While it was only a year ago that Neil Gaiman released his last short story collection, Fragile Things, his latest collection, M is For Magic, is specifically a short story collection aimed at younger readers, especially those who enjoyed Coraline a great deal. While this collection features stories already published in Fragile Things, as well as new stories, and a single poem; it is a perfect collection for anyone, of any age, discovering Neil Gaiman for the first time.
M is For Magic begins with a classic mystery tale involving characters from the nursery rhymes of our past, with the natural victim being Humpty Dumpty. It is the perfect introduction to the mind of Neil Gaiman where you never know what you’re going to get, all you know is that it’s going to be magical and amazing. The highpoint of the collection, making M is For Magic the perfect gift for fall or Christmas, is “October in the Chair” as the months of the year recount some incredible stories they’ve experienced. Included is also “How to Talk to Girls at Parties,” which won the 2007 Locus Award for Best Short Story. It ends with the wonderful poem “Instructions,” as one is led on a step-by-step quest through a fairytale and what are the directions, and what it takes to survive.
Whether you’ve read these stories before in other books, or wish to try something new and different, M is For Magic has something for everyone. And the beauty of the short story collection is you can just pick it up and read a single story, or sit down and read the whole book over and over.
If you liked this review and are interested in purchasing this book, click here.
Originally written on September 13th 2007 ©Alex C. Telander.