Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions

4.2 67
by Neil Gaiman
     
 

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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

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Overview

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.

Editorial Reviews

bn.com
With winning characters and memorable situations, these short pieces evidence Gaiman's supple narrative touch, already seen in vivid relief in his Sandman graphic novels.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780380789023
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
08/30/2005
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
384
Sales rank:
124,191
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.96(d)

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nicholas Was...

older than sin, and his beard could grow no whiter. He wanted to die.

The dwarfish natives of the Arctic caverns did not speak his language, but conversed in their own, twittering tongue, conducted incomprehensible rituals, when they were not actually working in the factories.

Once every year they forced him, sobbing and protesting, into Endless Night. During the journey he would stand near every child in the world, leave one of the dwarves' invisible gifts by its bedside. The children slept, frozen into time.

He envied Prometheus and Loki, Sisyphus and Judas. His punishment was harsher.

Ho.

Ho.

Ho.

Smoke & Mirrors. Copyright © by Neil Gaiman. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

What People are saying about this

Stephen King
"He is a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him in any medium. His fecundity, coupled with the overall quality of his work, is both wonderful and a little intimidating."--Stephen King

Clive Barker
"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

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. Originally from England, he now lives in America.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Date of Birth:
November 10, 1960
Place of Birth:
Portchester, England
Education:
Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
Website:
http://www.neilgaiman.com

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Smoke and Mirrors 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 66 reviews.
AFrayedKnot More than 1 year ago
If you're a writer and you're feeling a bit down about your writing, do not read this book. Gaiman is one of those authors whose skill with language is such that you'll despair of ever being a tenth as good as he is. Some of these stories also appeared in his Angels and Visitations collection, but there is enough variety that it's worth owning both collections.
7hir7een More than 1 year ago
Before I read this book, I was under the impression that I just wasn’t really a fan of short stories. This book made me realize that I like short stories just fine, I just have to be a fan of who is writing them. I find Neil Gaiman’s style to be dark, gritty and masterful. Smoke and Mirrors is an eclectic collection of stories and poetry about everything from the holy grail to trolls. I think there’s a little something for just about anyone that likes fiction. If you like short stories, Neil Gaiman, fantasy, or just want something a little different, you should take a look.
xavier23 More than 1 year ago
I first ran across Neil Gaiman in an anthology Living Dead and then a few other stories here and there. He would always be one of the authors that seemed, to me anyway, to rise to the top. One of the great story tellers of our time. What a take on the Snow White fable!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you've never read Neil Gaiman's short fiction, this is the PERFECT book to start with. It is filled with stories that will stick with you long after the last page has been turned. After you read SMOKE AND MIRRORS, read FRAGILE THINGS. Or read FRAGILE THINGS first. Whatever order you choose, you can't go wrong. 5 stars for the master...
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I adore this collection and think anyone who reads it will at least appreciate Gaiman as a writer.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am a long time fan of this author, and i found most of these stories so disturbing that i amost didn't want to finish the book. Honestly i still haven't finished the book. This is a dark collection of stories. You have been warned.... avoid before bedtime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a diverse collection of short stories that can draw the willing reader into the strange and beguiling country created by Neil Gaiman. I first visited it when I read his novel American Gods and have since returned many times because I enjoy the experience of being transported to a place that seems far more interesting than normal everyday life. This collection contains themes and styles that Gaiman later develops to good effect in other works that follow, so if you like this, just keep going back. You've got a lot to look forward to...
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Guest More than 1 year ago
I liked this book very much. The collection of short stories were varied, unpredictable, imaginative with twists on the mundane that were thoroughly delightful.
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