Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Book review: M Is for Magic by Neil Gaiman

The popular opinion is that Neil Gaiman can do anything and everything he puts his mind to: adult fiction, youth fiction, poetry, screenplays, regular plays, comics and graphic novels. M Is for Magic is a collection of short stories that will delight both young (the intended audience) and old (like me) readers.

Part horror and part fantasy, these eleven short stories are both slightly familiar and brand new, fairy tales for now. One of the stories, "The Witch's Headstone," is expanded upon in Gaiman's newest children's book, The Graveyard Book; the story that grabbed a-hold of me and currently refuses to leave my brain is called "The Price" and is about a stray cat who defends his adoptive human family from Something Very Bad. The other stories are:
  • The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds - a noir nursery rhyme
  • Troll Bridge - a boy meets a troll under a bridge
  • Don't Ask Jack - a creepy little tale about a creepy Jack-in-the-box
  • How to Sell the Ponti Bridge - a fantastical scam story
  • October in the Chair - a ghost story told by Hallowe'en's month
  • Chivalry - the most miraculous things can be found in secondhand shops
  • How to Talk to Girls at Parties - the most science fiction-y of the lot, but poetic too
  • Sunbird - in Gaiman's own words, "a group of people who like to eat things"
  • Instructions - an excellent little poem that seems to sum up all the stories that preceded it
I have decided to make it my mission to really delve into all things Gaiman, seeing how I have enjoyed what I've discovered thus far (MirrorMask, Neverwhere, Stardust and now this book here). Fortunately, I have a lot ahead of me - he's some wicked prolific, he is - and I'm setting my sights on Coraline (the book before the new movie), the Sandman comics and The Graveyard Book next.


  1. Hi! Friend Mouse Speaks,
    I love to read and most definitely,
    books by authors were the target age range is infinite!...I truly find your blog very interesting and try to check it out daily...hmmm...for a reason?!?
    Yes, I love to read and I also like to read other bloggers writings.

    dcd ;-)

  2. Thanks for the kind words. My literary tastes are (obviously) all over the map: pretty much anything but non-fiction!