The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Make Good Art by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Another captivating novel from Neil Gaiman. I think my favourite Gaiman work will always be the Sandman series, but I do love his novels. I continue to love them more and more. As a novelist and following his career over the last decade, I feel his writing has improved.

This novel was dark and twisty similar to his recent works such as Coraline and The Graveyard Book. There is always a theme of children and adults, growing up and magic. There is a deep theme in this book and others about the thin line between children and adult and who we are really.

He’s improved more and more as a writer. His writing has become more beautiful over time, and definitely one of my new favourite novels of his.

I think Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli could make a great adaptation of this work. I can dream.

Read October 6, 2013.

Make Good Art

This is little booklet is a speech Gaiman delivered at the University of Philadelphia in 2012. It’s been designed by a graphic artist so there is a strong visual element. I found the speech quite inspirational and it reminded me of things I’ve been thinking about. While it focuses on art specifically, you can apply some of the principles to every day life. I am considering getting it for my best friend who is an artist and would appreciate the speech.

Read October 6, 2013.

The Darcys and the Bingleys by Marsha Altman

It’s rather funny that there is an actual a niche fanfiction industry from Pride and Prejudice. I’ve read a few of these novels now, and even more so, fanfiction. I saw this come up on my GR and I thought, why not?

This novel is, in fandom words, mostly fluff. It’s many happy moments between the two families. Lots of people being happily married after. The “Darcy is a cheap drunk” trope is employed and there are babies. New characters are introduced toward the end with a plot with a Scottish tint, but most of this story is happy Darcy times.

As far as published fanfiction goes, it was alright. It had cute moments and most of the canon characters were in tact. I did find issue with some anachronisms and the original characters. Also, the second half of the novel focussed a lot on Miss Bingley, one of my least preferred supporting characters.

There are sequels, but my library does not have them. It was a nice P&P sequel, but I don’t think I would commit to it as a series.

Read September 21-30 2013.

Booking Through Thursday – Pointed

Which is better (or preferred) … stories with multiple character points of view? Or stories that stick to just one or two at most? And, why?

This question reminded me about the popular Song of Fire & Ice series by George R. R. Martin which does the multiple character POVs to the hilt perhaps to the annoyance of some readers. I don’t think it’s bad when an author can do it well. Martin does for the most part, and the format of multiple POVs works very well for movies or TV shows since you can see how the stories and characters come together. In a book, it can be more difficult to do successfully I think. In many ways, I feel like I know and like a couple of characters more than the other so when time is focused on ones I like less, it can drag a little bit. Ensemble dramas work well on TV because there is something for everyone, but even then, I can’t stand how certain central characters get overlooked or pushed aside for others.

Multiple POVs also work well in comics and graphic novels. I think for world building, fantasy and sci-fi, it is a very good technique. For other things, I do not mind the convention of knowing a couple of characters very well.

What are your thoughts?

Batman: Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite graphic novel authors. I have read Sandman and 1604. When I found out, he wrote a Batman novel, I knew I had to try to read it.

I grew up watching “Batman: The Animated Series” and the DC Animated Universe. I am very fond of “Justice League” and “Justice League Unlimited”. As a result, Batman is one of my favourite fictional characters, and my Batman will always be Kevin Conroy’s. I have read some of the Batman popular novels, but I have never been a true comic book reader.

This review is mostly about things that aren’t this graphic novel. There is not much to say about it really. It’s not bad, but it’s the kind of work you have to read for yourself.

This is a “last” Batman story. There won’t ever be one of those really, but it’s an interpretative work about the life and legacy of the Batman. I liked some of the moments and it was metaphorical at times. I think some true Batman fans will understand appreciate the sentiment behind it.

Not an essential Gaiman work, but interesting Batman appreciators.

Read September 21 2013.