I am kind of annoyed. I had hoped for a nice collection of short stories to sink my teeth into. But instead I ended up skipping over a lot of stories I had previously read in this one. So I ended up only taking a few short hours on this one (I think it took me around 2) to finish up. For the really new to me stories I thought some were just okay, and others didn't make a lick of sense and did not appeal to me. The only really one I enjoyed was "The Price" and that featured a black cat.
For those who are still looking to complete your Halloween book bingo, there are some stories in here for you that you may want to take a look at.
"The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds" (1 star). This was painful to read. I was tempted to have this story count towards the "It was a dark and stormy night" but decided to let that go. Told like a pulp detective novel featuring characters from children's nursery rhymes. Reading the word "dame" from Jack Horner (now a detective) made me roll my eyes. A lot.
"Troll Bridge" (3.5 stars). I thought this one counted towards disturbing and sad in the end. A young boy comes across a troll that wants to eat his life. He manages to get away with a promise to come back. And he does come back. I thought one of his trips ended up sealing his fate so to speak (the young boy) because something that was innocent definitely curdled.
"Don't Ask Jack" (3.5 stars). I thought this was a bittersweet story involving a jack in the box. The whole story made me feel lonely and sad. There is a reference to a moonlit night.
"How to Sell the Ponti Bridge" (2 stars). Sorry. Could not get into this one at all. Reading about a special club of men I guess who end up being taken in by someone. I liked the illustration that came with this one. That's all I got.
"October in the Chair" (skipped over, read previously).
"Chivalry" (3 stars). A woman finds the Holy Grail and is visited by Sir Galahad. I think that there is a hint that the woman wants Galahad and that he kind of sucks for running off with someone else, but after reading about Merlin the other week, this book was a downer for me.
"The Price" (5 stars). Featuring a black cat. I loved this one about the owner who starts to realize that a black cat that is now staying with him and his family may be more than what it appears to be. I have to say though I think I read this entire premise about a black cat in a Stephen King collection. Or from someone else. It has bugged me for a day now and maybe I will recall it down the road.
"How to Talk to Girls at Parties" (skipped over, read previously).
"Sunbird" (skipped over, read previously).
"The Witch's Headstone" (skipped over, read this in The Graveyard Book).
"Instructions" (4 stars). I liked this one a lot even though I haven't cared for Gaiman's poems in the past.
The stories ultimately don't seem to have much of a connection between them. I do love the illustrations that came with this book though.