Reading Challenge Re-booted: Smoke and Mirrors…

Obstacle number 4 in the What’s In A Name Reading Challenge: Smoke and Mirrors by Neil Gaiman…

Taken from: the Non-Christie Listie

Category: Four – a book with fire or the equivalent in the title

Smoke and Mirrors is a collection of more than 20 of Gaiman’s collected short stories.  I always knew I wanted to include some Neil Gaiman in this challenge, and on opening this one up with great anticipation…..I realised I had already read it. Undaunted however, I decided to dive in again, and as the memories came flooding back with the stories, I recalled what is so great about Neil Gaiman generally, and this book specifically.

smoke and mirrors

This book’s Point of Difference:

This collection spans a really wide range of content and style, meaning there’s something here for everyone. 


– There are so many stories here that if you find the one you’re reading doesn’t take your fancy, there are plenty of others to try.

– There’s a nice mix of humour and creepiness here, reflecting Gaiman’s usual approach.  From the charmingly quirky “Chivalry”, featuring a hen-pecked Galahad on his quest for the Grail, to the utterly bizzare and bawdy “Eaten”, you will find every oddity imaginable discussed in these pages.

– Gaiman’s introduction is a novelette in itself, and contains its very own impromptu short story.


– This is definitely a book for adults, which may disappoint some of Gaiman’s younger fans.

– Some of the subject matter is really quite weird and creepy, which, if you aren’t expecting it can be a bit off-putting.

Teaser Text:

Mrs Whitaker found the Holy Grail;

it was under a fur coat.

If you’re a Gaiman fan, this will be an extra little nugget of goodness to digest at your leisure.  If you’ve not read any of Gaiman’s work before (for shame!), you may find it more satisfying to start with one of his excellent novels, such as The Graveyard Book, or for a briefer introduction, one of his picture books, such as Instructions (pictured below).

  graveyard book 2


Until next time,





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