The View From The Cheap Seats by: Neil Gaiman | Review

The View From The Cheap Seats
By: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Non-fiction, Writing, Essays, Short Stories,
Rating: 3.7 rating
Publisher: William Marrow
Re-release Date: May 15, 2017

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling non-fiction collection, now in paperback, from the author of American Gods, now a STARZ Original Series.

An enthralling collection of nonfiction essays on a myriad of topics—from art and artists to dreams, myths, and memories—observed in #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman’s probing, amusing, and distinctive style.

An inquisitive observer, thoughtful commentator, and assiduous craftsman, Neil Gaiman has long been celebrated for the sharp intellect and startling imagination that informs his bestselling fiction. Now, The View from the Cheap Seats brings together for the first time ever more than sixty pieces of his outstanding nonfiction. Analytical yet playful, erudite yet accessible, this cornucopia explores a broad range of interests and topics, including (but not limited to): authors past and present; music; storytelling; comics; bookshops; travel; fairy tales; America; inspiration; libraries; ghosts; and the title piece, at turns touching and self-deprecating, which recounts the author’s experiences at the 2010 Academy Awards in Hollywood.

Insightful, incisive, witty, and wise, The View from the Cheap Seats explores the issues and subjects that matter most to Neil Gaiman—offering a glimpse into the head and heart of one of the most acclaimed, beloved, and influential artists of our time.

 

Book Review:

I enjoyed this book because the selections were so vast and progressive. Neil covers topics linked to movies, films, music, books and several other topics that range in a tone of positivity and objectivity, with an imaginative progression, even with the subjects he has less love for than others. I knew going into the book that I would read about pieces of his life and learn more about how he perceives the world, but I can honestly say that what I liked most about reading this book was the way the essays and notations were engaging, light-hearted, funny and engrossing. It was kind of inspiring, at times to read and feel his optimism.

I selected a few articles in this book that I knew I wanted to read and ended up just freely getting caught up in others. For most readers who pick up this book, whether a fan of Gaiman or not, I think this collection will have the same effect. I’d recommend this book for book enthusiast who also likes to get caught up in books that offer layered content without anything complex or overbearing. It’s a good book to have on your shelf to pick up to read at any time and it would make a great road trip book as well.

 

 

About The Author:

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and MirrorsFragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Find out more about Neil at his website, find all his books at his online bookstore, and follow him on FacebooktumblrTwitterInstagram, and his blog.

 

Tour Organized by:

 

Thanks so much for stopping by for this tour. Be sure to continue to watch this space this week 🙂

Until the next post,

Gia

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Orphan Black S3 Ep6 “Certain Agony Of The Battlefield” | Review (Spoilers)

Orphan Black’s Weekly Episode Poster (From BBC America’s Orphan Black site) ;-(

I have watched this week’s Orphan Black episode, “Certain Agony Of The Battlefield,” written by Aubrey Nealon and I am still not ready. I do not think I ever will be. Since this is still fresh in my mind and in the minds of all the Clone Club members, I want to first mention Continue reading

Orphan Black S3 Ep 5 “Scarred By Many Past Frustrations” | Review

Weekly Orphan Black Poster (Image thanks to BBC America’s Orphan Black Website)

In this week’s Orphan Black episode, “Scarred By Many Past Frustrations” written by Alex Levine we unexpectedly saw the roles reverse for Helena and Sarah after Sarah awakens in the Castor clones’ military camp in a cell next to her sister/twin clone, Helena (whom showed her no love upon seeing Sarah).

Helena revels in seeing Sarah trying to adjust to the all too familiar confinement conditions that she grew up in. In true bickering siblings form, Sarah pretends that she isn’t hurt by Helena’s rejection and tells her that she hopes she rots in her cell. Ever the sharp knife in the display case Helena replies with, what I think is the best quote in the episode:

Helena talks about her time in convent

“In the convent, I survived in a broom closet for four months. I do not rot.” –Helena

Although seeing Helena and Sarah interact with one another is always great, I am sad that my prediction about Helena rejecting Sarah was so spot on. Our #cloneclub sisters have to stick together against these Castor punks. Falling apart at the seams will not help up win this clone war, am I right?

Meanwhile, a rejected and alone Gracie finds her way to Art’s front door who takes her to stay with Ms. S despite Felix’s protest, Ms. S tries to make Gracie feel at home. As the baby clone bones  (believed to hold the key to saving the Castor clones lives) are examined, ‘Mother’ sends Rudy off to ‘have fun’ so that he and the Major, aka Paul do not clash when he arrives and discovers Rudy and Mark have brought Sarah to the camp.

Paul confronts Sarah

“All you had to do was stay away.” -Paul to Sarah when he sees her in her cell.

When Paul does return to the camp he is more than pissed to see Sarah there, which is understandable considering the lengths he went through to make sure Sarah was able to escape Dyad and be with Kira.  Even under the circumstances, Paul continues on to defend his actions and alignment with the Castor brothers because he, like Sarah, is only trying to help and protect her “genetic siblings” who too are sick and dying. The only upside to their interaction was that Helena is that she heard Paul admit that he traded Helena for Sarah.

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Meet The New Daredevil

Daredevil S1 Ep 3 – “Rabbit In A Snow Storm” | Review

Lady Justice from Netflix’s Daredevil’s Opening Credits (Posted by Kotalm on Reddit).

In this week’s Daredevil episode, “Rabbit In A Snow Storm,” written by Marco Ramirez, we saw our hero struggle with his morality as he contemplated the true balance of the law vs his version of justice. We also meet the New York Bulletin reporter, Bennie Urich and the infamously powerful, Wilson Fisk.

Alex Morf as John Healy surrendering to the cops.

It all starts when an eerily, calm and overtly confident killer, Alex Morf ‘s John Healy is arrested for murder, and Foggy and Matt are approached by James, Fisk’s right hand man, to take the case. Matt is immediately against the idea after James comments on Karen’s association with the firm (that and James’s eagerness to hire two un-established and fresh-out-of-law-school newbie attorneys with a large, up front payment). Curious to figure out whom James really works for and what he’s truly after, Matt agrees to take the case.

Vondie Curtis-Hall as Ben Urich (Photo from Netflixlife.com)

Meanwhile, Bennie (Ben) Urich, a New York Bulletin reporter,  tries digging up some information on a rumor spreading around Hell’s Kitchen of a new player who’s replacing all of the established and well-known ‘competition’ on the streets. Bennie is warmed by a close contact to drop it, and even pushed by his boss as well to give up and let go of the organized crime articles due to the decline of the newspaper market. With the added incentive, from his boss, that is could cost him his job, which could jeopardize the health benefits he needs for his wife.

Karen speaks with Union Allied’s attorney (Photo thanks to Theothermurdockpapers.com)

While Karen is propositioned with a legal ‘gag’ against discussing any further details about the Union Allied ‘incident’. And for her silence, she is offered six months pay and a legal ‘promise’ that states no future lawsuit against her will be pursed since she broke a non-disclosure agreement with Union Allied during her time of employment. Unsettled by this, Karen goes to visit her former co-worker’s (Daniel Fisher) wife in an attempt to unite against the formidable Union Allied, but Miss Fisher informs Karen that she too was offered money to stay quiet which she accepted. Morally plagued to tell the truth, Karen visits Bennie in the hopes that he’ll want to get to the truth as well.

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Orphan Black S3 Ep3 “Formalized, Complex And Costly,” | Review

Orphan Black’s weekly episode poster. (Image courtesy of BBC America’s Orphan Black Page.)

Well, who knew a dead castor clone could bring so many people together?

This week’s Orphan Black episode, “Formalized, Complex and Costly,” written by: Chris Roberts, set in motion a much needed Sarah and Art reunion as well as an interesting three-person-dissection teamed between Cosima, Scott and Felix over the dead Castor clone’s, Seth, brain and the secrets it possibly holds.

Art reaches out to Sarah after he gets a lead on the Proletheans, (Mark and Gracie.) This sets Art and Sarah off to track the two down. While following up on the lead, Sarah discovers from Alexis, the Proletheans’ former mid-wife, that Johanssen harvested Helena’s eggs and implanted Helena as well as his daughter, Gracie with an embryo. (To breakdown, or attempt to understand Henrik Johanssen’s clearly ego driven actions behind this would take too much time, so for now I will just say that it turns my stomach that he did this not only to Helena, but to his daughter as well. Not to mention the Proletheans belief in this act as being ridiculous endeavor.)

Moving on–When Art and Sarah’s chat with Alexis leads them to follow up a lead on Johanssen’s car, it seemed as though Art was sad and something was troubling him. Art reveals to Sarah that his last encounter/contact with Beth was on the day that she died and I got the impression that he was not only missing Beth in that moment, but also Sarah/Beth as his partner. He comments on how similar they are to one another.

Art talks to Sarah about Beth.

Art talks to Sarah about Beth. (Screencap property of BBC America).

Else where with newlyweds Gracie and Mark, Mark reveals his secret (or half of his secret), to Gracie and tells her that he was a plant for the military in the Prolethean community and that for him to “get out,” he needs to find something for them. Mark believes that Gracie’s father, Henrik, may have given the original samples (donor samples) to a former business associate, William Finch. Gracie offers to visit Finch on her own in order to protect Mark from Finch, but unsuccessfully returns with a box full of note books and old papers.

I say unsuccessfully, but in actuality I have a feeling that the dismissal of the note books and papers was a mistake on Mark’s part as, like with Cosima’s The Island of Dr. Moreau book, they  could hold the key or at least some information on how to solve some of the genetic deteriorating/glitches that the Castor and Leda clones are facing.

As Scott and Cosima cut into Seth’s skull for his brain, with the calm and collected help of Felix, Cosima goes on a cosmos/’what if’ rant about death that worried me. She is usually the most positive and put together one among the clone club. Even though she is up on her feet and back in the lab, her personality seems darker and sad this season. After coming so close to death and still being at risk, it makes me worry about her mental state through out the rest of the season. I also hope, Scott and/or Felix pick up on it, like soon.

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Meet The New Daredevil

Daredevil S1 Ep 2 – “Cut Man” | Review

Netflix Promotional Poster for Daredevil

And we are back with Daredevil this Wednesday. If the first episode wasn’t enough to make you fall in love with Matty (that’s what I call him because I feel we’re super close) than the second episode is sure too. The second episode, titled, “Cut Man,”  also written by Drew Goddard, piggybacks off of Into The Ring’s end sequence to bring us directly into the aftermath events of Matt’s attempt to rescue a young boy who was kidnapped by the Russian Ranskahov brothers. However, Matt’s valiant attempts we less than  successful as the episode opens with a badly beaten and bloody Matt lying inside of a dumpster.

Episode Review:

Cut Man’s theme centered on the mentality of being able to getting back up after you’ve fallen or been knocked down. Pulled from a dumpster and helped by a nurse, Claire Temple played by Rosario Dawson, with broken ribs, possible internal bleeding, stab wounds and a concussion, Matt unsuspecting gains his first Daredevil related ally.

The episode split it’s segments almost evenly in half between scenes of Matt with his Father, Jack and Matt attempting to recover from his critical injuries in Claire’s apartment, whom tries to adjust to the fact that a masked, blind man is acting as Hell’s Kitchen knight in shining armor as she patches him up.

Following the flashback timeline in this episode, we were able to learn that sometimes Matt’s father, Jack would agree to throw fights in the ring for a large payout in order to support him and his son, even though he hated it and it made him ashamed. Unaware that his father threw fights, in a scene prior to Matt’s accident his father tells him, “It ain’t how you hit the mat, it’s how you get back up.”

When Matt’s pulled from a flashback/dream of the past with a collapsing lung or a pneumothorax, (thank you, Google) Claire has to puncture his chest to release the pressure/air. She becomes even more concerned that his reluctance to call an ambulance will lead to Matt’s death. Matt explains that the people who work for the Ranskahov Brothers’ would kill a ton of people if he goes to a hospital. Matt reveals to Claire that he was trying to save a kidnapped boy, but he ended up walking into a trap.

Matt senses someone in the building has come looking for him and after Claire’s attempt to get rid of the guy fails, Matt (very casually) tracks his movements down a flight of stairs before releasing a fire extinguisher onto his head, knocking him unconscious.

Elsewhere, Foggy and Karen Page, (Nelson & Murdock’s first client, now new secretary), head out for a night on the town with a few bar crawls and we learn that after her ordeal Karen now fears what lurks in the shadows around Hell’s Kitchen and to a certain extent she has been having trouble trusting in people again. I thought the plotline between these two in this episode was fantastic. Looking at just their scenes, it was like watching a mini date between a really cute pair/couple growing closer.

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Orphan Black S3 Ep2: “Transitory Sacrifices Of Crisis”| Review (With Spoilers)

Castor Clones Tattoo(Image from: BBC America‘s Orphan Black website.)

Episode Review

Last night’s Orphan Black episode “Transitory Sacrifices of Crisis” Written by: Audrey Nelson, felt really dark, mainly because the uncertainty that looms over the Castor boys and how close they are getting to Sarah and her sister clones.

The episode opened with the Castor clone, Rudy bringing a girl into his hotel room. As if the Castor clones weren’t already pushing the extremely creepy button, when Rudy and the girl become intimate, Rudy’s brother, Seth, creeps into bed with them and I’m not trying to be funny. He literally creeps in and suddenly it was like watching Dead Ringers with Jeremy Irons as the identical Mentle twins.

The next morning Rudy and Seth get a visit from Paul who gives them each an examination, which resembled the voight-kampt test in Blade Runner given to ‘individuals’ to distinguish if they are human or a replicate. During Seth’s test, Paul notices when Seth has difficulty answering one of the last questions. Rudy chalks it up to a hang over and pushes Paul to drop it. After the test, Paul surprises the Castor boys with new of their planned extractions later that night and Rudy questions,“ Is that Mother’s orders or yours?” I feel that this was Rudy’s way of stating that he believes Paul hasn’t been 100% as loyal or as truthful as he is pretending and Rudy could suspect that Paul still has a thing for Sarah.

Sarah and Cal

Sarah and Cal have a moment in his new place.

Sarah, on the other hand, is surprised when Cal reveals he has bought a place and seemingly wants to put down some roots. And for a brief sixty seconds, Kira, Sarah, and Cal enjoy a splash of ‘normalcy’ playing hockey in their socks until Sarah gets a call from Art and tells her that a woman showed up and told him about a disturbing encounter she had with these twin brothers—Rudy and Seth.

#Teamhendricks “Down, but not out.” -Donnie Hendricks played by Kristian Bruun.

Over at #teamHendricks, Donnie and Alison talk over Alison’s decision to run for school trustee as they are still in a financial bind when Roman, aka the locate drug (mostly) dealer shows up and informs Alison that he will be ‘closing’ his business soon as he prepares to go off to college. And as classic Alison, tells her husband that and ‘opportunity’ has just opened up for them. The concept of Alison becoming a drug dealer is absolutely perfect. Out of all of the sister clones, I find her to be the funniest because her personality is so far detached from all things science related. She is so normal and stepfordy that when I watch her scenes, I know that she is going to surprise me. It is almost like watching an improve show.

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Orphan Black: S3 Ep1 – “The Weight Of This Combination” | Review (With Spoilers)

Orphan Black Season 3 Weekly Poster From BBC America's website(Image from: BBC America‘s Orphan Black website.)

The third season of BBC America’s science fiction drama, Orphan Black premiered on Saturday, April, 18th, 2015 with an episode titled, “The Weight Of This Combination.”  Written by: Graeme Manson.

Loose Episode Synopsis & (SISTER CLONE) Plot line:

When a Castor clone stirs up trouble in Sarah’s life, she soon learns that Helena is missing. Taken by the military (and Paul) thanks to Mrs. S and she actively begins her pursuit to bring her home. With Rachel out of commission, Delphine returns to take over her position at Dyad, but realizes that the position requires her to break things off with Cosima. However, things at Dyad for Delphine grow tense with the approaching arrival of Dyad’s cleaner, Ferdinand, played by the awesome James Frain. Ferdinand, as it turns out, happens to be close with Rachel, so Delphine proposes Sarah impersonate Rachel for his visit. Reluctant at first, Sarah finally agrees to do it on the condition that Delphine does all that she can to find Helena.

Meanwhile, Alison deals with mortgage payments and a snooty mom, Marcy, who is running for the school trustee. Classic, competitive Alison soon decides that she wants to run for school trustee to protect her children’s placement in the Glendale School District. When Ferdinand arrives at Dyad, Sarah/Rachel is dressed to impress (and intimidate) the sinisterly suave “cleaner.”

Sarah does such a good job at impersonating Rachel that the two agree to meet that evening at Rachel’s apartment to discuss Helena’s disappearance. Sarah/Rachel continues to push Ferdinand on tracking down Helena who grows suspicious of her intentions and questions her sudden interest in her sister clones when she was the one who wanted to get rid of them in the first place.

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