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Neil Gaiman, ‘The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains’ (2010)

In a mythical-historical Scotland, a child-sized man arrives at a house in a valley, searching for one Calum MacInnes, who is said to know the way to a cave on the Misty Isle, a cave in which there is gold. Thus, the two embark on a journey that will have tragic consequences for at least one of them…

The great strength of this story lies in its manner of telling. Gaiman’s prose creates an atmosphere of a bleak, half-legendary world, less through particular descriptions than through careful use of archaic structures. I rarely find myself associating stories with colours, but I imagined this one strongly in shades of white, grey, and wintry green.

Rating: ***½

Neil Gaiman’s website

This post is part of a series on the anthology Stories; click here to read the rest.