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

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Title: The Truth is a Cave in the Black Mountains

Author: Neil Gaiman

Illustrator: Eddie Campbell

Genre: Fantasy/Horror

Number of Pages: 74

Rating: C+

Recommended?: No



I’ll keep this review short, because I honestly don’t have much to say about this book. It’s essentially just one of Neil Gaiman’s short stories with a bunch of illustrations added to stretch it into a book. As far as the story, it’s about a man with dwarfism (who is often the victim of ableism and bullying) who’s haunted by a tragedy in his past. He decides he wants to explore an infamously creepy and isolated cave and he brings a guide along, but his stoic companion also has a dark secret or two.


Needless to say, it’s not a happy story, one might even go so far as to describe it as an outright downer. I’ve only read a few books by Neil Gaiman but from the stuff I’ve read I think he’s fantastic. I can totally see why people love him so much, but to me this story was just okay. It’s one of those things that started to fade from my mind as soon as I finished it.


I actually think it might be better as a longer work with more time taken to develop the characters, so there’d be more of an emotional impact. Worse, I didn’t even like the artwork that much. It felt very lifeless to me and had a certain half-finished quality to it. Maybe if I’d read this in one of the author’s anthologies without the pictures I would have liked it better. It’s further proof that even excellent writers sometimes put out underwhelming pieces of writing.

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