'American Gods' Author Neil Gaiman Hopes To Raise $1 Million For Refugees. Here's What He'll Do In Exchange.

Dr. Seuss and The Cheesecake Factory menu will never be the same.

Neil Gaiman is the author of such books as American Gods, Coraline, and Stardust. He recently agreed to do a public reading if fans raised enough money for charity. But he won't be reading any of the aforementioned titles, nor anything else he's written. Instead, he'll read the entire Cheesecake Factory menu.

The idea came from fellow writer Sara Benincasa, who tweeted at Gaiman, specifying an amount of $500,000 to the charity of his choosing. The English author agreed, and chose the United Nations Refugee Agency, for which he was recently named a global goodwill ambassador. Benincasa hopes to reach this goal by World Refugee Day, June 20.


There is a CrowdRise page set up for the fundraiser, where Benincasa explains her very simply reasoning: "Have you heard Neil's voice? Mellifluous, I tell you. There's a reason he won an award for audiobooks along with all the 18,000 other things he's won as an author/screenwriter/producer/raconteur/hero."

The hashtag for this endeavor is #neilcake, and even the Cheesecake Factory itself has tweeted its support. Benincasa says the reading would take place sometime in the next year, either on stage or online. If it's on stage, she says she will sell tickets and donate profits to UNHCR. 

"Regardless," she wrote, "I will make the event available to the general public via livestream or a lovely video you can watch later whilst weeping at the beauty of Neil Gaiman saying 'avocado egg rolls.' "

But wait, there's more! Gaiman also agreed, per his Facebook page, to read Dr. Seuss's Fox in Socks if the donations reach $1 million. As of this writing, about $19,000 has been raised. There's quite a ways to go, but at least there will be cheesecake at the end of it.

If you want a sneak peek at Gaiman's Seussian reading style, check out a video of him reading Green Eggs and Ham below. Interestingly, the reading was in honor of another charity, the Worldbuilders, reaching a $500,000 goal. How Gaiman sounds reading impossibly long restaurant menus remains a mystery — one that will hopefully be solved very soon.

You can donate to the campaign here.

(H/T: The Guardian)


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