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M Is for Magic

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  16,057 ratings  ·  1,746 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,"
Hardcover, 260 pages
Published July 1st 2007 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 3.82  · 
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 ·  16,057 ratings  ·  1,746 reviews

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Miranda Reads
Nov 08, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
Oh Good Lord, do not buy this one for your kids

Despite the cutesy title, this is soooooo not appropriate for anyone under preteens. There are no rainbows and there are no unicorns...and because it's Gaiman, it's weirdly sexual (though, not hardcore, at least). YOU have been warned

**Additional warning** Several of these stories appear elsewhere. I get that short stories are often published on their own before becoming part of anthology, but what I'm referring to is that the short stories are alr
Hannah Greendale
This book is in peril of falling into a forgotten realm, a status that stems from misguided marketing. The title, M is for Magic, suggests a collection of stories for children, yet the book is categorized for young adults, and the content - from the crotch-sniffing troll whose "penis hung from the bush of gonk hair between his legs" to the months of the year sitting fireside to enjoy "a bottle of 1902 Château Lafitte" - caters to adults.

M is for Magic includes ten short stories and one poem. It
Jason Koivu
Feb 04, 2012 rated it liked it
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
Nat K

"Short stories are tiny windows into other worlds and other minds and other dreams..

... you don't have to like them all. If there's one you don't enjoy, well, there will be another along soon."

- Neil Gaiman

I love the way that Neil Gaiman seems to view the world from a very different perspective. He has an eye for making the unusual interesting.

This is a quirky, eclectic mix of wonder, fear, beauty. The believable and unreal. Put together with fab illustrations by Teddy Kristiansen, this is a mos
Jun 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book it was so cute . I love the short stories and especially the graveyard book themed story. Neil Gaiman is probably my favorite author . I try to read as much from him as possible. Neverwhere was my first of his books I ever read and still my favorite followed by Coraline , but I do love books of short stories and this book was whimsical and fanciful. It was great 👍🏻👍🏻&⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ from me.
Oct 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
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:) ...more
Oct 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: most-loved
I don't know if anyone else does this, but every time I have an appointment that is expected to take up most of the day (once travel is included), I tend to dutifully take along whatever novel I am reading but then only manage a few pages. I don't know why, but I can never concentrate on a long story, no matter how invested I might be. Short story collections seem to be a better fit, and short stories by Neil Gaiman are perhaps the perfect one! I don't know why it makes a difference, but I read ...more
Feb 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
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
P. Aaron Potter
Jan 29, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Dec 31, 2007 rated it it was amazing
I have a sort of love-hate thing with Neil's short stories. Some of them are the best stories I've ever read, and some have been far too grotesque for my liking, to be honest. So I had much better luck with this collection, which contains his stories suitable for children. (So there was a noticeable lack of graphic sex, cannibalism, and etc.) These were, hands down, his best short stories. I'd read a few before, since most of these have appeared in his other collections, but a few were new (at l ...more
I am kind of annoyed. I had hoped for a nice collection of short stories to sink my teeth into. But instead I ended up skipping over a lot of stories I had previously read in this one. So I ended up only taking a few short hours on this one (I think it took me around 2) to finish up. For the really new to me stories I thought some were just okay, and others didn't make a lick of sense and did not appeal to me. The only really one I enjoyed was "The Price" and that featured a black cat.

For those
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such a great and fun read, captivating, innovative...great style and imagination.
Tina ➹ the girl who lives in Fandoms
The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds: ★★/5
Troll Bridge: ★/5
Don't Ask Jack: ★/5
How to Sell the Ponti Bridge: ★/5
October in the Chair: ★★/5 (the story have been told in the story was rubbish, the idea of the premise of the story was good somehow.)
Chivalry: ★★/5 (maybe the best one?)
The Price: ★★/5
How to Talk to Girls at Parties: ★/5
Sunbird: ★/5
The Witch's Headstone: ★★/5
I don't see the point of any of these stories. Hell, I couldn't see why the story ended!
sadly this was my first story from
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
The first short story in the collection has a private investigator trying to find out who pushed Humpty Dumpty off the wall. Apparently, it wasn’t an accident, it was murder. The cliches and one-liners fly like bullets in this opener. This story has a strong “Jasper Fforde” feel to it and is a comical start to the collection.

The second story reads like a fairy tale. A young boy is accosted by a Troll under a bridge. A troll who is going to “eat his life”. He keeps escaping the troll by promising
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
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I have no words to describe how masterfully these stories were put together. Gaiman never lets me down...can't believe I only read this now! ...more
1 star.

Nope. Just nope. I wasn't interested. There were maybe two stories that were just Ok. But the rest were so super boring and I couldn't see a point to them.
Nov 05, 2011 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
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
First, I listened to this read by Neil because these times are troubled and his voice is so incredibly soothing! He explains that he chose this title, with permission from Ray Bradbury, to fashion it after Bradbury's collections named in this same vein. I love that!

I'm going to review each story and average.

The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds - *****
This is such a fun story! It reminded me of Buckingham and Willingham's Fables. You just take loved nursery rhymes and make them adult. Do s
Nov 13, 2010 rated it really liked it
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
Oct 23, 2014 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
A disappointing collection of stories, most of which I've read before. I did enjoy Chivalry in which a sweet old lady finds some interesting objects at her local charity shop, and The Price which is about a cat who keeps a family safe from harm.

I'll donate it to the library to see if younger readers are more enamored.
May 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Every story is very imaginative indeed, but aside from the first four or five stories at the beginning, some of the later stories seem.........slightly lacking in this re-read, but those stories are really outstanding than most stuff we can find in the book market these days...
Kimberley doruyter
some of the stories i already read in smoke and mirrors
so only a couple of the stories were new to me
The Escapist Reader
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
3 out of 5 stars

Will Neil Gaiman be the one to get me to shun my disdain for short stories? Maybe. I'll have to read more to find out. Short and sweet and of course witty. A very pleasant lazy-evening read.

Happy reading!
Hafsa Sabira
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was ok
When I read a novel, I go through the author's introductory part where he mentions why he wrote this novel or what inspired him or who are the intended readers etc. This time too, I started with Gaiman's own views on this collection of short stories. It was very enjoyable to read what he has to say about loving short stories but he also mentioned that this collection is for children, a point I strongly disagree to.

First of all, as Gaiman predicted already, I didn't like all the stories. The stor
Jamie (TheRebelliousReader)
3 stars. I read this and followed along with the audiobook at the same time because Neil Gaiman narrates it. It was a pretty great decision on my part if I do say so myself. When I picked this up, I thought for sure that this was a children’s short story collection but it is absolutely not. It dealt with a lot more darker themes in some of the stories than I was expecting which was awesome.

This collection includes 11 short stories, but unfortunately for me I only enjoyed four of them.

-The Case o
~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Wells
I didn't enjoy most of these as much the second time but I enjoyed Chivalry even more. Its not a bit scary but is sure entertaining. The one about the Black Cat scared me even more the second time!
I had forgotten most all of them but they came back to me as I read.
Serena.. Sery-ously?
May 23, 2012 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.
Emma's In Stock
DNFed at 14%
Books of short stories are very 50/50 for me
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