Monday, January 26, 2015

Neil, Himself

Post by Jenny

There is big news in the book world around here. Apparently, the good folks at local bookseller Old Firehouse Books lost their collective mind, kidnapped author extraordinaire Neil Gaiman from a Waco, Texas pet store where he was looking for a fortune-telling macaw, and will somehow compel him to perform a one-man-circus-tightrope-walking-and-free-tax-consultation-show in Old Town Square.

On second thought, most of the above paragraph must be from a dream I had last night (a/k/a The Wrath of the Tofu Enchilada). But the best part is true: Neil Gaiman is coming to Fort Collins. Old Firehouse Books won a contest by selling the most copies of Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane late last year, and he will be at the bookstore on February 6 selling and signing his new story collection, Trigger Warning

Way to go, Old Firehouse Books and Fort Collins book buyers!

If you’re scratching your head because you think you’ve never heard of Neil Gaiman, I’ll wager that you are familiar with at least some of his work, which is voluminous and genre-spanning. The Sandman graphic novel series. Anansi Boys. The Chu picture books. Coraline. The Graveyard Book. The film Stardust (based on his book of the same name). Scores and scores of short stories, essays, and poems. He has won so many awards that they probably now come pre-engraved with his name. And if all that weren’t enough, @neilhimself has 2.15 million followers on twitter.

I like some of Mr. Gaiman’s work very much. Some of it, honestly, is not at all my cup of Twinings. (I have the nervous system of a fainting goat and assume I'm the kind of reader for whom the title Trigger Warning was chosen.) But mostly, I am in awe. The scope of his imagination—from the lofty soar of angel wings to the darkest depths where nasty things creep and crawl—impresses and unsettles me. Drawing from the timeless and bottomless wells of myth, magic, and mayhem, he is truly a storyteller for the ages. Sometimes, I think I might know what it means to be a writer. But when I consider Neil Gaiman, I realize that I have no idea what it means to build a life out of words.

Find out about the Old Firehouse event here. If you can’t make that one, Mr. Gaiman will also lecture in Denver on May 19, as part of the Denver Post’s Pen and Podium series.

What have you read by Neil Gaiman?


Richard Keller said...

To quote the great Homer ... Simpson: Whoo Hoo!

Jenny said...

Yes, and as my son reminded me, Neil Gaiman has also appeared on The Simpsons!

Lynn said...

Serendipity! My nephew gave me The Graveyard Book for Christmas -reading it as we speak. Delightfully quirky.

Patricia Stoltey said...

I will freely admit I do not know anything about Neil Gaiman or his work. I guess I'm a hopelessly ignorant boob.

Kelly Baugh said...

Wow, thanks for sharing!!! I loved Coraline and also loved your fainting goat analogy. Had to post this Youtube link in honor of your inspiring literary device:

Jenny said...

Pat, I know that's not true!

Too funny, Kelly! I do the same thing when someone startles me with an umbrella!

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