By which, I mean that I am starting to read a new book.

Which is this:


Yes, if you’re going to read much short, fantastical-ish fiction, then you can’t really ignore Gaiman for long. I’ve recently finished a collection he edited, and have previously enjoyed Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things so, when I needed to bump up the value of my Christmas shopping Amazon basket, to avoid paying for delivery, I added this in for myself.

I like Neil Gaiman for a couple of reasons but mainly because I feel like he’s still ‘having a go’ at being a writer. His writing isn’t overwhelming, in the way some writers make you feel less of a person, because they command the English language so well.

People like Cormac McCarthyRaymond Carver  or JM Coetzee, who use the least amount of words necessary to covey multitudes. They make me want to never write again, because I’m ashamed.

Neil Gaiman sometimes writes mawkishly, sometimes clunkily and sometimes so overly Gothily, that you see right through it. I love this. When I read something he’s written which is powerful and lovely (like this) or just really bloody clever, then I remember that he’s still a working writer and doesn’t always knock it out of the park, and that’s encouraging for anyone to keep at it.