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Prolific film, television, comic book and novel author Neil Gaiman will do a complete reading of the menu at popular eatery The Cheesecake Factory if his fans donate $500,000 to help benefit displaced refugees.
The American Gods author, a longtime supporter of the United Nations Refugee Agency, agreed to participate in a fundraiser for the organization after being contacted by writer Sara Benincasa on Twitter earlier this month, according to the Wrap.
“If we hit $500K, Neil has kindly agreed to do a live reading of the greatest restaurant menu of all time. It’s about 8000 pages, last time I checked,” Benincasa wrote on the crowdfunding page for the event. “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.”
Donations to the campaign continued to roll in Tuesday, with users contributing as little as $10 and as much as $150. The campaign had raised more than $74,000, or 14 percent of its $500,000 goal, by Tuesday morning. The deadline for the campaign is June 20, World Refugee Day.
Benincasa wrote that if the money is raised, she will arrange for Gaiman to do the reading in a public setting and will make a livestream of the event available online.
“You think you loved ‘American Gods’ or ‘Sandman’ or ‘Good Omens’ or his ‘Doctor Who’ episodes or the other 18,000 great things he’s written? This will almost certainly be better or at least involve more Snickers and Oreo references,” she wrote.
Gaiman has worked with the UNHCR since 2013, and was named a goodwill ambassador to the agency this year, according to its website. The British author visited a camp for Syrian refugees in Jordan in 2014, and later wrote about the experience for the UK’s Guardian newspaper.
The Cheesecake Factory is known for its extensive menu, which includes everything from pizza to pasta to “Glamburgers” to “Skinnylicious” options. In accordance with its name, the eatery also boasts a formidable list of cheesecakes and desserts.
Follow Daniel Nussbaum on Twitter: @dznussbaum