I didn’t even have to finish reading this collection before I knew it would be this month’s Book of the Month. Previously I’d read Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances, but decided I wanted to delve farther back into Neil Gaiman’s repertoire than this.
I have not been disappointed. But then again, we’re talking about one of the masters of fantasy here. Combined with his keen imagination and clever wit, his artistry and macabre sense of irony will have you rolling with laughter one moment and shivering with goosebumps the next.
One of my personal favorites is “We Can Get Them for You Wholesale,” a story written in homage to the late John Collier, in which a bargain-hunting city dweller, Peter Pinter, finds himself in need of an assassin. He searches the Yellow Pages and, to his surprise, finds exactly what he is looking for. On discovering that the company offers special discounts on large orders, Peter’s thrifty side kicks in. He cannot refuse a good deal, and hilarity ensues.
With his deft touch, Neil Gaiman will have you believing in the existence of magic amid the mundane: the Holy Grail available for purchase at a thrift store, a life-bartering troll antagonizing a young boy from underneath a bridge by the railroad tracks, and a cat imbued with angelic properties who stops at nothing to defend his humans from the supernatural evil threatening their home.
It’s Neil Gaiman at his finest, guys. Pick up this collection and give it a read.
Then drop me a line and let me know what you think. I’d love to hear which stories tickle your fancy the most!