Smoke & Mirrors – Neil Gaiman

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Neil Gaiman is a messy-haired white male author trapped in the body of an identical white male author with perhaps even less-tidy hair. His books and comics have won many awards. He thanks you for your offer of a comb but does not believe it would do any good. Despite being English, he lives more in America than he does anywhere else in the world, and is currently somewhere in his mid-forties. He wrote this book especially for you.

The book in one sentence: A collection of bizarre short stories, ranging from the macabre to the erotic.

Who would you recommend it to: Neil Gaiman fans.

OK bits: The Wedding Present, Chivalry, Nicholas was…, The Price, The Goldfish Pool & Other Stories, Changes, Looking for the Girl

Boring bits: Troll Bridge, Don’t Ask Jack, The Facts in the Case of the Departure of Miss Finch, Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar, Only the End of the World Again

Random review quote:

“You long for writers like Neil Gaiman: his vision is so personal and idiosyncratic. And unexpected…” — Chris Carter (creator of The X-files series?)

Verdict: When I read the first story The Wedding Present, I thought he’s like Roald Dahl. The more I read, the more distinctive Gaiman’s stories are from Dahl’s. That said, give me Dahl over Gaiman any day; I just don’t quite get his stories sometimes.

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