ANGELS & VISITATIONS by Neil Gaiman

angels-and-visitations-by-neil-gaimanSandman’s fault, naturally. ⠀

Angels & Visitations is Gaiman’s first collection, compiling some of his fiction and nonfiction. It’s sort of a proto-version of Smoke & Mirrors, a later collection, although there are some pieces here that weren’t included in that later anthology, so this was my first encounter with them. It was interesting to read, in a retrograde sort of way. Smoke & Mirrors is an all-time favorite, and one of the books I’ve returned to the most, but even though Visitations is pretty much the same beast, it didn’t end up impacting me as much as its later incarnation did. Which was expected, to be fair: this is a much slimmer collection, for one; and it didn’t have the added benefit of being read by a young and impressionable twentysomething.⠀

Still, some of the new-to-me pieces were very intriguing, in particular the short story “Webs,” which brought to mind Hayao Miyazaki’s Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, and featured a highly intriguing setting that I wouldn’t mind seeing Gaiman revisit. And of course it was nice to see old favorites again (“Chivalry,” “Troll Bridge,” “Looking for the Girl,” “Murder Mysteries”).⠀

Will definitely give this miscellany points for boasting a cover by the inimitable Dave McKean (always a visual treat) and for including illustrations by some great artists for each of the stories — both elements that were sadly lacking in Mirrors.

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