Smoke and Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors - Neil Gaiman

I have always wanted to like Neil Gaiman's more than I really managed, but some of these short stories genuinely made a believer out of me. And some of them...didn't.


The problem with anthologies is how much of a mixed bag they often are. There were stories in here I would absolutely have given four stars to (Snow, Glass, Apples is a particular stand-out, along with Murder Mysteries, though there were a few others that I also liked quite a bit) and several that would have gotten only two or, if I was feeling particularly annoyed, one. 


Some of that is just me, admittedly: I almost never like verse, and it takes a truly gifted story or author to make me like it. I didn't feel like Neil Gaiman managed in any of the verse he presented here. 


Overall, I'm impressed with his ability to tell a good story in short form (that is a skill many lack) and I'll definitely pick up another of his short story collections, if only for the absolute gems among them. I think I might honestly be more impressed with his ability to tell short stories than with any of the novels of his I have so far read, which seems to be an unusual opinion.