Tag Archive | Neil Gaiman

Take Part: All Hallow’s Read

What could be better than giving a scary book this October?

Halloween

Neil Gaiman is at it again for this year’s All Hallow’s Read!

Do a spooky exchange with your best friends or maybe co-workers. Long lasting, and zero calories, your dentist will thank you for partaking in reading instead of indulging with Halloween sweets! Every year I love the art they do for this awesome event. Look at how gorgeous that picture is! Doesn’t it make you just want to curl up with something scary? What’s your horror story to read during October? I always run to Stephen King. The Shining is personal favorite of mine. Happy spooky reading!

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Ocean

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Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.”

Oh my goodness what a read! I was lucky enough to meet Gaiman during the release of this book and hear him read a section of it. (swoon) I’ve read a few of Gaiman’s books when I was in England and this latest novella doesn’t disappoint from his earlier works. 

In the beginning the story is charming. After a few chapters the fun gets going and then before the reader expects it, the end is near. The heart is strong with this one. Readers must not be afraid of a few cracks once they reach the final pages. 

The simplistic fantasy elements, the knowledge that magic is sometimes there and sometimes not, the use of carefully repetitive language that’s comforting to children are just a few of the elements that make this book a must read. I personally favored the English colloquialisms. But the imagery of the farmhouse, the countryside and the character’s families are also stunning. The story it must like it’s title. It may be a small book, but the story is as wide as the ocean it’s named of. 

I loved it. Gaiman’s style and flow of blending reality with mythical is like a cherished friend. I know I can count on his books for a fun time, and yet he’ll also challenge me too. I wish I had seen Lettie when I was in Sussex. Perhaps I did. Perfect for any and all readers, I highly recommend you get the closest copy and dive in! 

 

Take Part: All Hallows Read!

It’s nearly Halloween! Neil Gaiman is back for another year of leading the fantastic All Hallows Eve event of All Hallows Read!

hallows

Give a scary book to your best mate or someone at work! Spread the love of spooky stories! As October is the best month to enjoy being scared out of your wits!

If you could give any scary book to anyone, which would be the title you’d always go to? 

Book Signing Adventures: Neil Gaiman

Oh how fortune throws a good hand every so often. 

Neil Gaiman is on his very last book signing tour. Why? Because it’s now getting to the point that there are so many people that all he ends up doing is signing for hours and hours and hours. He stated that in San Fran (I believe) He was signing until 3am! (I’m sorry, but authors shouldn’t have sign for that long!)

When I first saw the tour dates, it stated that Seattle was sold out – BOOO! BUT, by a lucky rare chance I caught a last minute wave of final tickets! I was seriously considering driving four hours away to Vancouver, BC because they still had tickets available. 

Anyways! I was super excited, I mean this was an evening with Neil Gaiman! Hosted through the University Bookstore as a part of the 2013 Clarion West Writers Workshop readings at Seattle Town Hall. I was one lucky girl to be a part of a huge crowd entertained by Gaiman. 

First he did a reading from his latest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Neil reading

He then did a short Q & A with some questions such as, “Christian Bale or Adam West? Which is your favourite batman?”, “What’s one thing you’d like your readers to know?” Gaiman’s answer: “I’d like my readers to know how to read.”

The favourite question of the evening was, “Will Neil ever do a spread for Playgirl?” Gaiman’s answer, “I’m 52!”. 

Another good one, “If you were a God, what kind of God would you be?”

Gaiman stated he’d be the God of extended deadlines. Very well said!

After the Q & A Gaiman did another reading of a short story inspired from one of his earlier works, and it was just delightful! 

Then, the signing began. 

Full House

Sigh. Gaiman is SUCH a trooper. I had gotten to the event just as it was scheduled to start, meaning I missed out on snagging a prime seat. Instead I was in the group of last 50 people to get items signed. 

Long Queue

There was a long queue. 

Once you made it to the lobby though, there was a last chance to buy any of Gaiman’s books from the beautiful display. 

Neil's Books

There was also the Seattle Town Hall poem to read too:

Town Hall Poem

I believe he started signing just before 9pm, by the time I got to meet him it was 12:20pm. 

Neil signing

He is lovely. So kind, sweet and engaging. I was very nervous and tried not to say much because I was tired, which mean he must surely be more tired and he still had a load of more people to sign things for. 

Neil sign 1

I shook his hand, thanked him for a lovely evening and then went on my way. 

Neil sign 2

I had him sign just his name on his new book and personalise my second attempt at buying and reading Neverwhere. He wrote, ‘Ashley, Mind the Gap!’ 

Neil sigs

Oh Neil, if only you know how well I can mind that gap. 

I will treasure them forever. 

Signed books

If you have the chance to meet Neil, DO IT, opportunities like this are rare and take advantage! Gaiman knows how to put on a show and he’s delightful to listen to and learn from. 

THANK YOU Neil for coming to Seattle! Thank you so much for doing a last signing tour and giving every fan your time! It’s greatly appreciated and YOU’RE AWESOME! @neilhimself

For those in Seattle, there are four more evenings of science fiction and fantasy from Clarion. Please check out their site and go. They’re on Tuesdays at 7pm. 

xx

Ashleyisee