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Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusionsby Neil Gaiman
If you've only read The Sandman, you're cheating yourself, but if you haven't read Gaiman at all, it's simply a crime. Smoke and Mirrors is his first — and, I think, best — short story collection, with not a bad story in the lot. The best are the charming grail story "Chivalry," the short and creepy "Babycakes," and the harrowing ode to cats "The Price," but "Only the End of the World Again" and "Snow, Glass, Apples" shine brightly as well.
Synopses & Reviews
In the deft hands of Neil Gaiman, magic is no mere illusion...and anything is possible.
In this, Gaiman's first book of short stories, his imagination and supreme artistry transform a mundane world into a place of terrible wonders — a place where an old woman can purchase the Holy Grail at a thrift store, where assassins advertise their services in the Yellow Pages under "Pest Control," and where a frightened young boy must barter for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks. Explore a new reality — obscured by smoke and darkness, yet brilliantly tangible — in this extraordinary collection of short works by a master prestidigitator. It will dazzle your senses, touch your heart, and haunt your dreams.
"[Gaiman] is, simply put, a treasure house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any medium." Stephen King
"A whopping collection....
"Poe would love him....A box of bonbons for dark fantasy fans, and a strong successor to Neverwhere." Booklist
"Imaginative twists on old legends and frightening glimpses into the impossible combine to form this impressive collection....The intriguing world behind these pages is indeed smoke and mirrors, just a step or a word or a story away from our own." Publishers Weekly
"Highly imaginative...readers will find echoes of H.P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, but the voice is all Gaiman." Dallas Morning News
"Gaiman is a star. He constructs stories like some demented cook might make a wedding cake, building layer upon layer, including all kinds of sweet and sour in the mix." Clive Barker
"Short stories guaranteed to excite the senses and inflame the imagination..." Book Alert
"Gaiman's incantatory storytelling ignites both the bitter and the sweet and its smoke twists and seeps into dark corners, wafts into the light and amusing, even wends poignantly into the heart: nothing he writes should be missed." HorrorOnline.com
In Neil Gaiman's richly imagined fiction, anything is possible. And the proof is in the telling in this extraordinary collection of short stories. Discover within these pages miraculous inventions and curious characters: an elderly widow who finds the Holy Grail tucked beneath an old fur coat in a thrift store, a terrified boy who barters for his life with a mean-spirited troll living beneath a bridge by the railroad tracks, a young couple who receives a wedding gift that gradually reveals a chilling alternative history of their marriage. Smoke and Mirrors will dazzle your senses, touch your heart — and haunt your dreams.
Now available in paperback — the definitive collection of short stories that reveals one of the world's most gifted fantasy writers at the peak of his form.
About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the critically acclaimed author of the novels American Gods, Neverwhere, and Stardust, and the Sandman series of graphic novels, as well as Coraline, a novel for readers of all ages. His newest novel is Anansi Boys. Originally from England, Gaiman now lives in America.
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