* This may contain a little spoiler *
“You can't do this to me, Neil. The boy went inside the farmhouse and... AND? What the hell, May? For god's sake, what kind of answer is that? Leave the Month finish the story, you...”
That is how much I liked this book. It made me a bit violent. I found myself speaking to the characters (talking alone to some pages, from a sane person's point of view). I didn't like all the short stories, for example, “How do you think it feels?”, “Keepsakes and Treasures”, “The problem with Susan”–it's an unsettling story about Susan's fate and a witch ends up having sex with a lion (?); I haven't read that Lewis book yet and I already know that Susan isn't going to Narnia!–; but the entire collection has a unique Gaiman style. A funny, weird, original, heartbreaking, twisted, magical, dark and insightful style that leaves you wanting more. He seems to be the kind of writer that can save an average story with just an amazing line that describes the way you might be feeling at that time. And that line starts repeating itself in your head.
The simplicity I found in his writing captivated me. I admire a person who can say so many things, that can share complex thoughts and mixed emotions with simple words:
"I may be grim, perhaps, but only just as grimas any man who suffered such affairs. Misfortune,carelessness or pain, what matters is the loss. You’ll seethe heartbreak linger in my eyes, and dreamof making me forget what came before you walkedinto the hallway of this house."
"In every way that counted, I was dead. Inside somewhere maybe I was screaming and weeping and howling like an animal, but that was another person deep inside, another person who had no access to the lips and face and mouth and head, so on the surface I just shrugged and smile and kept moving. If I could have physically passed away, just let it all go, like that, without doing anything, stepped out of life as easily as walking through a door I would have done. But I was going to sleep at night and waking in the morning, disappointed to be there and resigned to existence."
I may not like the whole poem or story, but I take some beautiful lines with me, and that's all I seem to need. Unless we're talking about stories/poems like "A Study in Emerald", "October in the Chair", "The Flints of Memory Lane", "Instructions" or "Other People". Those are really good.
I have to say I don't enjoy horror stories. But his “horror” is like, um, like a delicate, philosophical horror. Almost sweet. I don't know if that even exists, but that is how I see it. Some stories gave me the chills, sure, but at the same time, I felt a wave of sorrow and a feeling of understanding, empathy. Loneliness moves the world, for better or for worse.
So, whatever. I don't know why the hell I'm reviewing this because I can't find the right words.
"I like things to be story-shaped.Reality, however, is not story-shaped, and the eruptions of the odd into our lives are not story-shaped either. They do not end in entirely satisfactory ways. Recounting the strange is like telling one's dreams: one can communicate the events of a dream but not the emotional content, the way that a dream can color one's entire day."
Like this book.
I'm not used to the contemporary writing style. The newest thing I read was written sixty years ago. I don't know why, honestly. (Okay, I know but I don't want to say it). So, it is a big change for me. I don't usually connect with living writers. Gaiman is a nice exception (most of the times).