Tuesday, 27 March 2007

Neil Gaiman

I've been sitting up writing a review, but keep being distracted by Neil Gaiman's Fragile Things, short stories which I've been sent in paperback (they come out in Britain on April 12). He's awfully good, and the writing has a quality of effortlessness which makes you seethe with envy. He's so productive, he may even find it as easy as he makes it look, though I doubt that. They're too good.
And they're true, as well. A lovely, creepy story called Closing Time uses the club story framing device and I kept thinking as I read the club bit, which is set in the Diogenes Club, a drinking den off the Tottenham Court Road, that it must be the Troy Club in Hanway Place, where I used to drink when I drank.
(And boy, did I drink. You think you drink? Amateurs, rank amateurs, the lot of you. And people who know me and thought I drank a lot? You don't know the half of it. I was only toying with you on those occasions. That was hardly drinking at all. But I digress. And I haven't even been drinking, because I don't, any more. But you could go at it hell for leather for the rest of your lives and you won't even be close to catching up. Pshaw.)
Sure enough, when I read the introduction, it was the Troy Club. I felt pleased with myself for 10 seconds, then realised I had nothing to feel pleased about. it was bloody obvious it was the Troy Club, because in about half a page, Gaiman had got it completely nailed.
I have never read any of his comics, which is where he started, because I haven't ever really read comics much until very recently. Hence ordering Judge Dredd in bulk. I'm filling in a gap in my education. But I think I'd better go and buy all the Sandman stuff.
Gaiman should tear a strip off the publicity people though. In the press release for Fragile Things, they quote my review of Anansi Boys (I'm called Daily Telegraph for the purposes of those plugs). No wonder. It was a hymn of praise. But they spell Wodehouse Woodhouse. I'd like to stress that the original review did not.

sf: Air, Geoff Ryman
crime: The Moving Toyshop, Edmund Crispin
to discover: Climbers, M John Harrison (anything by M John Harrison, actually)
music: Walton's Viola Concerto, William Primrose

5 comments:

Mark Reep said...

My mother, like most wise women, has her sayings- Among which is 'Easy reading is hard writing.' Like Gaiman, Harrison (whose link I followed here), you make good writing look easy, too. Great blog; you're bookmarked. All the best!

mckie said...

What a very generous message. I liked your drawings, too, and hope to inspect your blog more carefully soon and often. Best aye.

Anonymous said...

Interesting. Hanway Place is mentioned in Neil's Neverwhere...go Google if this isn't clear...

Anonymous said...

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