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Joan Kyler

I love Neil Gaiman. He's so right about escapist reading. If I didn't have books to escape in, I'd go mad.

Dark Puss

Indeed! Of course what he says is true of music, film, theatre and, I would certainly argue, all forms of thought. I try (not very successfully) to visit in my mind the worlds of the nanoscopic and, indeed, much much smaller - if that isn't escapism then I don't know what is.


Hear hear Neil Gaiman!
Escapist fiction has saved my sanity on many an occasion over the years and I do worry for young readers when so many of the lauded books aimed at them can be so unremittingly grim and 'real'.

Yes there is a place for books mirroring the difficulties of life, of course there is, but sometimes a different world to escape into through the pages of books for a short while can be the thing that gives them the space to mentally regroup and cope with the pressure so many of them are put under.

Sorry. I have put my soapbox away now!

Fran H-B

So often one reads of childhoods which were grim in their practical details. Where did the writer escape to? The world of books, often accessed through the local library.
I heartily agree with Neil Gaiman, books have certainly been my escape from everyday life from an early age, and I hope will continue to be so for many years to come.


Very true! Kingsley Amis said much the same thing.

Spade & Dagger

Maybe reading 'grim' books is also a form of escape for some young (& not so young) people, that helps them put their own lives into perspective. Then they feel things aren't actually so bad in the real world they inhabit day to day compared to the awful events unfolding in the books they read.

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