Over the weekend I read the Neil Gaiman book Neverwhere. It was a fun read. The story was well-told and interesting, and the characters were colorful, if shallow. The action was a bit swift, meaning that, in my opinion, Gaiman has the patience to introduce a conflict and wait a few chapters to resolve it, but he does not, in this book, have the patience to spend much time in the elaboration and telling of the incident itself. When a scene builds for several chapters, or for most of the book, and then completely unfolds in a paragraph or two, it is disappointing, at least to me. This sort of swiftness is why I cannot read most young adult literature. Being a Tolkien fan, I enjoy more description. One doesn't have to go to Tolkienesque levels of elaboration, but authors like Gaiman, Rowling and C.S.Lewis leave something to be desired in this department, in my opinion.
Having said that, Gaiman strikes me as what I'd call a storyteller. I like that about him. In this book, and in the book American Gods, which I read several months ago, Gaiman is simply telling a story. In those rare moments when I contemplate writing, I get bogged down so easily in the philosophical or social point I'm hoping to communicate through the story. There is something to be said for successfully communicating an underlying message in fiction, I think, but there's also something to be said for the pure fun of telling, and reading, a great story.
Beyond that, the book didn't leave me with many ideas. It was like watching a good movie. I recommend it for that reason. I also recommend American Gods, which is possibly more accessible to Americans vis-a-vis its vocabulary. Neverwhere is written by an Britsh man about London, and Americans may have a tough time understanding the lingo unless they have heard a lot of British media or read a lot of modern British writing.
That's all for now. Tell me what you think. Tell me what you're reading.
Later. Love.P.S. - I added a silly little post called Warped to my cogito writing site. Check it out, if you'd like. Thanks for stopping by.