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This anthology of short stories, and the occasional story poem, is vintage Neil Gaiman: quirky, sometimes very funny, often dark and disturbing. Most have been published before, but are hard to find elsewhere and cover all of Gaiman's writing life. As Gaiman says in his introduction, "most of the stories in this book are about love in some form or another," but not requited love. The stories in Smoke and Mirrors touch on all of Gaiman's themes: sex, death, dreams, and the end of the world. From "Chivalry," about the Holy Grail and where it finally ended up, to "Troll Bridge," a very adult version of "The Three Billy Goats Gruff"; from "Bay Wolf," a story poem that melds Beowulf and Baywatch, with interesting results, to "Murder Mysteries," which is about a murder, but also about angels, God's will, and Evil, these stories leave lasting impressions. Fans of Ray Bradbury's short stories and of Gaiman's other works will enjoy this collection. --Nona Vero --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Imaginative twists on old legends and frightening glimpses into the impossible combine to form this impressive collection of 30 stories and poems by the author of Neverwhere and co-creator of The Sandman graphic novels. Each entry skirts the edges of a puncture in reality through which something dark and mysterious peeks. Then it moves on and the apparition is hidden away again, but not forgotten. The narratives follow a dream logic: The angel Raguel, the Vengeance of the Lord, can bum a cigarette off a youth in L.A. and tell him the truth behind Lucifer's fall ("Murder Mysteries"), and nonchalant assassins can be found in the Yellow Pages under pest control ("We Can Get Them for You Wholesale"). The bizarre and disturbing essence of the stories is highlighted by their background of absolute normalcy. Their prose is simple yet evocative, and Gaiman's characters are textured with well-defined personalities. Because the characters treat the unreal as ordinary, the eeriness of what unfolds has all the more impact. In "Chivalry," a woman finds the Holy Grail in a secondhand shop, and Galahad must trade something for it that will look just as good on her mantle. Demons take over London in "Cold Colors," because the devil has learned how to network and God can't get "saintware" up and running. The intriguing world behind these pages is indeed smoke and mirrors, just a step or a word or a story away from our own.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
I loved the diversity in these stories. Some of them were dark, others humorous, but all of them were worth reading.Published 23 months ago by Mira
Normally, I am not a fan of short stories but these were amazing. Even the introduction was amazing. I recommend not skipping it. Read morePublished on Aug. 4 2011 by Reader
Bought a second and third copy and gave it to 2 of my friends. Need I say more? This is an awesome book!Published on Jan. 12 2010 by Maria Nina Sy
Having of course been born in the twenty-fourth century and then thrust backwards through time after stumbling upon a temporal fissure, I have read this book. Read morePublished on Sept. 4 2004 by J. D. Bartlett
Wow. I haven't read this book, but that won't stop me from reviewing it: when I read this it is going to be AWESOME.Published on Aug. 30 2004 by Gregory Reed
I give it a nine out of ten.
What I liked about it:
Neil Gaiman is a terrific author. The stories were mostly crisp and kept me interested. Read more
In "Neverwhere" Gaiman seriously bit off more than he could chew. But in this book of short stories, Gaiman's intensely creative ideas and fantastic imagination are... Read morePublished on May 28 2004 by Rebecca
There is so much variety in this book you'd think it wasn't written by the same person, but it is, and how well it was done. Read morePublished on April 19 2004 by R. Nguyen
Most of what I would say has already been said in previous reviews. I would simply add my voice to the chorus that praises this collection, and add that Gaiman's skill is such... Read morePublished on April 4 2004