Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Why I Hate Neil Gaiman

Why? How can you not hate a guy who comes up with an idea that’s as evocative and brilliantly simple as The Graveyard Book?

I mean, there are some ideas that just fall from the sky and hit you like an Acme anvil. If you’re lucky, you pull yourself out from underneath and regain your higher brain functions in time to do something with it. If you’re lucky and talented, what you do with it will maybe even be good.

Neil’s very lucky, and he’s very talented. It’s a combination that’s easy to hate. When I say The Graveyard Book is Kipling’s The Jungle Book set in a graveyard, that’s just what’s called the logline. It’s the one-sentence shorthand that will let producers -- who have, in general, the attention span of a spider monkey on PCP -- immediately grasp the concept. (Assuming they know who Kipling is, a factoid I wouldn’t be anxious to put money on,)

No, there’s a lot more to the book than just a clever idea. I don’t intend to review it here, because frankly, it’s more fun to rant about Neil. It is, however, a piece of work well worth your time. But you knew that already.

Although he’s quite easy to hate in terms of talent, he is also, unfortunately, a very nice guy, which makes hating him somewhat harder. (Not impossible. Just harder.) And he and I wrote this book together, which makes hating him harder still. In fact, I really have to work at it.

The Graveyard Book. Buy it. Read it. I guarantee Disney won’t be optioning this one anytime soon.


Eric Orchard said...

Wonderful blog. Mr. Gaiman is luring people here from his blog with the great title for this post. Great writing, Mr. Reaves. I love your work.

pmrussell said...

You know, hating Mr. Gaiman is going to do some great things for your blog. After reading, though, I suspect, underneath it all, you really don't hate him. Which, of course, would take away all the fun of hating him, wouldn't it?

Pann said...

I'm here thanks to your great blog title, too. I happen to have recently written a much less coherent, much less funny, much less everything post getting all angsty about how awesome Gaiman is.

Thanks for the smile. I am writing my first novel ever this month in participation of NaNoWriMo.org.

Leslie said...

Disney would destroy all that is good and wonderful with this book, I believe. They should keep to destroying classic fairy tales--at least those have been around long enough so that they aren't lost to the madness. At least not for me.

And I agree. I hate Gaiman too, and I don't even have the remarkable credentials you do.

So, I suppose I could hate you too, but I'd have to read more.

Fimbrethil said...

So true what you said:) amazingly brilliant this Graveyzrd book.
Only I don't hat him, I actually love his work. heeheehee

S. said...

I think that love and hate are just divided by a very thin line. Sometimes pretty faint.

Marjorie said...

tee hee. I came here from Mr G's blog - also erally enjoyed 'Interworld', so would liek to take the opportunity to say thank you for that!

Rich Baldwin said...

You're so right; there are very few people as easy to get a hate-on about as Mr. Neil. The level of talent that he has, and his tendency to shove it in our faces in these beautiful books of his, and how nice he is - meant, I'm sure, to kill us all with kindness. The man is despicable.

And now I may have to hate him for pointing me towards your blog, which may go on my TV writing blogs-to-read list . . ..

(On the stem cell thing, by the way: it should be an easy one to get passed, and Obama will go for the easy victories at first to get up some steam for the harder victories. So you'll likely get your wish on that one.)