by Neil Gaiman
“If you walk the path, eventually you must arrive at the cave.”
A small man, half-human, enlists the help of a gruff mountain-dweller to guide him as they embark on a journey to a fabled cave in the mountains rumored to contain limitless gold.
Told in a fairy-tale style, most of the 30-page story concerns the journey to the cave, the warnings along the way, and the interaction between the two men. The reader is eventually shown why the journey is undertaken by both.
Gaiman, as usual, employs his hypnotic voice to keep you glued to the page. There’s not really enough time to get attached to character, but that rarely happens in fairy-tales anyway. The story’s engaging and interesting but not fun. It hints at a larger understanding but contains no epiphany.
What you get here is a short journey of discovery, a mystery that becomes partially solved, a little revenge, and expert storytelling by one of the greats.