“The Troll Bridge” by Neil Gaiman

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This story is an homage to all the fairy tale trolls out there. It’s the story of Jack, who meets a troll under a bridge when he is very young, and convinces him not to eat his life, because he hasn’t lived yet.

Melissa: When I was young, I had an uncut copy of Grimm’s Fairy Tales that I loved. They were so honest, unlike the sanitized books commonly found in children’s libraries. Gaiman’s story, loosely based on “The Three Billy Goats Gruff,” had the same feel as those stories that I still love today. The ending drives home what it really means to live your life, as opposed to what you thought it would mean when you were young and full of dreams.

Joe: I thought the story was just OK. I didn’t get pulled in or care much about the main character, so I didn’t really care about what happened between him and the troll. I thought the story was well written and constructed nicely, I just didn’t connect.

Brooke: I liked it. It was a cool story. Gaiman’s description of a troll is almost exactly how I would imagine a troll. The ways in which Jack tried to trick the troll was a throwback to the Grimm Fairy Tales. I didn’t expect the ending, but I did really like it.

Charlie: Weird as hell. (It should be noted, that, aside from the Stardust and Coraline movies, this is Charlie’s first exposure to Gaiman. It should also be noted that Charlie just said “Wait, Stardust was Gaiman??”) The ending surprised me, I didn’t see it coming, and it took a minute to realize what had happened. I’m a big fan of the show Grimm, and I could see this story taking place in that universe. I felt like this story honored The Brothers Grimm. I also appreciated that Gaiman wasn’t afraid to give graphic descriptions.

Family Consensus: 6/10 This seemed to be a love it or hate it story.

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