Despite the fact that the man has been on the NYT Bestseller list, and had Stardust made into a major motion picture, many of us Neil Gaiman readers view him as our little secret. It’s sort of like a little exclusive club of people who know who Gaiman is. (People who read Terry Pratchett fall into the same category.)
But that club necessarily gets bigger, thanks to the prestige of the Newbery Medal. Amongst literary types, the Newbery is a Big Deal. And that means that my literary friends who don’t read sci-fi/fantasy (and some that do) suddenly know who Neil Gaiman is. He’s not my special little secret anymore.
I do feel it necessary to issue a little warning here: Go read The Graveyard Book. Let your children ages 9-12 read it. But don’t expect the same family friendly fare in other Neil Gaiman books. Because, frankly, he’s got a lot of stuff that’s PG-13 and R, and you don’t want to pick up one of his other books, like American Gods, thinking that it will be a fun one to read aloud with your 13-year-old. Neil Gaimon is undeniably brilliant, but a great deal of the time he’s profanely brilliant.
I suppose that I can assuage my feelings with smugness that I’ve been reading Neil Gaiman for years before anyone really knew who he was.
At least I’ve still got Terry Pratchett.