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A Walking Tour of the Shambles

A Walking Tour of the Shambles - Gene Wolfe, Neil Gaiman This little book was the other Gaiman novelty I found while organizing a bookshelf over the weekend. Like Shoggoth's Old Peculiar, this book is short, not quite a novel, and is probably only for the hardest of hardcore Neil Gaiman fans, though special mention should be made that Gene Wolfe fans might also get a kick out of it. I say that because the prose seems to have been written by Wolfe more than Gaiman. I don't have a lot of experience reading Wolfe, but I do remember his style being drier than Gaiman's, and this book simply doesn't read like Gaiman's works.

The Shambles is a fictional area of Chicago that Gaiman and Wolfe dare to describe to us, with its questionable restaurants, strange houses, and eldritch atmosphere. Included in the area is a petting zoo that's great for children (so long as they're not your own), a clock museum (best visited right at the hour, and closes at six pm sharp), and a park that's a great place to relax (so long as the crocodile doesn't get involved). It doesn't include a map, unfortunately, but the descriptions of the attractions and sights in this three-block area of the city should be enough to shape out the region in your mind.

The book is very brief (57 pages), but entertaining enough. It would make a cute read for fans of either author, but I'm not sure there's enough here for casual readers to spend their time with. Regardless, it's a cute novelty that fits in well with the rest of my Neil Gaiman collection.