Smoke and Mirrors

Paperback, 400 pages

English language

Published April 10, 2005 by Headline Book Publishing.

ISBN:
978-0-7553-2283-1
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4 stars (79 reviews)

The distinctive storytelling genius of Neil Gaiman has been acclaimed by writers as diverse as Norman Mailer and Stephen King. Now in this new collection of stories — several of which have never before appeared in print, and more than half that have never been collected — that will dazzle the senses and haunt the imagination. Miraculous inventions and unforgettable characters inhabit these pages: an elderly widow who finds the Holy Grail in a second-hand store...a frightened little boy who bargains for his life with a troll living under a bridge by the railroad tracks...a stray cat who battles nightly against a recurring evil that threatens his unsusupecting adoptive family. In these stories, Gaiman displays the power, wit, insight and outrageous originality that has made him one of the most unique literary artists of our day.

25 editions

Review of 'Smoke and Mirrors' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

How do you give a rating to a collection of short stories and poems? A single rating obscures that I feel very differently about the different pieces in this book. Of 33 pieces (plus 1 hidden in the introduction, most were ok or pretty good (3-4 stars, maybe?) but there were a handful of standouts that were just stunning (5 stars all the way).

In the introduction, Gaiman gives a quick background to each story -- the origin of the story, some aspect of the writing process, or a note on themes or intent. It's an interesting window into the writing process that readers don't usually have access to. (Also interesting because some of the stories are actually about the writing process.) I have to say I enjoyed this, but it's not something I would want all the time.

My favorite pieces in the collection:

Chivalry. An elderly woman …

Review of 'Smoke and Mirrors' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman's novels and decided to give his short stories a try and I wasn't disappointed. They're short enough that I can read one before bed every night. There were only a select few stories / pieces of prose in the collection that I found myself not liking. The last 2 stories ended up being my favorite of a set so I was happy to read the entire collection in order.

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