It is a sad day in the Toland household. For today we must bid a fond farewell to Mr. Gaiman's Smoke and Mirrors. Oh, but it was a fun ride! And to me, it seems that Neil saved the very best for last!
Desert Wind is a poem. It's about a man that had been in the desert and had found an oasis. It was beautiful....and then it was gone. One day, he hoped to find it again.
Tastings is actually kind of an erotic story. It's about a man who makes his living having sex with women. And he makes a lot of money doing it. The reason he's so good at what he does, is he has a 6th sense of sorts. When he's with a woman, he "knows" what she likes. By touching someone, he can tell what her desires are. Until the day he is hired by a famous celebrity......
Babycakes is a short, 2-page story written to benefit PETA. According to the man himself, "it's the only thing I've ever written that has disturbed me". For the record, I know what he means. I was so chilled by the time I read the last sentence, I had to put the book down. So frightening were the words of this story, that I had to read it to my husband. (Mike then proceeded to ask me if this is the kind of thing I read all the time. No wonder I'm such a nut case!) There is nothing I can really say about it, except read it for yourself. And I dare you not to get chills.
Murder Mysteries is a wonderful story. A man is stuck in LA, trying to get back to England. His flights have been repeatedly canceled because of the weather in London. One night, in the strange city, this man was wondering around close to his hotel, having a cigarette, when a street man asked him if he could buy one off of him. He offered him a quarter for a smoke, thinking that was a fair price. The man told him to keep his money, but gave him the cigarette anyway. Since the street man couldn't take the cigarette for nothing, he offered him a story as payment. The story was a true story, the street man said. It was about angels, and the time before the world had been created. An angel had died, and this street man, who was really Raguel, the Vengeance of the Lord, was called by Lucifer to find out who had killed him.
And finally there is Snow, Glass, Apple. A vampire story. The story of a young witch who marries a king and becomes a step mother to his young daughter. A girl with white skin and black hair. A girl that is scary to be around. A girl that has a hunger. This story is a sort of weird, twisted take-off of Snow White....if Snow White were a vampire!!
In this final collection of stories, I found a couple of real gems. I love, love, loved both Murder Mysteries and Snow, Glass, Apples. Two of my favorites in the entire book!! Throughout the entire book, Gaiman has taken legends and folklore, and made them his own. I can't stress enough how much I love this man!! His writing is simple and beautiful. And creepy and weird. Fascinating and repelling. And I'm going to miss them!! I can't say I liked this book better than Fragile Things. I think they were both pretty evenly matched. But I can say, I now have a new appreciation for the short story. I will never doubt again that a short story can pack the punch of a novel.
With that....we bid adieu to this wonderful collection. Hopefully, you all enjoyed my reviews. If you haven't read this collection, please do. I'd love to hear all your thoughts about it!!