Review: Interworld by Michael Reaves and Neil Gaiman

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Interworld seems to be the “forgotten” story written by Neil Gaiman – but I loved it. Fun, chaotic and wildly imaginative it’s a real Boys Own adventure of a novel.

Joey Harker is an ordinary young boy living a perfectly normal life, until one day he walks (not walks, walks) into an entirely different dimension – and chaos ensues.

I was a little concerned that there may be an issue with having two main authors, but unlike the other Gaiman collaboration that I’ve read (Good Omens – where you can literally attribute different characters to either Neil or Terry Pratchett) the book flows seamlessly. There’s lots of action and a few unpredictable moments and unexpected events that amp the pace up and kept me interested until the end.

The characters could have been a little better defined – as they are all variants of anti-hero Joey from different dimensions it was very easy to confuse them. However, the other characters (in particular the baddies) were described in such terrifying detail that I had a very clear imagine of what they looked like.

I can imagine this book would appeal to tween or teenage boys – although I am neither and enjoyed it too.

I thought that Interworld was a madcap adventure that was a hugely imaginative and fun read. As it’s aimed at younger people there wasn’t really enough of a story to get my teeth into but I would still like to find out what happens in the rest of the series.

Rating 7/10

I read this book as part of the Popsugar reading challenge 2017 #8 Read a book with multiple authors.

A Tribute to Terry Pratchett

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I’ve just watched the tribute programme to Terry Pratchett on BBC 2. It was a lovely way to remember his life and to say goodbye from his fans, friends and family.

I’ve loved Terry Pratchett ever since I was at university. My ex-boyfriend recommended him to me and bought me The Hogfather for Christmas (back when buying paperbacks was a thing). I immediately loved the inventiveness, the humour, the way that the story was a proper adventure.

The expansiveness of the discworld novels never fails to amaze me. At one point in the documentary, they show a map of Ankh Morpork and the level of detail is incredible. Terry literally imagined and remembered a whole world in his head. What a genius. I can’t believe that someone with such an expansive mind was so reduced by dementia.

From the documentary, I’ve learnt that there was a certain snobbishness about Terry’s work from the professional book critics of the day (back when that was a real thing too). I’ve heard great stories about mums who would say to librarians

“he’s never been interested in reading before he picked up a discworld book. Now could you recommend some proper literature?”

Apparently Terry was really angry about this and he loved to know that people had been put in their place (he referred to librarians as his dirndl army, which I just love). 

The documentary also focused on the lasting friendship between Terry and Neil Gaiman. There was a very touching interview with Neil where he was moved to tears (that Neil assumed would be cut) but that was kept in. I’ve read hundreds of comments on Facebook saying that seeing Neil cry allowed them to cry too. Neil also gave a really beautiful and moving tribute to Terry which you can view here.

The whole documentary is available on BBC iPlayer. I highly recommend that you watch it.

Review: The View From the Cheap Seats: Selected Non-Fiction by Neil Gaiman

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I listened to this book as a free audiobook from Audible (as part of a trial).

I have to say before I begin that I really love Neil Gaiman. If you haven’t read any of his work then I highly recommend it. He’s a great person, I really respect his opinion on a lot of things.

Unfortunately I found this audiobook a bit boring and repetitive. Neil himself says that he likes to plagiarise himself when writing speeches and this comes across when these speeches are read out in sequential order. I felt that this meant that the audiobook didn’t quite flow.

I recognised some of the speeches or articles included as I had read them before – I think quite a lot are available online so if you’re on a limited budget you would need to carefully weigh up the rather hefty price tag versus what new information you’re going to gain.

A lot of the topics chosen for this book were really interesting to me as a fan and touched upon his relationship with a lot of people that I really respect – Sir Terry Pratchett, Amanda Palmer, Alan Moore (Neil’s impression of his is appalling). Neil is very open about the specific topics that he’s chosen to talk about and writes with precision and humour. He’s not afraid to make himself look stupid and often refers to mistakes that he’s made along the away.

As a fan I would like to have known more about his family life, his relationship with his kids and his first wife and although frequently mentioned there is a certain boundry this is never crossed. However, in a weird way I think this makes me respect him more.

As an audiobook Neil’s voice is rich and deep – very sexy and full of intonation. Hearing him read out loud really adds something to the book. It frequently made me laugh.

I enjoyed listening to the audiobook but did tune out during the repetitive bits. I also found that it was a great place to find book/authour recommendations. I thought that it got better as it went on (perhaps showing how Neil has developed as a writer?)

Overall I thought that The View From The Cheap Seats is must for any die hard fan and that even someone who is not aware of Neil Gaiman would enjoy it.

Overall rating: 7.5/10.