Neil Gaiman

I am a huge fan of his writing. I love his comics, his novels, his blog. However. I don’t think I like the books he likes. Off the top of my head, the only novels I have ever picked up, simply on a recommendation by him, are Susanna Clarke‘s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell and Gene Wolfe‘s The Wizard Knight, boith of which failed to thrill me. I found them both obtuse and boring. Jonathan Strange was full of long chapters where nothing happens; The Wizard Knight spends far too much time using conversations as expository text. Conversations that often take place in dialect. Wolfe also spends too much time jumping around in time.

Artistic they both may be, but enjoyable they are not. They spend too much time being clever in the manner in which they tell the story, and not enough time actually telling it. This is where Neil differs. Like the late, great P.G. Wodehouse, his use of language is parsimonious and his timing perfect.


1 Comment »

  1. Nudecybot said

    I really enjoyed “Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell.” I thought it made up for the lack of plot movement with the entertaining use of the english language. It seemed to me a parody of the genre, although perhaps not intentionally so, at least it was at least methodically written in the style of british novels of the period. Which was amusing enough for me. I recommend reading it by candlelight in the countryside. Slowly. As such it doesn’t work too well in today’s instant gratification, TV/movie obsessed culture. ;) Incidentally I recommend you check out “Mediated.”

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