I started reading Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman last night and during my search for a Neverwhere link I found this article about Neil Gaiman entitled “Adults Deserve Good Fairy Tales, Too“. I couldn’t agree more. If you check out my Suggested Reading List you will notice that I’ve been reading a lot of childrens stories in the last two years. There are two reasons behind this behaviour: (i) When I was younger I didn’t do much reading so I didn’t get to read any of the children classics (Dahl, Milne, Baum, Lewis etc) and (ii) they are fun books to read and a lot of them, such as the Harry Potter novels and the Series of Unfortunate Events books, transcend any age barriers and can be enjoyed by all.
Back to the Gaiman quote. I have to admit that Neverwhere is the first Gaiman book I’ve read and it’s highly enjoyable so far. I don’t think he is the only author that believes adults need fairy tales. I have read several Clive Barker books which are very similar. I know when most people think of Clive Barker they think of horror novels, I know I did, but he is actually more of a fantasy writer. He includes a little bit of horror into the mix at times but all good fairy tales do. My two favorite Clive Barker books to date are The Thief of Always and Weaveworld. Another adult fairy tale writer is William Kotzwinkle, who wrote the screenplay for the movie E.T. I haven’t read very many of his books but from what I can tell they are very fairytale like.
I think that that as people grow older they stop using their imagination and start to shy away from fairytales and fantasy because they are seen as being childish. I don’t think that way and I hope there are more people like me (and I know there are). If you have any other reading suggestions I am always open to them.