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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
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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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Top customer reviews
- A unique and mysterious character
- A quest mandated by a king
- An arduous journey to a mystical place
- Magic and/or supernatural used as a vehicle for key plot points
Combining these elements can make for an entertaining enough story but as an adult I think I was hoping for something more out of this book, especially coming from a highly regarded author like Gaiman. There doesn't seem to be any higher wisdom, meaning, or moral to be gleaned from this book. This is in contrast to most fairy tales which use a straightforward and whimsical plot to deliver some message about courage or a good heart prevailing over evil. This book just has a straightforward and whimsical plot with not much else to back it up.
While I was not in love with the story, the presentation was quite nice and I loved the mixed media illustrations and design of the book as I was reading it. A nice edition to my bookshelf and something I may read to my future children, but not much here for me.
Here comes the part in which many might disagree with me. I wasn't always into the artwork. There were certain pictures that I liked and also others that I didn't (not that I despise either). Still, it wasn't bad. The biggest problem I have with the art (from my Kindle version of the book) is that some arrangements of the pictures has taken away the joy of the spoken narration and the story as some pictures tells what happens next (the tree towards the end for example).
As for the music by FourPlay String Quartet, I absolutely love it. Totally added to give a better experience to the spoken narration.
I should also mention that there are a few typos and missing text that were only heard in the spoken narration. It can get annoying at first as I did question if I was on the right page at times but overall not a big deal. It's just that it's such a short story that you would think that it shouldn't be too much work to fix that.
All I can say is that it is a wonderful short story that was funny at times, dark and thought provoking at other times. And for as much as I had hoped for a different ending (redemption), I was surprisingly pleased with it.
I picked up a copy from my library and read it in a couple of hours, and when I saw it was available on Kindle with music and narration by the author, all for less than four dollars, I had to hit ‘buy.’
The prose is stark and spare, but evocative as only an old school fairy tale can be. Readers are carried along by our diminutive narrator as he hires a guide to take him to a legendary cave of cursed, fairy gold, but in reality our protagonist is concluding the final leg of a ten-year hunt. For vengeance. For justice. Most of all, for the truth.
But the truth is a more onerous prize to win than any gold. It weighs heavier, even if it dispels a prior burden. It doesn’t glitter, and it carries demands of its own.
The illustrations compliment the story perfectly, the expressions of the characters and the haunting landscape dovetail with the words to make something greater than either. It’s a swift, sharp and haunting book, and worth re-reading.