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The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains: A Tale of Travel and Darkness with Pictures of All Kinds Hardcover – June 17, 2014

4.5 out of 5 stars 117 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“There is a stark simplicity in Mr. Gaiman’s prose in this deceptively dark tale of how far men will go to achieve their heart’s desire only to find that the achievement pales in comparison to the desiring.” (Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Gaimain (Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories ‘waiting at the edges of things,’ where lost innocence can be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost.” (Publishers Weekly (starred review) on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE)

“Part fable, part fairy tale and part cautionary tale, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is by turns hauntingly beautiful, painfully intense, funny, witty, wise, scary, and heart wrenchingly sad.” (SFRevu on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE)

“A terrifying shift in the nature of things lies at the heart of Neil Gaimain’s rich new novel.” (The Guardian on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE)

“Poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening, impeccably rendered, it’s a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them and the price we pay.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review) on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE)

“[T]here isn’t much Gaiman can’t do when it comes to writing.” (Denver Post on ANANSI BOYS)

“A hybrid of folk tale and farce that freely partakes of the comic wealth in each, slipping effortlessly back and forth between them . . . Anansi Boys is Gaiman’s tribute to [Anansi’s] trickster spirit, as nimble and resourceful as his own imagination.” (Salon on ANANSI BOYS)

“Original, engrossing, and endlessly inventive; a picaresque journey across America where the travelers are even stranger than the roadside attractions.” (George R. R. Martin on AMERICAN GODS)

From the Back Cover

You ask me if I can forgive myself?
I can forgive myself . . .

And so begins The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains, a haunting story of family, the otherworld, and a search for hidden treasure. This gorgeous full-color illustrated book version was born of a unique collaboration between New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman and renowned artist Eddie Campbell, who brought to vivid life the characters and landscape of Gaiman's award-winning story. In this volume, the talents and vision of two great creative geniuses come together in a glorious explosion of color and shadow, memory and regret, vengeance and, ultimately, love.

. . . for many things. For where I left him.
For what I did.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 80 pages
  • Publisher: William Morrow; Ill edition (June 17, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006228214X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062282149
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #388,412 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition with Audio/Video Verified Purchase
Neil's wondrous work left me feeling like like a happy child again. At the end, I felt like pulling on his sleeve. "Read it again, please!" No problem. Neil's voice is available any time. What a gift! Knowing it would be there, I could get on with morning chores. Nobody does myth like Gaiman. There were some places that still need a good proofreader, though. I didn't mind places where the read text diverged from the print, which was explained in the postscript. That just felt more like Neil's right here reading to me. Careless copy editing, though, is inexcusable in a text this short. Not enough to drop a star...Gaiman's too good for that...but enough that I'd ask that a repaired copy replace those sent out in early sales. There aren't that many errors, so go fix the bloody thing!
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Format: Hardcover
Neil Gaiman's new book, The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, looks in layout and design like a children's book. But it is no more a tale for children than those the Grimms collected. It is in form a Skye folk tale, and like any such tale has echoes of the 45 and of the King over the water. It is as hard and sharp and precise of detail as a folk tale, and as dark and violent as well. I read it in less than an hour. I doubt I will forget it, and would not be surprised to dream of it.
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Format: Hardcover
"You ask me if I can forgive myself? I can forgive myself for many things. For where I left him. For what I did. But I will not forgive myself for the year that I hated my daughter..."

So starts this dark tale of a journey, a quest into the Black Mountains to find a cave - to find the truth. Our narrator is a small man, a dwarf, but he's strong and he's driven; by what, we don't yet know but we feel a slow anger in him, an undiminished determination despite his ten year search for the object of his obsession. As we meet him, he is about to hire a guide, Calum MacInnes, to take him to a cave on the Misty Isle which is reputed to be filled with gold...

This book is nothing less than stunning. Gaiman's wonderfully dark story is equalled and enhanced by the amazingly atmospheric illustrations of Eddie Campbell. The two elements - words and pictures - are completely entwined. There's no feeling of the one being an addition to the other - each is essential and together they form something magical. The tale is by turns moving, mystical, dramatic, frightening; and the illustrations, many of them done in very dark colours, create a sense of mirky gloom and growing apprehension and, as the story darkens, some of the later pictures are truly macabre and unforgettable.

Gaiman was apparently inspired to write the story by his visits to the Isle of Skye and the legends of the Hebrides. While the pictures quite clearly place the story in the Highlands - the kilts, the purples and greens, the blackness of the mountains - Gaiman has very wisely steered clear of any attempt to 'do' dialect. The book is written in standard English, but with the lush layering of traditional legends and with a rhythm in the words that really calls for it to be read aloud.
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Format: Hardcover
Written by the renowned Neil Gaiman, this small picture book is unlike anything I’ve ever read. Perhaps picture book is too simple a phrase, for that conjures up something meant for a child, which this book clearly is not. At seventy-three pages, I read this tale in less than an hour. Every page is comprised of paintings, drawings, and even photography that weave in and out of each other and provide endless opportunities for inspection.

The story itself is something of a mystery, something of a fairy tale, something horrific, and something also amusing. It satisfies on every level, and as soon as I finished it, I immediately reread the beginning to find the clues I’d previously ignored. The signs are there. The omens are given. The fortunes read.

I don’t want to reveal much more about this story, for I think the less known the more fulfilling it is. Just know that it is masterfully written, with just enough dialogue, description, and narration to ignite a spark within your imagination not easily forgotten.

And, just as Gaiman created a provocative short story, Eddie Campbell delivers artwork no less significant. Like the story itself, the art of the book is multifaceted and unlike anything I’ve ever quite experienced. As already stated, Campbell sometimes works photography into the illustrations, sometimes creates beautiful paintings, and sometimes scribbles simple line drawings with a touch of color. Sometimes the prose and dialogue are placed within a traditional comic book sequence of panels, and sometimes they adhere to the traditions of a picture book with the prose within the illustration or juxtaposed to it.

I’ve read much of Gaiman’s work—comic books, children’s books, and novels—and I assure you that this is one of his most gratifying efforts.
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Format: Hardcover
"I am old now, or at least, I am no longer young, and everything I see reminds me of something else I've seen, such that I see nothing for the first time. A bonny girl, her head fiery-red, reminds me only of another hundred such lasses, and their mothers, and what they were as they grew, and what they looked like when they died. It is the curse of age, that all things are reflections of other things"

Fabulous weaver of weird and wonderful stories for adults and children Neil Gaiman wrote this short story/novella The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains, which was published in a collection of creepy dark stories: Stories: All New Tales, by Headline, back in 2010.

Then this story by Gaiman developed another life, when he was invited to read his story aloud, and with projected artwork by Eddie Campbell, with a musical underscore by FourPlay String Quartet at the graphic Festival at Sydney Opera House.

Now Headline have reduced the experience back down to the individual reading experience - a book, a story on the page, that artwork, condensed into a wonderful weaving of seductive and dark words, sensuous and sometimes scary images, and the tactile experience of silky, glossy pages, hardcover, slightly textured titling. The book as craft, art, and beautiful object as well as wondrous words and a story like some well-honed myth, handed down through generations.

This is a journey through the Highlands, a journey made by two stern men, both with hidden secrets. The un-named narrator is a small fierce man. His companion, Calum MacInnes, is a tall, gaunt one.
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