Beatricia: Neil Gaiman gave us Death. The greatest gift of all. “The Sandman” is the most lyrically inventive graphic novel of our times, and Death, (unavoidable, pragmatical, and lovely), was the paradoxically vital force at the core of its mythology. So I’ll definitely make everyone read “The View from the Cheap Seats,” a wonderful collection of Gaiman’s non-fiction. There’s speeches he’s made at cons, introductions to other people’s books, toasts to the great artists that influenced him. A sensible book that allows us a glimpse at the wizard behind the Doorway of Delirious, Delightful, Desirable, Despairing Dreams.
Grandpa Felicius: Quite a grand and erudite read from a youngster who pays proper homage to those who preceded him. Here one may find encomiums of H. G. Wells, H. P. Lovecraft, Robert E. Howard, Bram Stoker, and Rudyard Kipling, as well as up-and-comers such as Samuel Delany, Diana Wynne Jones, and Terry Pratchett. Neil Gaiman is conscious of his place as a storyteller, and he’s a humble chap who acknowledges his fellow creators with admirable camaraderie.
Tracey: Liked some of the speeches inspiring people to write, but a lot of it was just back-patting his buddies in the field, and he sort of lost me for a while there when he defended colonizing, patronizing douchebags like Rudyard Kipling. “White Man’s Burden” my ass! “I hope you don’t mind me imposing imperialism on you, Gunga Din!” But Neil is cool, of course, and I’m gonna make you all worship “American Gods” pretty soon, wait and see.
Cousin Franz: There’s some repetition here, and most of the pieces are slight in themselves, but through accumulation one gets at the greater genius: Neil Gaiman’s ability to avail himself of a startlingly wide set of cultural allusions, British, American, and global.
Hank: Frankly, I thought this was just a random collection of blurbs and intros for other books. I’m surprised he didn’t throw in speeches he made for his cousin’s wedding. Why not drop his Amazon wish-list while he was at it? People used to call this a cash-grab.
Trent: MWAHAHA!!!!! OH MAN OH MAN.
Tracey: What’s so freaking hilarious, Trent?!?
Trent: What’s his name again?
Tracey: Neil Gaiman.
Trent: YES!!! HAHAHAHA!!! OH WOW. Say it one more time, pretty please.
Tracey: *sigh* Neil-
Trent: KNEEL, GAY MAN! MWAHAHAHA! ROFLMAO!!!
Blurbarella: “Wonderful collection — of despairing dreams — Grand–Genius– at–Cash grab.”