Smoke and Mirrors Book Summary

Smoke and Mirrors is an intriguing literary work written by an acclaimed author in the genre of fantasy and science fiction, Neil Gaiman. The book is a collection of short stories and poems that take readers on a captivating journey through the realms of imagination and the supernatural.

The Stories within Smoke and Mirrors

The book encompasses a wide range of stories, each with its unique plot, characters, and themes. Some of the notable stories featured in Smoke and Mirrors include:


This short story follows the journey of a middle-aged woman who accidentally stumbles upon the Holy Grail in a charity shop. As the story unfolds, she finds herself caught in the middle of a battle between historical knights and modern society.

“Troll Bridge”

In this dark and thought-provoking tale, a young boy encounters a troll under a bridge. As the years pass, the boy grows older and must confront the troll once again, questioning his choices and the nature of courage.

“Murder Mysteries”

Murder Mysteries is a captivating story that explores the origins of angels and the concept of divine justice. The narrative weaves between the present and ancient times, revealing a tale of murder, love, and betrayal.

Praise, Criticisms, and Awards

Smoke and Mirrors has received widespread praise from readers and critics alike for its imaginative storytelling and memorable characters. It has been commended for its ability to transcend genres and captivate readers with its unique blend of fantasy, mystery, and supernatural elements.

Neil Gaiman’s ability to craft vivid imagery and evoke emotions through his writing style has been highly applauded. The book has garnered numerous prestigious awards, including the Bram Stoker Award for Best Collection and the Locus Award for Best Dark Fantasy/Horror Collection. These accolades further attest to the book’s impact and its recognition within the literary community.

Notable Characters

Smoke and Mirrors introduces a host of intriguing characters that readers will encounter throughout the book. Some of the notable characters include:

Character 1: The Middle-Aged Woman (from “Chivalry”)

The middle-aged woman is a relatable and adventurous protagonist who finds herself embroiled in a fantastical quest after discovering the Holy Grail. Her determination and wit make her a memorable character within the collection.

Character 2: The Young Boy (from “Troll Bridge”)

The young boy serves as the central character in “Troll Bridge.” As the story progresses, readers witness his growth and transformation, as he grapples with the haunting repercussions of choices made in his youth. His journey provides thought-provoking insights into the human condition.

Character 3: The Narrator (from “Murder Mysteries”)

The narrator of “Murder Mysteries” is an angel who acts as a witness to a captivating tale of celestial intrigue and human tendencies. Through the narrator’s perspective, readers delve into an ancient mystery and explore the ethical dimensions of justice and redemption.

Smoke and Mirrors remains a beloved choice for readers interested in literature encompassing various formats, such as printed books, audiobooks, e-books, and podcasts. Neil Gaiman’s vivid storytelling and unique exploration of fantastical worlds continue to captivate audiences, making Smoke and Mirrors a must-read for those seeking imaginative and thought-provoking narratives.

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