Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Mythic Fiction and Magical Realism

It didn’t dawn on me that Neil Gaiman was the original author of the Coraline novel until we watched the movie in class. I never realized that he had such expansive list of his works for not just his own novels, but also for film and television. The story is told very well, in a rather dreamy manner. I loved the movie when I originally saw it, and the transitions between worlds. (It makes sense that Coraline’s parents were writers, since he based all the characters off his own life.)

Neil Gaiman is a rather intriguing fellow. I agree with what he says about children’s fiction really being the best. Honestly, I started reading Anansi Boys and thought it was okay. I mean, the story seems like an interesting concept, and it’s introduced in a cunning way. Oh this apathetic guy named Fat Charlie leads a rather mundane life, until one day he figures out of his father’s passing in an unusual and embarrassing manner. Not that that was really any different from how he was embarrassed by his father while growing up. He also figures out that he has a long lost twin brother named Spider, who can only be summoned by asking an arachnid. Spider is the exact opposite of his brother, charming, witty. Fat Charlie’s life is therefore changed and has to adjust with all these changes. Oh by the way, did I mention his brother takes his fiancé away from him, as well as other facets of his life? The story is an interesting idea, but I find Gaiman’s children’s fiction to be so much more intriguing. I do enjoy the way he writes, as it is easy to get into. I really want to get his Graveyard Book, as well as read the original Coraline book.

Gaiman is definitely a traditional storyteller in the act of telling a mythical folktale without explaining how things happened. I’d like to see Mirrormask too, but apparently the actor that was casted to be the protagonist is older than the character calls for. She’s an older teen, when really a pre-teen should’ve been casted for the part. I’m definitely looking forward to checking out more of Neil Gaiman’s work, as well as others within the genre.

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