Wednesday, August 14, 2013

An Evening with Neil Gaiman - My First Author Experience

It's taken me a long time to write this post as the day after I went to Neil Gaiman's event, I flew out to Edmonton from Toronto to do a job helping out some friends and seeing plenty of old and new faces. I had a great time, but now it's back to real life (or at least another week until I work at Fan Expo Canada.) 

I've never been to an author or book event in my life and my friend Coles got a pair of tickets for us to see the show. Let me tell you about how Coles was the first one who introduced me to Gaiman's novels; I had started reading Sandman a while ago but didn't realize he had such an amazing collection of books that are just some of the most fun things I've read. His child-like wonder, imagination and unique storytelling makes him one of my favourites so it was only fitting that the first book related event I would go to would be An Evening with Neil Gaiman.

This event... was COMPLETELY SOLD OUT. I had heard that this was a rare occasion that the Danforth Music Hall's waiting line was so flippin' long. No, seriously. It stretched down the end of the road and around the corner, it was long but as soon as people started to fill in, the wait was cut down tremendously. We had some seats close to the front, and had a very good view of Neil's crazy hair! That's an important detail, really.

Neil is great live (which, I think is incredibly difficult to be an author in front of a large audience - how do you be entertaining to a live crowd of readers?!) He's everything I imagined him to be in real life; witty, humorous and engaging. He read passages from his latest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane and from his upcoming children's book, Fortunately, The Milk. I, myself, have a copy of Ocean, but unfortunately, I couldn't stick around to get anything signed as that portion, I imagine, would have ran well past midnight and I had an extremely early morning flight I needed to wake up at 5AM for. That was kind of poopy but I admit that just being able to sit in an audience full of people who admired Gaiman as much as Coles and I do was exhilarating. Speaking of an audience full of people, I also met Chandra from the Indigo Teen Blog - she was sitting in my row and after a few tweets, we met each other, said hello and she's super cute and darling! 
The reading of Fortunately, The Milk was one of the best bits, and I think I need a copy despite being in adulthood (but I have a feeling that Neil would tell me that that shouldn't stop me and really, I'm still a kid.) The Q&A portion was a lot more amusing than I expected as Neil was super funny and had some wonderful stories to share. I admit that he's one of those authors who speak exactly like they write and I think it's amazing he leaves that kind of impression.

I took home (or rather, on the plane with me) something rather unexpected from Neil. Some how, he managed to tap into the imagination that I had while I was a child, and a sort of poetic dialogue seems to be playing in my head when I see something in my mundane, every day life as enchanting. I would love to see him again in the future and y'know... actually get something signed from him and hopefully not before I leave for a trip across the country. Thank you, Neil Gaiman, for some books, a great live appearance and for inspiring a massive whole group of people worldwide!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Movie Mondays: American Psycho

And we're back with another Movie Monday!

Today we're looking at a comparison and review of American Psycho, movie starring Christian Bale, book written by Bret Easton Ellis.

American Psycho is an interesting, dark and satirical look at the 1980's Wall Street yuppies. The story is told in first person by the main character, Patrick Bateman who narrates his day-to-day activities as a wealthy 20-something investment banker. The dialogue goes from talking about his expensive stereo system, music, conversations about fashion with his colleagues to his murderous bloodlust. This story has created a lot of controversy, coming out first in the 90's due to the highly detailed nature of sex, violence and the treatment of others (homophobia, misogyny.)

Without spoiling too much, I have to say that I feel like the movie had more to it than the book could tell. Yes. That's right. I liked the movie better than the book. I felt like I had a hard time getting through the novel as the dialogue seemed to drag on and on in some places and felt that the pacing could have been greatly improved. Although I understand what these parts of dialogue represent, it's also incredibly difficult for me to not want to completely skip chapters.

I felt that the film itself was just a better portrayal of the ideas that Bret Easton Ellis was trying to convey, from the juxtapose of lifestyle to the details of Bateman's relationship with Evelyn. I think there's a reason when people mention American Psycho, they think of the movie and not of the original book. No need to skip chapters here to actually make a point here, folks, Mary Harron had the right idea when she decided to recreate this story.