Friday Link: Ghosts in the Machines by Neil Gaiman

Happy Friday-before-Halloween!

I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman’s writing. I like it, enough that I’ve read all of his novels and many of his short stories, but I don’t love everything about it. One thing I do love, though, is that he writes like an oral storyteller. If you’ve heard him read (which he does beautifully — see end of post!), then go and find something else he’s written, you can hear his literal voice behind the words. The language, the rhythms…well, here:

We are gathered here at the final end of what Bradbury called the October Country: a state of mind as much as it is a time. All the harvests are in, the frost is on the ground, there’s mist in the crisp night air and it’s time to tell ghost stories.

When I was growing up in England, Halloween was no time for celebration. It was the night when, we were assured, the dead walked, when all the things of night were loosed, and, sensibly, believing this, we children stayed at home, closed our windows, barred our doors, listened to the twigs rake and patter at the window-glass, shivered, and were content.

That’s from an article of his, recently posted at Read the rest.

If you haven’t heard him read, that’s easily remedied. You can listen to him read his Newbery Award-winning novel The Graveyard Book, chapter by chapter, here.

Okay, I’m out for the weekend. See you back here on Monday!



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