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M Is for Magic

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3.83  ·  Rating Details  ·  9,666 Ratings  ·  1,009 Reviews
Master storyteller Neil Gaiman presents a breathtaking collection of tales for younger readers that may chill or amuse, but that always embrace the unexpected:

Humpty Dumpty's sister hires a private detective to investigate her brother's death.

A teenage boy who has trouble talking to girls finds himself at a rather unusual party.

A boy raised in a graveyard makes a discover
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Paperback, First HarperTrophy edition, 272 pages
Published May 1st 2008 by HarperTrophy (An Imprint of HarperCollins Publishers) (first published January 1st 2007)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jason Koivu
M is for the many things I always hope to get out of reading a Neil Gaiman book. Then the usual happens...

Some of these stories - "Sunbird", "October in the Chair", and "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" - appear in his excellent short story collection Fragile Things, and apparently others also appear elsewhere, mostly Smoke and Mirrors. Add to that, "The Witch's Headstone" is the precursor to The Graveyard Book. So, M is for Magic is really just a repackaging of old material.

That's been a runni
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Phrynne
Oct 17, 2015 Phrynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I am not a fan of short stories. Once I get my teeth into a good book I want it to go on and on which is why I read a lot of series. However if I am going to read short stories then ones written by one of my favourite authors is the only way to go. This book contains some absolute treasures. A few of the stories use nursery rhymes as their source, a couple are almost science fiction and of course there is a lot of Gaiman's trade mark fantasy. Pure entertainment:)
SomePig
Apr 05, 2009 SomePig rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The problem with assigning a star rating to this book is that, like any book of short stories, it is a mixed bag. Especially considering that this particular book of stories is by Neil Gaiman who can pen novles that are original enough that the only resemblance they bear to one another is the name on the front cover.

What I gather from this book (intended for a YA audience) is that Gaiman allows himself to get more experimental with stories than perhaps with his novel. As always, the writing is s
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P. Aaron Potter
Jan 29, 2013 P. Aaron Potter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
R is for Recycled.

Seriously, I thought these stories were good enough, many of them, the first THREE times they were published. Five times, in at least one case, and possibly two. But there is not a single new story in this collection, folks. I almost titled this review "R is for Ripoff."

So, no original work. Maybe that would be okay if there were a good theme tying these together.

The problem is the anthology's premise: somebody got to Neil Gaiman and said "hey, you should publish an anthology o
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Hamster
Nov 05, 2011 Hamster rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody!
I was impressed with Neil Gaiman for doing a great job narrating his own stories. He's one of the few authors that can get away with it. Unfortunately I didn't enjoy the material quite as much. While I've never been a fan of twisted nursery rhymes (translation: I hate them; if you can't come up with original material you shouldn't be writing) Gaiman did a reasonably good job of making the Humpty Dumpty parody palatable (but just). When I got to the completely pointless second story about a troll ...more
Ana Maria Rînceanu
The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds- a detective investigates Humpty Dumpty's death (3 stars)

Troll Bridge- a boy makes a deal with a troll (3 stars)

Don't Ask Jack-a never used, always waiting Jack-in-the-box (2 stars)

How to Sell the Ponti Bridge- a master con (3 stars)

Chivalry- an elderly English lady finds the Holy Grail and gets an unexpected guest (4 stars)

The Price- a lovely homage to black cats everywhere (3 stars)

The Witch's Headstone- a vignette about Bod from The Graveyard Book
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Andrew
Nov 01, 2014 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Four stars to this book, which would have been five with a touch of "black" more pronounced.
Eleven stories, to be exact, in between the fantastic and visionary, bizarre and fascinating.

"The Witch's Headstone": it is a story that also appears in the book "The Graveyard Book". A young man, raised in a graveyard by ghosts, struggling with an adventure that will bring him in contact with the outside world. Enjoyable and exciting.

"Troll Bridge": it is not a story for children and leaves the reader w
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Rose
DNF. Read up until 38%.

I kept reading in hope for a short story that will impress me or that I'll at least care for or like but I don't have the patience anymore. This should seriously be titled M is for Meh instead of M is for Magic because I just don't see the magic.

This is my second attempt at a Gaiman book (my first being Fortunately, the Milk) and I'm still not impressed. I liked none of the stories, all of them bored me to no end and I just don't have it in me to read on in hope of finding
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Jim
2.5 stars. This is titled as a homage to Ray Bradbury. The stories were OK, but didn't speak to me the way Bradbury's did. The last one was the best & could have easily become a novella. I wish it had. Instead, the end was rather abrupt & unsatisfying. Some of the stories were quite off the wall & kind of fun.

Gaiman read this himself & his voice is great. Unfortunately whoever equalized the sound didn't have old ears or any noise in mind. When Gaiman's voice dropped low, I could
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Serena.. Sery-ously?
May 27, 2015 Serena.. Sery-ously? rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
M is for magic.

N is for Natty-Neil.
G is for Genius-Gaiman.
Suad Shamma
Dec 14, 2014 Suad Shamma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own, 2014
I am usually a little wary around short stories and anthologies etc. But this one, I must say, was one of my favorites! I did not hate any of the stories, but I did love some more than others.

The creativity and genius behind the writing of these stories is what really secured this book right at the top for me. The first story "The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds" was my favorite by far! As a detective tries to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty, the story goes on to involve many more nursery
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Monique
M Is For Magic is a collection of short stories, including a story lifted from Neil Gaiman's award-winning children's novel, The Graveyard Book. I enjoyed this book immensely.

My personal favorite would be The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds, a retelling of children's nursery rhymes, but which mainly told of the mystery of who murdered Humpty Dumpty. [Okay, I'll give you just a few seconds here to recite the nursery rhyme to yourself... ;) ] Indeed, the nursery rhyme merely said Humpty Dum
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Philip
Clive Barker tells us "Gaiman is a star," but he sure is not shining in this book. Granted, some of the stories are entertaining. I especially liked Sunbird, the tale about the Epicurean club that had sampled every taste imaginable and have nothing left to try. I also thoroughly enjoyed The Witches Headstone which Gaiman introduces as, "...a story that will be part of my next children's book, The Graveyard Book, about a boy who lives in a graveyard and is brought up by dead people..." I imagine ...more
JG (The Introverted Reader)
I'm trying out audio (again), this time during my commute to work. My commute isn't bad, about 30 minutes, so a collection of short stories, written and read by Neil Gaiman no less, seemed like a good place to start. I was right!

I'll say first of all that I love Gaiman's voice. I could listen to the man all day. I don't really have any other narrators to compare him to, but just the fact that I actually finished this audio book should be a testament to his greatness!

I've read a lot of these stor
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Luann
On the whole these were nice enough stories - some stranger than others. None of them were incredibly memorable, but none of them were incredibly horrible, either.

My favorite short story in this collection was Chivalry, followed by How to Sell the Ponti Bridge. My least favorite was Sunbird - the one with the Epicurean Club.

I was interested that the first three stories each had a character named Jack. I thought the trend might continue throughout the book, but it didn't.

My favorite part of the
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Magrat Ajostiernos
Es triste que mis tres historias preferidas ya las hubiera leído, dos (El puente del trol y El precio) forman parte de la muchísimo más interesante recopilación de relatos "Humo y espejos", la otra (La lápida de la bruja) es directamente un capítulo "robado" de "El libro del cementerio".
Las demás son entretenidas, pero pocas tienen la magia a la que nos tiene acostumbrados Mr Gaiman.
Dan Schwent
Short and to the point: M for Magic is good but all of the stories except for the Graveyard Book excerpt are in other recent Gaiman short story collections. That being said, the selection from the Graveyard Book has me dying to read the rest of it.
X
Oct 15, 2010 X rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was a bit disappointed by this book as I had already read half of the stories in Smoke and Mirrors and The Graveyard Book. It's a nice collection though, and I really liked some of the stories.

Amin
این کتاب با این که یک سری داستان های گیمن بود ولی واقعا خوب بود . به خصوص داستان های مرغ خورشید یا داستان ترول . البته داستان های ضعیف تر هم داشت ولی در کل خوب بود .
Behdad Ahmadi
مجموعه داستان کوتاه، از نویسنده عزیز و کم نظیر انگلیسی، نیل گیمن.

اکثر داستان ها جز یکی دو مورد بیشتر حالت تمرینی داشتن و انگار مشق گیمن بودن برای کارهای بزرگترش که تا به حال خوندیم،
مثل از عروسک نپرس، اکتبر روی صندلی، پرونده چهار و بیست توکای سیاه.

اما این بین آثاری هم بودن که میتونن به عنوان کار های شاخص گیمن باشن. داستان های شگفت انگیزی مثل تاوان و پل ترول.

در داستان چگونه می توان پل پانتی را فروخت، جدا از داستان غیرخاص و دنیایی که ترکیب حس کودکانه و بزرگسالش یه جور طنز عجیب بهش بخشیده بود و یک
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Robyn Brown
Feb 20, 2012 Robyn Brown rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A friend of mine handed me Neverwhere a few years ago and I was intrigued. I began to read Gaiman's creepy short stories and was usually on the verge of turning away from being creeped out but always stayed. I'm a diehard Gaiman fan with American Gods left to read. This book is a great collection of shorts some which have appeared in other Gaiman collections...and some that haven't. The Price was a heart breaker being a cat owner and understanding their nature, The Instructions should be read by ...more
Mary
Dec 29, 2011 Mary rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: People who like fantasy, short stories, or Neil Gaiman
3.5 Stars

This book's weak point is also its strong point. With so many different stories, of course you will have some gems and then some that feel lacking.I did like quite a few of the stories though.

I didn't like: Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds, How to Talk to Girls at Parties, and How to Sell the Ponti Bridge.
I disliked these for different reasons.
Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds seemed like a good idea for a story, but the story itself just bored me.
How to Talk to Girls at P
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Odette
May 07, 2012 Odette rated it liked it
Shelves: x-done-endicott
I read two Gaiman novels in the last 6 months or so & it's interesting to compare his stories to them. I prefer the novels because I usually prefer novels, but two of these stories will stay with me & several others were just plain fun.

4 & 20 Blackbirds, How to Sell the Ponti Bridge & Sunbird reminded me of the kinds of stories that were popular in a creative writing class I took years ago. Kind of gimmicky, humorous, smart & slick. Those stories leave me cold for the same re
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Kat
This is a volume of previously published Neil Gaiman stories. The premise here is that he picked out some of the stories best suited to a younger audience and put them into a single book that can be put onto a young person's shelf. Thinking back to my younger days, when the picture books just didn't have enough "meat" to them for me anymore, this is EXACTLY the sort of book I would have grabbed. Moreover, it is the sort of book I would have been a favorite, being checked out multiple times over ...more
Knigoqdec
Някои разкази присъстват другаде...
Може би дори всички присъстват другаде, но аз все още не знам това.
Повечето ми допаднаха, някои - не.
За пореден път си мисля, че трябва да опитам поне веднъж с "Алиса в Страната на чудесата". Тогава може би последният разказ ще го видя в много по-хубава светлина. Не я разбирам тази Алиса... макар че и не съм сигурна дали е нужно да я разбираш...
Ashley
Dec 29, 2014 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2014
Neil Gaiman tells us ten stories, some based in fairytale or legend, others on science fiction, and others on childhood fears. The tales succeed in capturing the reader's imagination, and I'm happy to recommend this collection to any Gaiman fans.

A few critiques: almost all of the stories in this anthology are also in "Smoke and Mirrors". I don't know how authors usually go about making collections, but I found it annoying that so many of the stories had already been covered in another book.

Als
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Marilisa
Sep 02, 2015 Marilisa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Questa è la mia primissima lettura di racconti scritti da Neil Gaiman.
Devo dire la pura semplice verità , difronte alla lettura della maggior parte dei racconti che compongono questa raccolta , mi sono spaventata visto che arrivavo al finale circostanza da punti esclamativi e di domanda perché non riuscivo a comprenderne il senso. Arrivando però alla conclusione e quindi alla lettura di una specie di poesia , che spiega l avventura intrapresa leggendo queste storie, ho apprezzato la magia e la s
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Christian
May 21, 2009 Christian rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, abandoned
In the introduction to this short story collection, Gaiman writes that the good thing about short stories is that if you don't like the one you are reading, well, its short and over quickly and another will be along shortly.

I kept waiting for the good one. I think I read 80% of this before I realized I just couldn't take it.

The book is marketed towards "Young Adults" but I would be hard pressed to find anyone that I would consider the target audience. Unecessarily...icky...at times and just mean
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Zorena
Sep 02, 2011 Zorena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" Nursery rhyme justice For The Win!

As per usual Gaiman kept me happily gobbling each story. While this work says it's for children the stories are the usual well rounded fare that adults like too. Although a few of the stories are rather dark like some of the real versions of Grimm's fairy tails. I really liked the story within a story of “October in the Chair”and the even more chilling “the Price”.

Usually with any collection of short stories you get
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  • Under My Hat: Tales from the Cauldron
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“Stories you read when you're the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you'll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit.” 1862 likes
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