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Shoggoth's Old Peculiar

Shoggoth's Old Peculiar - Jouni Koponen, Neil Gaiman I was straightening up my bookshelf earlier today, and stumbled across this chapbook, stuffed into a corner out of the light. I remember having bought it several years ago, along with another Gaiman novelty, but for some reason I didn't read it before stuffing it into said corner. This wasn't very fair of me, considering how much I like Neil Gaiman. I'm just glad I happened to find it this morning.

This isn't really a book (it's a short story, published in its own thin, stapled-together paperback format, otherwise known as a chapbook), but instead it's a 40-page, illustrated short story. It took me about ten minutes to read, and it's pretty light. It's not quite so light that it just floats away, but it's a Cthulhu-mythos pastiche that reads like an Abbott and Costello routine, once it gets underway. If nothing else, read it for the first few pages, where an American walking the coastline of Great Britain adds his one commentary to the guide he's using.

Gaiman fans will probably love this story (it's available in both electronic and audio formats, if tracking down a chapbook isn't of interest to you), but I'm not sure it has much for the casual reader. It's an older story of Gaiman's, and it has that humorous tone that he used so well in "Being an Experiment Upon Strictly Scientific Lines." It's a curiosity, a jaunt, maybe even a novelty, but it's fun and irresistibly Gaiman. Take that for what you will.