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Friday, October 3, 2014

Book Review: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman

After my reading drought, I finally picked up a book to read. I had just gotten The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains and figured it's short, so it is a good book to start back up with. I was not disappointed, nor would I expect to be with any Neil Gaiman story.

The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains by Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Eddie Campbell

From GoodReads:
Hardcover, 74 pages
Published June 17th 2014 by William Morrow (first published June 2010)

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.

My Thoughts:
The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains is a short story that has been given the deluxe treatment with illustrations by Eddie Campbell. The book is a mix of text, illustration and comic panels. The illustrations are the perfect accompaniment to the storing taking place in the wild, unforgiving Highlands.

First line: You ask me if I can forgive myself?

I was hooked.

This is a story of a man who has spent a year hating his daughter after she ran away. He searches for 10 years to find Calum MacInnes, a man who can guide him to a cave on the Misty Isle. On the surface, this seems to be a tale about treasure in magical cave, but as our narrator and his guide travel to the Misty Isle, a tale unfolds, a tale of the daughter that ran away.

What this book has to recommend it:

  • Neil Gaiman. He writes beautifully and in a voice that is uniquely his own. I have tried to find other authors of his caliber and while some have come close, none have been able to match it. His stories are magical, macabre, if not at times bordering on horrific.
  • The Highlands of Scotland. The Highlands are such a beautiful, untamed region. I found that when I travelled through the Highlands, I was changed, irrevocably altered by the beauty and magic of the lochs, the moors, the mountains. There is so much history, so much tragedy. I’m not sure it is a place anyone could travel to and remain unchanged.
  • The illustrations. The artistic style of Eddie Campbell fits perfectly with this story. The illustrations are rough as the region our characters are travelling through.

All in all, this is a beautiful edition that would be a worthy addition to anyone’s library. And while I already own this story in a Neil Gaiman anthology, I couldn’t resist picking up and adding it to my collection.


  1. This sounds great! I haven't heard of it before, but it is great to see that even though it was a short read the author had you hooked! Fab review!

    Naomi @ Nomi’s Paranormal Palace

    1. If you know and like Neil Gaiman, you'd like this. It has an element of creepiness which is perfect for Halloween. He is one of my favorite authors, so I recommend him every opportunity I get. Thanks for stopping by!