Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book - Chapter 5 (by houdoken)
You won’t take the time to watch this entire video. It’s 37 minutes long. Nobody has that kind of time. The average person who visits this blog stays for one minute and thirty-six seconds. Did you know that? 96 seconds. I have your attention for that long. Can you read this that quickly?
If you listen, though, at night with a warm breeze drifting through the window and string lights hanging above your bed, you will understand what I think of as magic. You will know why I love Neil Gaiman.
I have learned, over the last several years, how to act around ‘celebrities.’ I visit comic conventions, our shop hosts a number of very talented and respectable artists, and I’ve come to understand that in general they’re just people who are put on pedestals by others. Exceptionally talented human beings, sure, but human beings all the same. The comic book world doesn’t factory-farm celebrities like the music industry; it takes a certain level of talent and hard work to make it. What I’m getting at here is that despite having a level head in the presence of a few very notable artists, I cannot imagine keeping it together around Neil Gaiman.
I have not read all of Sandman. I haven’t pored over every one of his works. I’ve read his stories about Death and I’ve read American Gods and Fragile Things. Still, I love absolutely nothing in the world the way I love the way he tells stories. I have the audiobook of Coraline on my iPod and it’s up there with the Dresden Dolls’ Yes, Virginia in terms of play count. I listen to it incessantly, even when random chapters come up on shuffle in between songs. I never get tired of it.
I’ve watched the videos of him reading The Graveyard Book a dozen times at least. The atmosphere, the voices, the way he keeps the audience hanging on every single word as they’re swept up in the ambiance of the story. It’s masterful. It’s all anyone could hope to do with their art. He captivates, and he makes you understand what it is to believe in the beauty of hidden things.
This chapter is called Danse Macabre, and it is the loveliest thing in the world. If you ever have 37 minutes, give it a chance. I won’t mind if you don’t love it, but I’d really love to know if you do.