Through the JCCSF's Arts & Ideas series I had the amazing opportunity to hear Neil Gaiman talk earlier this year. The talk was originally scheduled to be in promotion of this book, but the day previous Gaiman's close friend and fellow writer Terry Pratchett passed away and so the talk (moderated by Michael Chabon) focussed more on the late Mr. Prachett. Eventually though the conversation did turn to this little book of excellent short stories.
The idea of listening to an author do a reading from their work has always struck me as a little bit odd. But I must say it was enchanting to hear Neil Gaiman read one of his short stories and even more so to hear him read a section of "Good Omens." Perhaps it was the accent.
Anyway, this book is full of fun and disturbing little stories, many of which are presented in creative and unusual ways. For example the story entitled "Orange" is simply the responses of a person to questioning concerning an unusual incident. The questions are not given, only the answers. It works very well, somehow still building suspense and coming to a climax despite the limitations of the format.
This collection also includes a short Doctor Who story set in the time of the eleventh doctor with companion Amy Pond. I loved the first person perspective from the Doctor's point of view here.
Neil Gaiman is awesome.