A book of short stories for younger readers by Neil Gaiman, the literary love of my life. I think these had all been published elsewhere at some point but other than Instructions and the bit from The Graveyard Book, I’d never read them before. Yay!
The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds: A noir retelling of Humpty Dumpty, mixed with many other nursery tales. Full of wonderful, typical noir language and imagery, plenty of humor. Or maybe it wasn’t that funny, and I’m just weird, but I thought it had funny bits. Loved it!
Troll Bridge: I like this one, a passing of the torch sort of tale.
Don’t Ask Jack: This was just fucking creepy and explains perfectly why so many people have a completely logical terror of things like jacks-in-the-box, or clowns, or dolls. But especially jacks-in-the-box, which encompass all of them. *twitch*
How to Sell the Ponti Bridge: eh. Not my favorite. A con artist in a magical setting. Very vivid characters, though, as usual, and descriptive language, so I still enjoyed reading it even though the plot outsell wasn’t my favorite.
October in the Chair: In which the twelve months sit about a fire, warming their feet, exchanging tales. October’s tale was sad.
Chivalry: My favorite one of the lot. I adore Arthurian legends in just about any form, and to see a little old lady lead Sir Galahad a merry chase because she wants to keep the Holy Grail on her mantlepiece was awesome.
The Price: Aww, good kitty. Animal saviors are the best.
How to Talk to Girls at Parties: Wait, what? I’m confused. That isn’t uncommon anymore. But this story confused me. Were they aliens? Monsters? I felt bad for the boys. That’s such a hard time of life for anyone, and it sucks that they had such a horrifying – apparently – experience so early in their lives.
Sunbird: The mythical Phoenix and a group of people who seem to have pica. LOL.
The Witch’s Headstone: An excerpt from The Graveyard Book, which I adored.
Instructions: My favorite poem.