In a quiet English village, legend tells of a black dog that appears in the darkness. If you see him, you die. Shadow Moon has been on the road for a long time so, when he meets a nice couple at the pub in this village, he gratefully accepts their offer of a room to stay in. However, when the man collapses on the way home, Shadow realises that this village is harbouring a dark secret.
Black Dog follows Shadow Moon, the main character from American Gods, so although it does work as a standalone novella and doesn’t follow on directly, it would be helpful to read American Gods first for context.
The book is very short but you can really tell what a remarkable writer Neil Gaiman is because it’s incredibly atmospheric and tells a complete and engaging story with barely any scene-setting, character development, or build-up.
I read the version illustrated by Daniel Egneus and the illustrations really made the reading experience special. The pictures are dark and abstract and complement the story beautifully.