Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman
Publication Date: 2008
Number of Pages: 384
A collection of 30 short stories (some less than a page long) and poems – some I liked better than others. I do think that the reasons why I didn’t like some as much as others had to do with formatting and style more than anything else. Some were poems which I’ve never really been able enjoy and others were all description and narration without much dialogue or personality. Others were simply too short to really form an opinion about – at least to me, I’m sure some could talk at length about the shorter works. There were also a couple that I didn’t like due to the subject matter. On the other hand the ones I did like I really enjoyed and was glad to have seen despite the other stories.
Below is a sampling of the stories I did like:
An Introduction – While the introduction mostly talks about the stories in the book and why they were written there is another story contained within called “The Wedding Present”.
Chivalry – an old women buys the Holy Grail and soon enough a Knight comes looking for it. An interesting tale and probably my favorite in the book.
The Price – a story about a cat who shows up on a porch every night showing signs of being in fights. I liked the way this story develops as the owner of the house realizes what is happening to the cat every night.
There are others that I enjoyed reading, only they’re to short to say much without giving away everything that happens. I’m not sure I’ll read more of Neil Giaman’s short story collections if the styling is the same – they just aren’t as appealing as his novels. Of course, given my reading preferences makes sense – I like the longer stories with well developed characters.