Life...The Most Complicated Thought

The unexamined life is not worth living. ~Socrates

More Neil Gaiman - M is for Magic

Neil Gaiman has become one of my favorite authors. I think I have said that enough times and I will continue to say it until I am done with all his books. So far I have read the following:

1. Coraline (Audio CD)
2. Odd and the Frosted Giants (Audio CD)
3. The Graveyard Book (Audio CD)
4. M is for Magic - Hardcover (Reviewing now)

Currently I am reading Coraline Graphic Novel. I can't wait to check out his other books.

Well...here is a review of M is for Magic. The book is a collection of short children stories. Before I start on the content of the stories, I must say one thing. I feel that Neil Gaiman books are better in audio cd format than paper format. I think Neil Gaiman brought the other books to life by narrating them. When authors are writing the novels, they have a certain personality in mind for each character. Neil Gaiman got a chance to portray those personalities through the audio books. So when I read M is for Magic, it didn't have Neil Gaiman's "magic" in it. For some reason I couldn't connect with the stories as I did with his other works. I strongly believe that was due to Gaiman narrating the stories.

Here are the titles of the short stories (courtesy of Wikipedia) and my short descriptions after them:
  • "The Case Of The Four And Twenty Blackbirds" - This story is about the death of Humpty Dumpty, which was actually a murder. Little Jack Horner is hired to solve the mystery. I personally didn't enjoy the story as much. It was okay.
  • "Troll Bridge" - Also printed in Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman - This story is about a Troll who lives under the bridge. A little boy meets him and promises to come back if the troll doesn't eat him. He promises to come back again and again. Readers have to read to find out if he goes back or not. I didn't enjoy it as much either.
  • "Don't Ask Jack" (Smoke and Mirrors) - The story is about Jack in the Box that sits in an attic waiting. As per my description, you can probably tell that this was my least favorite of all. And I am starting to think that Gaiman really likes the name Jack.
  • "How To Sell The Ponti Bridge" - Members of the Rogues Club in the Seven Worlds are suppose to be biggest cons around. However, a man name Stoat tells them how he pulled off biggest and easiest (according to the members) scam of all time. This was definitely one of the best stories in the entire book. I enjoyed this one very much and was wondering how Neil Gaiman would portray each character especially Stoat.
  • "October In The Chair" - Twelve months are sitting around the fire in the month of October. Since it is his month, he sits in the Chair. Each month tells a story and "month of the month" tells his story last. However, October goes ahead and tells his story first. His story is about a little boy who runs away from home because he is not appreciated at home. He meets a ghost boy. There is more to the story but I don't want to spoil it. I enjoyed this story.  All I have to say that story leaves the readers wondering.  
  • "Chivalry" (Smoke and Mirrors) - Mrs. Whitaker purchases a silver goblet. Knight Gaalad arrives at Mrs. Whitaker's door, time and again, with varied offerings in exchange for the "Holy Grail", which he needs to complete his quest. Mrs. Whitaker is finally convinced to trade for the ancient items. This was an interesting story. I am still unsure how I felt about this story. I enjoyed it but at the same time there was something missing.
  • "The Price" (Smoke and Mirrors) - A Black Cat arrives at a man's house and stays. Every morning the man notices that the cat has scratches and marks and is hurt. He figures that the cat had a fight with another animal during the night. One night he decides to stay awake and find out what or whom the black is fighting. This was my 3rd favorite after "Sunbird."
  • "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (Fragile Things) A boy who is too shy to talk to girls ends up at a party of girls. As his friend Vic says, "They're just girls," ... "They don't come from another planet." Right? This was a weird story. I didn't like it that much. As per Gaiman's website, this story was nominated for Hugo Award 2007. Read it to find out why because I don't know why.
  • "Sunbird" (Noisy Outlaws) - An Epicurean Club with five distinguished members have tasted all sorts of creatures except for Sunbird. One member says he knows how to get his hands on the creature - in Egypt. They successfully catch the bird and even cook it. But then something happens...I won't say anymore. I really liked the concept of this story. I think this could easily be converted into a book. Shall I say any more...
  • "The Witch's Headstone"  - This story is part of The Graveyard Book; thus, I did not read this story. I highly recommend The Graveyard Book.
  • "Instructions" (first published in Wolf at the Door) - a Poem. It is a set of instructions of what to do if you find yourself inside a fairy tale. Quite interesting.
I think that is enough on this book. Overall, I found it so-so. I give this book 7/10. I might try this out in audio just to see/feel/hear the difference.

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