his prose floats.  Gaiman can write and write well about any subject he chooses.  If I try to read anything less than Robertson Davies after I have read a Gaiman novel, the dialogue seems flat and the plot predictable.  (Does he really mean to do this to other authors? What about us aspiring writers?  It's so unfair.)

6) For his book jackets.  

Would I usually find a man who looks like this attractive or is it just because he's Neil?  The world may never know, but I do enjoy looking at the back cover of Anansi Boys.  Apparently, I'm not alone.

7) For his leather jacket. (Click on the wardrobe to the right once you find yourself in "The Living Room.")

8) Because he is the most contemporary of authors.  Gaiman's work does not show his age.  He lives in the here and now.  Just as he is unafraid of technology, he is also unafraid to team with other contemporary artisits and writers.  He has written Blueberry Girl for Tori Amos.  He has teamed with Terry Pratchett to write Good Omens, has toured with Amanda Palmer, and the likes of Stephin Merrit have been seen lurking around his midwestern home.  Unlike Gaiman, I will show my age and mention that I didn't know who half these people were until I read his blog.

9) Because of his generosity to his fans.  Did I mention that he reads the ENTIRE Graveyard Book online?  Yes, I believe I have, but I will mention it again because I think it is phenomenal that one can listen to this year's Newbery award winner for free.  Another of my favorite Gaiman freebies is his short story "Chivalry."  There are also more freebies available.  Send me a comment as you discover them.  Did I mention he chose my question about this on his blog?

10) Because of his absolute versatility.  Gaiman is the first author whose works I can read one after another and never get bored or tired of his style.  His books are so entirely different from each other, the only prediction I can make upon opening a new volume is that it will be interesting, intelligent, and well-written.  Beyond that, I can't even tell you if I will love it.  I may notlike it at all, but I can appreciate the level of skill put into each piece.  A word of advice:  do not write Gaiman off if you don't love him at your first reading.  Put it down and try something else. One work does not indicate the merits of another.

Also, along the lines of versatility.  Gaiman has written (successfully) picture books, graphic novels, short stories, poetry, novels, screen plays, and a number of journalistic pieces.  Pretty impressive.