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M Is for Magic

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3.83 of 5 stars 3.83  ·  rating details  ·  8,351 ratings  ·  870 reviews
Stories to delight, enchant, and surprise you.
Bestselling author and master storyteller Neil Gaiman here presents a breathtaking collection of tales that may chill or amuse readers - but always embrace the unexpected. Collection includes:
"The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds,"
"Troll Bridge,"
"Don't Ask Jack,"
"How to Sell the Ponti Bridge,"
"October in the Chair,"
"
...more
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published January 1st 2007)
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Neverwhere by Neil GaimanAmerican Gods by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanStardust by Neil GaimanCoraline by Neil Gaiman
Best of Neil Gaiman
16th out of 59 books — 332 voters
Nine Stories by J.D. SalingerThe Complete Stories and Poems by Edgar Allan PoeA Good Man is Hard to Find and Other Stories by Flannery O'ConnorDubliners by James JoyceThe Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
Collections of Short Stories
103rd out of 1,867 books — 1,402 voters


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Community Reviews

(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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SomePig
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
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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Andrew
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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Ryan
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
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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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
...more
Suad Shamma
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
...more
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
...more
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
...more
X
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.

Mary
Dec 29, 2011 Mary rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
...more
Odette
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
...more
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
Ashley
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
...more
Christian
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
...more
Zorena
"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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Roberta
Crepuscolare

Una raccolta priva di omogeneità ma non di fascino, che include il racconto che dà il titolo al libro e che costituisce l'incipit del prossimo romanzo di Gaiman.

E' un libro autunnale, come più persone hanno fatto notare nei commenti, da leggere in poltrona accanto al fuoco scoppiettante, con un plaid e un gatto sulle gambe, sorbendo una cioccolata calda o un te fumante.

Non tutti i racconti appartengono al filone gotico ma tutti possiedono una vena malinconica piuttosto marcata. Gaima
...more
Jodotha
I love Neil Gaiman, and I feel I did a bit of a disservice to myself when it comes to how I listened to this particular collection. I went in stops and starts, listening to it at bedtime (which generally lulled me to sleep quite nicely because Neil Gaiman's voice...), so there were a lot of rewinds and repeats.

I'm pretty sure I managed to get all the stories in there, though. I love how original his pieces of fiction are. There aren't a lot of short stories that I genuinely like. It's just not a
...more
Diletta
Quando ero piccola mia nonna mi raccontava la storia del Gatto Mammone, storia che, neanche a dirlo visto il titolo è una delle cose più belle del mondo. Insieme alle cose belle vere, tipo la pizza. Io ancora oggi la racconto 'sta storia, perché mi ha lasciato una sensazione strana. Ah, spoiler alert, questa recensione è assai di pancia. Di fatto, anche Neil nell'introduzione di questo libro (titolo originale "M for Magic" e non dico altro) dice che "I racconti che leggi quando hai l’età giusta ...more
M.m.f
Realmente me venía gustando mucho. Hasta que leí uno de los últimos cuentos, y me canso un poco. No se que puntaje ponerle de todas formas
Dan 1.0
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.
Floriel Maree
2,90 -> 3 stelline GR

Per avvicinarmi a Gaiman e capire un po' com'è il suo stile, ho scelto di iniziare da questa raccolta di suoi racconti di vario genere. Ho scelto di leggerla adesso perchè volevo qualcosa di poco impegnativo e scorrevole, ed ero convinta mi avrebbe appassionato non poco, pensando anche al tipo di libri che ha scritto in precedenza.
Purtroppo, mi sono sbagliata. Leggendo l'introduzione scritta dall'autore, inizialmente, ero trepidante di conoscere Neil e di iniziare ad inna

...more
Stephanie
This was my actual first introduction to Neil's works. I read "How to talk to Girls at Parties" on an online site following SlashDot or Boing Boing. A good friend Always told me how she loved "Sandman". I thought it was about a weird man in a hat putting sand on people to sleep. Hardly worth making into a comic, let alone a beautiful and moving saga. At the time I read very few sci-fi works, only Zelazny really. It was fun and quirky and defiantly thought provoking. Re-reading it I realize how t ...more
Maggie
No comprendo por qué le dieron esa traducción al título en español a este libro de cuentos de Neil Gaiman. Aunque la portada y contraportada me gustaron mucho. El título original era M is for Magic, no veo que tendría de malo que se llamara M de magia. Además lo hace sonar como si "el cementerio sin lápidas" fuera un cuento pero en realidad no hay ninguno con ese título creo que se refiere al cuento de la "La lápida de la bruja" en el que donde están enterradas las "brujas" y suicidas no es terr ...more
Tanabrus
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Nely
In this collection, we have a variety of short stories that go from funny, to creepy, to fascinatingly clever. Although M is for Magic is aimed at the YA audience I guarantee these stories are great for any adult to enjoy.

Here’s an overview of the stories:

The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds
Little Jack Horner is hired to solve the mystery behind the death of Humpty Dumpty. - I personally loved this one. Detective stories always suck me in.

The Troll Bridge
Hands down this is my favorite
...more
Robyn Brown
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
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