A collection of stories written and read by Hugo, Nebula, and World Fantasy Award-winning author Neil Gaiman:A Writer’s Prayer "was written shortly before I began American Gods. I knew the first two verses when I began it, and the conclusion was there when I reached it. This is why I love writing."
Harlequin Valentine "was originally written as a short story. Lisa Snellings made a Ferris Wheel with strange creatures in each car, and writers wrote stories, one for each character. I was given the showman, a little Harlequin who took people’s tickets."
Boys and Girls Together "was written in a hotel room in Boston. It rained outside, and I was certain I was telling the world something very important."
The Wedding Present "is a story hidden in my book of short stories, Smoke and Mirrors. Some people who have copies of Smoke and Mirrors have skipped past it, and do not know that it was there. Do not tell them."
The End "is the kind of thing I find on my hard disk from time to time – small, gentle apocalypses that I do not quite remember writing."
©1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002 Neil Gaiman (P)2003 Dreamhaven, Inc.
Amusing tales. Why is there an an annoyingly FULL 16 MINUTES of disconsantant drum sounds at the end? I kept expecting it to "break out into story" but it never did.
It spoiled it for me...leaving off a good listen with such a disquieting feeling.
I was supremely annoyed by the waste of space for droning drums. I bought an audiobook, not a new age song. I love Gaiman's work, but I felt cheated by the lack of content in this program. I was so upset after listening that I really considered asking for a credit refund.
While the story was good and Gaiman always performs well, this was definitely too expensive for so little product. Not only is it short, there was a 16 minutes instrumental track at the end for no apparent reason.
I understand the goal of the music was to accentuate the stories but it didn't work. It was grating to hear that
I loved "The Wedding Present," a 30-minute story about love and loss. The other four short stories (two under two minutes, one under three and the other about 20 minutes) were ok. However, as others have pointed out, there was a LOT of filler in the form of drums, including a full 16:24 minutes of drumming at the end as others have pointed out. Each of the other tracks, even the VERY short stories, also contain some drumming.
I had trouble rating this because I would have given "The Wedding Present" five stars, the other short stories an average of three, and the drumming a one star.
I almost would have considered this purchase worth it if it had JUST contained "The Wedding Present," but with the brevity of three of the stories and 16 minutes of drumming, I have decided to return this purchase because I feel the packaging was so misleading.
The couple in "The Wedding Present" was lovely.
Neil Gaiman is a wonderful narrator and he was no different here. My low rating on performance was for the excessive drumming, not Gaiman's performance.
It would be a very short movie!
Remove the final track, and lower the price significantly, and this would be a decent purchase. As is, it is misleading.
"Beware of Repeats!"
I did enjoy this book and, for any other Gaiman follower I would say, have a look at the other collections before you buy. Many of the stories appear in other collections.
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