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Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors [Kindle Edition]

Neil Gaiman
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

Best known for his Sandman graphic novels about Morpheus, Lord of Dreams, Neil Gaiman has also written the standalone books Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), Never Where from his BBC TV series revealing a fantastic realm under London, and Star Dust, a poignant fairy tale. His shorter fantasies are regularly picked for Year's Best collections. Smoke and Mirrors assembles 36 of his favourite stories, prose poems, and verse pieces. Among the imaginative inventions here are a murder mystery set among angels in heaven; the discovery of the Holy Grail at Oxfam; warped retellings of fairy tales and folklore, including a Snow White that's black beyond belief; several clever variations on vampirism; a firm of contract killers with a very remarkable discount scheme; homages to Michael Moorcock and H.P. Lovecraft (one splendidly funny) that avoid mere pastiche; an SF world of rapid and reversible sex changes; Beowulf retold as a Baywatch episode; a tasty amalgamation of computers and black magic; a new final book of the Bible; and the grim wedding present that's simply a manuscript telling a bleakly different story of the recipients' unfolding marriage. SF/fantasy professionals themselves envy Gaiman's perpetual flow of new ideas and ability to put a fresh spin on old ones. Smoke and Mirrors is a dazzlingly varied and rewarding collection. --David Langford


'A very fine and imaginative writer' (The Sunday Times)

'Exuberantly inventive' (Kirkus Reviews)

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1824 KB
  • Print Length: 354 pages
  • Publisher: Review; Export Ed edition (30 Sep 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 074726368X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747263685
  • ASIN: B0049MPHXK
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (81 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #8,865 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Treasure Trove! 5 Mar 2006
By kehs TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Neil Gaiman is a master story teller, IMHO, and this selection of short stories by him is the perfect showcase for his talents. An incredible assortment of tales awaits the reader in this marvelous book - an old lady that finds the Holy Grail in an Oxfam shop for 30p - a little boy that meets a troll - the shortest but most haunting Xmas story I've ever read - the Jack-in-the-box that no-one played with......oh, so many and all are pure genius. My personal favourite is the very last in the book, which is a re-telling of Snow White and because of N G's version I will never think of her in the same light again. I feel that several of these stories have the potential of becoming full length novels one day - I'll just have to wait and see. One warning, if you haven't read any of Gaiman's work before you will soon become addicted after reading this book.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unsettling but enjoyable 4 Jan 2004
This is a collection of some of Neil Gaiman's short works. You could say there were poems and stories in the book, but saying there is prose, a rondel, long verse, short verse and some peculiar mixtures of obscure types of writing would be a better description.
A few of the stories are the conventional type but many of them are not. Most of the stories have a fairly dark subject matter - indeed some of them are truly horrible - but all are marvellously written, and most extremely original.
There's also a long introduction to the book with a small commentary on each piece plus an extra bonus story.
This isn't a book I'd buy as a present for someone unless I knew their tastes extremely well. It's not the type of book that everyone would enjoy - there are sexual stories, there are dark deeds and just the layouts of some of the pieces make them more different than some people would feel happy with - but I thought it was brilliant. Not every piece will hit the mark, but it's not the type of fluffy read you'll wonder why you bothered with. It's full of stories that stay with you for a long time.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the finest Modern Storytellers. 19 Mar 2002
There is something so absolutely compelling about everything that Neil Gaiman seems to write. I don't know quite how he does it, but I always find myself picking up one of his books and being drawn into regardless of my own freewill or choice. Here in this collection of Short stories stands a fine example of something that many writers these days do not always succeed in - Gaiman shows us how a story should be told. These tales may be short but each of them is complete in their own way, and even at their darkest they can be amusing, and totally engrossing.
I would recomend to anybody with a few hours to kill that picking up this volume would be a couple of hours very well spent. Right from his introduction Gaiman makes the reader feel a part of these little worlds he's created and somehow you just have to read them all. If you haven't discovered this guy yet - it's about time you did.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
From the very introduction, Gaiman allows your mind to speculate on what is yet to come. What is to come is quite impressive. Regardless of the setting, no matter how long or short the tale, Gaiman brings a touch of humanity to all his characters. With many short works of fiction, one feels that characterisation is lacking, but with Gaiman's work, you find yourself feeling for the character with a fee short paragraphs. While there are some stories that I feel could benefit from some polishing, the overal book contains stories that will entertain, and most importantly, *think* after reading them. This book is recommended for those who want their stories with impact and which wil leave the reader with where the characters may continue...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars 9 July 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One moderately entertaining tale in this collection- 'Chivalry'. The rest are drivel.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Difficult on Kindle 24 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
First, I am hugely biased because I love practically everything Neil Gaiman writes. There are some absolutely wonderful stories in here; for example, having read his version of Snow White I want him to redo all the old fairy stories (PLEASE!!).

However I really wanted to read his comments/commentary in conjunction with each story - to understand a little more how he writes and how these came to be written. In a paperback, this would be easy - just use two bookmarks and move them both forward each time. Yes, I know I can bookmark in Kindle but it's clumsy to keep tagging back to the commentary section and having to delete old bookmarks otherwise I got confused about which one to aim for. I love my Kindle to pieces but this is one book I'd have preferred to read on paper.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Neil Gaiman says it all 25 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As always totally bonkers and lovely what else can you say about this guy ? Never read anything rubbish of his
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4.0 out of 5 stars short stories 21 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
some of the stories are very deep and paradoxical,although i did find some of the stories predictable,its okay,read better,read worse
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