In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion . . . and anything is possible. In Smoke and Mirrors, Gaiman's imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders—where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality, obscured by smoke and darkness yet brilliantly tangible, in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.
Topics: Short stories, Retellings, Dark, Spooky, Adventurous, Mystical, Magic, Folk and Fairy Tales, Mythology, Supernatural Powers, Assassins, Magical Realism, and Gothic
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Which I did. I then kept reading it -- in our hotel, in the car, on the way to the beach, at the beach. My husband was getting so irritated at me because I was spending our vacation on the island of Oahu reading a book.
That is how great this book is. I picked it over snorkeling.more
This has some of my favorite stories. “The Goldfish Pond…” is probably my hands-down favorite, and surprisingly that’s the one with the least fantastical elements (and I like the “mostly a true story” aspect). “Murder Mysteries” is fantastic, I love “Chivalry” and “Snow Glass Apples.” “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar” is hysterical, even to someone who doesn’t really know a lot of the Cthulu Mythos. And there’s “Bay Wolf” which shouldn’t work, but he excels at the whole poem.
As for the rocking back and forth…hoo boy. One word: “Babycakes.” Less so, “The White Road,” and I’d like to find a copy of “Eaten” as Gaiman refers to the two poems as part of a triptych. I wouldn’t say that it’s completely disturbing, but a lot of the stories are extremely unsettling.
It’s a well-structured collection, and I recommend it for a good scare or just a deeper read into Gaiman’s work.