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Published on May 6th, 2010 | by Ronan


Broken Spine #25: One Book, One Twitter

Many of you may have read Dracula or Dorian Grey as part of Dublin’s One City, One Book month this year or last. But now a bigger event is trundling into town…every town.

American Gods US Cover

One Book, One Twitter began yesterday, and is the brainchild of Crowdsourcing author Jeff Howe. The book chosen was decided by a public vote (which for once wasn’t rigged by Irish voters to be Roy Keane’s Biography or the like), and Neil Gaiman’s American Gods beat off stiff competition from Slaughterhouse Five, Farenheit 451, Song of Solomon, and The God of Small Things.

Howe stated “The aim with One Book, One Twitter is – like the one city, one book programme which inspired it – to get a zillion people all reading and talking about a single book. It is not, for instance, an attempt to gather a more selective crew of book lovers to read a series of books and meet at established times to discuss. Usually such ‘Big Read’ programs are organised around geography. Seattle started the trend for collective reading in 1998 when zillions of Seattlites all read Russell Banks’s book, Sweet Hereafter. Chicago followed suit with To Kill a Mockingbird a few years later. This Big Read is organised around Twitter, and says to hell with physical limitations.”

I haven’t read American Gods myself yet, but this gives me a great chance to do so. I have read some of Gaiman’s past writing, and I must say I was impressed by it. Anyone who hasn’t been exposed to Gaiman in book form, may however, have seen films of his work – Coraline and Stardust are both based on Neil Gaiman novels.

American Gods UK Cover

The author was in two minds about the selection of his novel: “Some people love it, some sort of like it, and some people hate it … It’s not a book I’d hand out to everyone, because the people who don’t know anything about what I’ve written and who hate it – who might have loved Stardust, or Neverwhere, or The Graveyard Book or Sandman – probably won’t go and look any further. But it’s happened, I’m kind of thrilled that I get to help kick off something this new, and I’m going to do all I can to help. Which, today, will consist of making sure I let all the publishers around the world who have American Gods in print know about this, and, over the next few months, sending helpful or apologetic tweets to people who are stuck, offended, or very, very confused.”

If you want to join in the conversation yourself, head over to twitter and follow 1B1T2010 while making sure to use the hashtag #1b1t

I’ll let you know how I get on. It should be great…

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About the Author

Music blogger turned book/TV blogger. Avid follower of the Irish soccer team.

13 Responses to Broken Spine #25: One Book, One Twitter

  1. Emlyn says:

    Fantastic book, and an equally fantastic author. Great to see it chosen for this 🙂

  2. Peter Balfe says:

    I can see where he comes from with the selection of the book. Its probably not as main-stream as some of his others by his own admission but it is Gaiman at his best if you ask me!

  3. Keleher says:

    Had never heard of Gaiman before mentioned here and on Twitter, suppose I’ll have to read the book 😉

  4. Emlyn says:

    I’d highly recommend it James 🙂

  5. Emlyn says:

    I highly recommend it James 🙂

  6. Emlyn says:

    Oops, apologies for the double posting!

  7. Sinead Keogh says:

    Reallly loved the book and loved Neverwhere and Fragile Things and The Graveyard Book too. Get yourself into some Gaiman!

  8. Emlyn says:

    And his ‘Sandman’ series of graphic novels is highly worth checking out (especially if you like ‘American Gods’) – whether you be graphic novel friend or foe.

  9. Niall says:

    American Gods is one of my top 3 favourite books ever. Love it to bits.

  10. Efa says:

    Oh I still havent gotten round to reading any of his books! This will be a good start i guess!

  11. Darragh says:

    Ha, gas, I just tweeted about this earlier and hadn’t seen this post. Love that wavelength.

  12. Ronan says:

    So is anyone reading this for 1b1t?

  13. Niamh says:

    Oh nice, I hadn’t heard about this at all! Must keep an eye out for the book at some stage 🙂

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