‘Troll Bridge’ by Neil Gaiman and Colleen Doran
Title: Troll Bridge
Author: Neil Gaiman & Colleen Doran
Original Publication: October 2016
Opening Line: “Fol rol de ol rol.”
Closing Line: “But I’m not coming out.”
Neil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors, and having read two of his previous illustrated short stories (The Sleeper and the Spindle & Hansel and Gretel) I was looking forward to reading this one too. These types of books are only short and therefore are easy to get through. However, I think it adds to the reading experience to have illustrations guiding the story, as well as the words, because it’s something that doesn’t happen very often in adult fiction. Colleen Doran/Neil Gaiman’s collaboration shows how well these two aspects of storytelling can support each other. The art style is simultaneously stunning and grotesque but this only adds to the dark nature of the story.
Building up on folklore and fairy tales is something that Gaiman does so naturally and it is no less effective here. He takes the age-old myth of trolls living under the bridge and develops this into a short, but much more adult and sinister tale. A far cry from the comical trolls of picture books and TV shows, Gaiman’s troll is threatening, manipulative and frightening: this is only enhanced by Doran’s exquisite illustrations. This darker side of fairytale/folklore is something that interests me a great deal and my only complaint is that I wish the book would have been a little longer!
All in all, this was a wonderful story, showcasing the darker side of both human nature and the mythical world. Neil Gaiman is an incredible storyteller and combined with Colleen Doran’s impressive illustrations, it makes “Troll Bridge” a wonderful quick pick for older readers.
Some Questions To Think About After Reading The Book:
- Who is this book targeted at?
- What did you think of the illustrations and art style?
- What aspects, if any, unsettled you?
- What was your impression of the main characters? Did you have a favourite character?
- Does this book change your perspective on outsiders?
P.S. My musical choice this week is a new song by Emeli Sandé called “Highs & Lows”. I think it’s a great track from her new album, which I got for Christmas. Enjoy 🙂