The View From the Cheap Seats is a compilation of Neil Gaiman's best non-fiction. Some of these are essays, some are introductions, some are speeches and all of them are thoughtful. In this book, Neil Gaiman shares things he believes, things about the people he is fortunate enough to know, movies, comics, music and more.
You might be thinking that Neil Gaiman is best known for stories, fantasy or science fiction works and why would anyone want to read 500 pages of speeches and introductions, who reads introductions anyways? Well, I always read introductions and hopefully you will too.
In The View from the Cheap Seats I have learned what I have always known, but have never put into complete thoughts; stories are important, stories have power. I have learned that words are magic that turn into ideas, ideas that can make you change the world.
In his essays, speeches and introductions about other authors I learned of the deep respect held for fellow mentors and writers. I also gleamed some insight into how authors work and develop ideas. Most of all, I discovered some authors that I have never had the pleasure of reading and have now been added to my to-be-read pile.
With any compilation, you could pick and choose which sections to read or individuals selections. If you do choose to read this, read it however you choose, skip around, devour or meander through, but I do suggest reading it all and letting the power of the words soak in.
This book was received for free in return for an honest review.
This is one of those books you give to high school students or beginning college students. The author provides motivational stories on making your own decisions about what you want to do with your life aka "make your own lunch". The book is amusing and well written. It's not a bad book, but I wonder how realistic some of the advice is.
One of my impulse buys from the library sale, I thought it would be a fun source of inspiration for new weekend activities.
As it turns out, the author and I are apparently on the same page when it comes to ways of enjoying a weekend: most of the things she recommends or suggests are things we already do, to some extent. Except learning to play the ukulele - er, no thanks, I'll pass on that one. Still, MT and I are guilty of the weekly Sunday shop; something both he and I dread, and even though we take advantage of farmer's markets, there's just always something on the list that can't be gotten without a supermarket trip. (We're not quite ready to trust online grocery shopping yet, either.)
There are a lot of good ideas here, helpfully broken down by season and all-year-round activities. While the ideas are universal to all, the main drawback is that the book is entirely UK-centric, providing liberal lists of UK sources and the author's anecdotes about great places to stay or things to do in the UK. The debate about how worthwhile it is to go to France to stock up on alcohol seems a particularly moot one to someone living in Australia (or anywhere else that isn't Europe for that matter).
Frankly, it's not a book I'd say is worth buying in the shops, but if your library has it, or like me, you find it for a buck at the library sale, it's not a bad source for ways to mix your weekend up a bit.
The author states that the aim of this book is to "bring to light the lesser-know aspects of well-known books, and to show how obscure and little-known books have surprising links with the familiar world around us". The book has generally managed to accomplish the stated aims. This book is a collection of bits of information and commentary (with toilet humour attached) about the best-known and the least-known books ever written in English, European and American literature. At first I found this book amusing and interesting, after a while it got rather tedious.