The Truth is a cave in the Black Mountains

black mountain1


The Truth is the cave in the black mountains – Neil Gaiman and Eddie Campbell

I guess firstly I have to say how happy I am that the lovely people at Headline and Bookbridgr made it possible for me to receive a copy of this, thank you guys!

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.

Ok – so as much as I enjoyed reading it, reviewing it is a bit of a challenge, it isn’t a graphic novel as such, more like a short story with illustrations. The best way I can think to describe it is that it is like a children’s picture book, only for adults. Get it? Good.
The book itself is beautiful, the cover is dark and eerie, like all the best Gaiman stories are and the different textures used for the cover and the spine made reading it feel special. Even the pages inside are soft and glossy – it’s a genuinely lovely book, if a little on the heavy side.

I’m not hugely artistic, while I can appreciate it, I don’t know enough about art to really comment on how good the illustrations are.  I thought they were great and really complimented the story of our two travellers making their way through Scotland, but I also think the style of them would put some people off. Eddie Campbell is better known for graphic novels, but as I’ve not come across any of his before, I can’t really compare them to anything else he’s done.

As for the story, it’s pure Gaiman, dark and fantastical with an absolutely cracking use of foreshadowing and a nice dollop of karma. Our main protagonist reminded me a little of Tyrion Lannister with his wisdom, cunning and his view on repaying debts.
The concept for this book was for a performance reading which sounds like it was awesome for those present. While I enjoyed reading this and am a bit of a Gaiman fangirl, it did feel a little unfinished, I think the ending probably worked better as part of the performance. But anyway, I really liked this, it was a nice change from what I’ve been reading recently and it looks great on my bookshelf.



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