Made-Up Bits

a personal blog, by Sven Seebeck -

The Thing with “The View From The Cheap Seats”

I discovered Neil Gaiman’s writing a few years ago and since then I consider myself a huge fan of his work. I have read so far only a small fraction of this work and even though I usually read his books in one go, “The View From The Cheap Seats” is one that is yet unfinished. I’m coming back to it from to time though and tend to read it only in small-ish chunks, like chapter or one at a time.

I find this book to be very inspiring and full of wisdom and amazing quotes. I’m confident that no other book I own, has that many highlights. And most of all, this book has cost me quite a bit money so far. I daresay, it is, not only my most annotated book, it is also easily the most expensive I own, and according to my reading position, I’m only somewhere around 30% into the book.

In case it not yet clear: I enjoy this book a lot.

What it is, is a collection of talks, speeches, forewords and more and it is extremely interesting. Not only does it offer into a view into how Neil Gaiman works and thinks, about the books that made him him and what not, it also shines light on other authors and works unknown to me.

Whenever he speaks/writes about an author, about a work, maybe even talks about how a certain work came into being, what inspired it, I have the urge to check out the work or author in question myself, and this is where this book gets expensive. Naturally this is not a bad thing.

The other day I read two chapters and ended up purchasing Clive Barker’s Hellbound Heart and Fritz Leiber’s Selected Stories. Neither I have heard of before.

Hellbound Heart I only knew by proxy, as it had been, as I know now, the book the movie Hellraiser is based on. I’ve seen that movie only once, more moons than I care to admit to ago, and the only thing I remember of it, is a pale dude with a spikey head and lots of chains.

I do though have the feeling that book and movie, as so often, because books are usually so much better, have not much in common. I might have to rewatch the movie.

Anyway, I enjoy coming back to this book to get new inspiration or simply to learn more about writing, stories, or on how to tell a story. But I’m now more than 400 words into this, and will now stop and continue with “Hellbound Love”, or the Fritz Leiber stories.

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