Skip to main content

Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman

Originally published in April 2005, on my original 52 Books blog.


I just finished reading this collection of short stories and poetry by Neil Gaiman. Previously, I had read Stardust, Neverwhere, American Gods, Good Omens (collaboration with Terry Pratchett) and the Sandman comics and enjoyed all of them, as well as his illustrated children’s books, Coraline and The Wolves in the Walls.

(I don't have the book with me, so there may be some errors in the story titles below.)


The stories and poems in this collection are mostly fantasy, and in fact there are stories for lovers of just about any subgenre of fantasy. You will find humorous stories (Chivalry, Bay Wolf, Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar), dark stories (Only the end of the world again, The White Road), supernatural stories (The wedding present, The daughter of owls, Black cat), weird stories (Eaten alive, The facts in the disappearance of Miss Finch), folkloric stories (Troll bridge, The white road, Snow, glass, apples), detective stories (Murder mysteries, Bay Wolf), horror stories (Snow, glass, apples, Eaten alive), vampire stories, werewolf stories. Gaiman plays with themes familiar from his novels and graphic novels: myths, legends and folktales, literature (Beowulf, HP Lovecraft, Oscar Wilde), popular culture, sex, blood, and death.

The stories and poems vary, but the overall quality is quite good. 3+ stars.

Comments

Dorte H said…
I don´t read short stories often, but as I was highly impressed by Coraline, I am tempted.

I am also beginning to learn that if you are pressed for time, it´s a good idea to read short stories to review on your blog ;)
Bibliophile said…
What I like best about collections like this one is that you can take as long as you like to finish them and not lose the thread.

Popular posts from this blog

How to make a simple origami bookmark

Here are some instructions on how to make a simple origami (paper folding) bookmark:

Take a square of paper. It can be patterned origami paper, gift paper or even office paper, just as long as it’s easy to fold. The square should not be much bigger than 10 cm/4 inches across, unless you intend to use the mark for a big book. The images show what the paper should look like after you follow each step of the instructions. The two sides of the paper are shown in different colours to make things easier, and the edges and fold lines are shown as black lines.


Fold the paper in half diagonally (corner to corner), and then unfold. Repeat with the other two corners. This is to find the middle and to make the rest of the folding easier. If the paper is thick or stiff it can help to reverse the folds.



Fold three of the corners in so that they meet in the middle. You now have a piece of paper resembling an open envelope. For the next two steps, ignore the flap.



Fold the square diagonally in two. You…

List love: A growing list of recommended books with elderly protagonists or significant elderly characters

I think it's about time I posted this, as I have been working on it for a couple of months.
I feel there isn’t enough fiction written about the elderly, or at least about the elderly as protagonists. The elderly in fiction tend to be supporting characters, often wise elders (such as  Dumbledore in the Harry Potter books) or cranky old neighbour types (e.g. the faculty of Unseen University in the Discworld series) or helpless oldsters (any number of books, especially children’s books) for the protagonist to either help or abuse (depending on whether they’re a hero or not).
Terry Pratchett has written several of my favourite elderly protagonists and they always kick ass in one way or another, so you will see several of his books on this list, either as listed items or ‘also’ mentions.
Without further ado: Here is a list of books with elderly protagonists or significant, important elderly characters. I leave it up to you to decide if you’re interested or not, but I certainly enjoyed…

Reading report for January 2014

Here it is, finally: the reading report for January. (February‘s report is in the works: I have it entered into Excel and I just need to transfer it into Word, edit the layout and write the preface. It will either take a couple of days or a couple of months).

I finished 26 books in January, although admittedly a number of them were novellas. As I mentioned in my previous post, I delved into a new(ish) type of genre: gay (or M/M) romance. I found everything from genuinely sweet romance to hardcore BDSM, in sub-genres like fantasy, suspense and mystery and even a quartet of entertaining (and unlikely) rock star romances. Other books I read in January include the highly enjoyable memoir of cooking doyenne Julia Child, two straight romances, and Jennifer Worth‘s trilogy of memoirs about her experiences as a midwife in a London slum in the 1950s. I also watched the first season of the TV series based on these books and may (I say 'may') write something about this when I have finis…