Neil Gaiman: Come Away, Oh Human Child ...

Marble Surface

Fiona Mackintosh

May 5, 2013

I might have been drunk on the book when I wrote this so, YMMV.

Also - I have not fixed the links in this because WIX's content manager doesn't appear to enable it ... I will keep trying but at the moment sadly you will need to google for the links.

Neil is the Travelling Storyteller. Some days, I wonder if he is Taliesin Ben Beirdd, Chief of Bards, reincarnated. Perhaps not. But for certain, he is of the Bardic Blood; a Druid in blue jeans. You have only to read his wonderful piece of poetry The Instructions, to understand that Gaiman is the Guide to those of us on the Fool's Journey. Or better yet, listen to him provide those instructions here. He knows the rules for surviving in the worlds of the elder gods.

He navigates this world, and all the worlds in between, and he opens the doors for those of us who may not know, or who may have forgotten, how to cross-over, how to walk the in-between. Gaiman is a virtuoso of the darkness that lurks beneath the fingernails of our civilized selves. He gives voice to the shadow of the wolf on the wall behind us, as she throws her head back and howls to the moon when the chain-makers and cage-crafters threaten her freedom.

Here is the review I just wrote of the Neil's last book The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

I don't often write reviews, but Neil Gaiman asked folks if they had read the book to review it; to boost the signal if they liked it. And so, because this may be the book I have loved the most on reading it for the first time and also the third time; a fall straight into love with it, a plummet straight over the edge of "I love this book so much I am buying it in hardcover" love, I am boosting the signal.

I'm not sure that the Neil needs a signal boost, but the man did ask. And he is a lovely man who loves libraries and who spins a yarn that will transport you to all the best of the dark places of childhood. He writes a lovely tale of terror and redemption, of memory and forgetting, of truth and wonder, of belief and knowing, of adults and children, of living and death, of the old ones and the proper respect that must be paid. All these things. And many other things but those are the ones that remain.

If you want a literary review you can check out author A.S. Byatt's review in The Guardian here and author Pat Rothfuss' review on his blog and goodreads.

For those of you who have children who like to read about the things that go bump in the night and how even when we are little, with the right help, at the right time, in the right way, we can come through the other side of the night, a little wiser, a little older, a little stronger - buy them this book. If this is true for you, even though mayhap you are not so young any more, this book is still for you.

You can check out Neil's website here.

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