Thursday, March 5, 2009


I was watching my son playing on the computer, as I picked up Neil Gaiman and Michael Reave's InterWorld. For some reason I decided to start reading it aloud, possibly in the hope that he might listen. Boy, did I nail that one. I had not read much past the first chapter (to which he was obviously listening) when he was sitting on the end of the bed, and not much more before he was reading the lines on the pages as I spoke them (even correcting me a few times). About halfway through he commented, "Boy, this Gaiman is really a good writer." From then on into was no chore to get him finished with necessary things in order to read the next installment. I wonder if I am doing the right thing, steering him deeper into the fantasy/sci-fi world, but I want to engage him and continue to keep him reading.

I enjoyed the story almost as much as he did. Joey Harker discovers that there are an almost infinite number of earths, and that he (and numerous alternate versions of himself) plays a cental role in the fate of the universes. He has a special ability that draws a host on nasty villians down upon him, and he struggles with some of the normal concerns a teenager might have, especially if under major stress. The story is a bit egotistical and fantastical, but it is delightful nonetheless. Gaiman employs some elements from other books, such as the flying pirate ships (I still chuckle when I think about the turn De Niro had as a cross-dressing sky pirate in the movie version of Gaiman's Stardust). I don't think this book is his most challenging, but it is very good for a youngster. I must admit that I had some trouble with the science and wording at times. I will also add that I got the feeling that the editors let the authors down, because there simply were too many grammatical and spelling errors in the latter 1/4 of the book; it seems that whoever was responsible for that fell down on the job. Still, the minor errors were easily passed over. I believe that there will be a sequel. No doubt my son would love that too. I am wondering if he can handle some of the stronger stuff Gaiman writes. I am going to read his recent Graveyard book and see if it will be appropriate for Joey. I hope so.

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