On Monday, we had our first book club meeting of the new year (and our official 2 year anniversary meeting!), and we read Neil Gaiman’s Smoke and Mirrors.
Publication Date: 1998
1. The writing. Neil Gaiman is a master with words, and Smoke and Mirrors definitely corroborated that. His use of subtle sarcasm and situational irony is definitely what drives most of the stories and makes them seem even more outlandish because, even though you KNOW that this just is way out of left field, the characters react like it’s nothing. (English teacher tip: That’s masterful situational irony.)
2. The introduction. Most of us read a version of Smoke and Mirrors that had an AMAZING introduction. In the introduction, Gaiman has a short story tucked away that was a unanimous favorite. Also, he includes background to why he wrote each short story, which we found kind of fascinating to read after reading the story.
3. The concept. All in all, the play on fairytales and whimsy was what kept our attention. We wanted to see how Gaiman would play out the troll under the bridge (which still has me thinking…) or the holy grail concept. It was really, really neat (and a little unsettling, in a Grimm Brothers sort of way).
1. The creepy? Honestly, there wasn’t much that we said we didn’t like. Some of the stories were weird and uncomfortable, but that’s Neil Gaiman’s writing style. He tries to make you uncomfortable. Generally, the creepy weird factor as the only problem that some of us had with the book, especially when it came to some of the more familiar fairy tales.