Friday, January 14, 2011

M Is for Magic, by Neil Gaiman


My first foray into Gaiman's short stories. Some are better than others ("Chivalry", "The Price", and "October in the Chair" are particularly enjoyable), but all are entertaining. He is rapidly becoming one of my all-time favorite authors, and I will most definitely be devouring any and all Gaiman literature I can get my hands on.

Fair warning though--this collection is not quite as lighthearted as the title makes it seem. Many of these 'magical' stories have slightly dark, unnerving quality that would not be out of place in a volume of Hartwell's The Dark Descent, and the book is, quite appropriately, dedicated to Ray Bradbury. Then, too, most of the stories are more about the journey than the destination. They're not long on plot. So if you prefer the tighter, more efficient short story, full of action and activity, this may not be the collection for you. But if you're willing to just relish the flavor and texture of the stories and soak up the slightly eerie atmosphere painted by Gaiman's rather prodigious wordsmithery, then I suggest you give this book a try. Preferably in audiobook form, since Gaiman's slow British drawl is a perfect complement for the slightly unsettling nature of these magical tales.

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