Saturday, October 9, 2010

"The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains" by Neil Gaiman

I actually had no idea that Gaiman contributed to this book, but I wasn't surprised.

This story, like every one of his that I have read, was wonderful. Gaiman manages to capture an entire world in a single sentence.  The details and language conjure fully-imagined characters and settings. And, as every good writer does, he makes it seem so easy. For example, "First, there was the valley on the mainland, the whitewashed house in the gentle meadow with the burn splashing through it, a house that sat like a square of white sky against the green of the grass and the heather just beginning to purple." Unlike Harris's story "Wildfire in Manhattan," Gaiman's never seems forced. It's lyrical, it's full-grown, it's meticulous, but it also feels spontaneous and creative.

What's more is that Gaiman has the ability to always keep us guessing. Knowing his writing as I do, I've come to expect the twists and turns, but here, as elsewhere, he manages to foreshadow without hinting. He leaves clues, but they answer different questions than suspected. Perhaps its his way of playing with his audience, but I really think that it's just his way of telling a good story.

As I go back and look through the story again, I'm finding more and more details that tie the whole together. Gaiman is truly a master of his craft. Wherever you are, whatever you love to read. Find his work, and pick it up. It stays with you in the way that only good art does.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Other cool stuff I like