Paul Di Filippo returns in fine protean form with his story collection Little Doors. "Billy" satirizes both the Reagan presidency and the American anyone-can-make-it myth, as a boy born literally without a brain grows up to become president of the United States. "Rare Firsts" places a fantastic temptation before a failing rare-book dealer. A deceased milquetoast may yet save the day in the amusing nightmare-noir of "The Short Ashy Afterlife of Hiram P. Dottle." The melancholy "Slumberland" reveals the later adventures of the old man who once dreamed his way through the Sunday comic strip "Little Nemo in Slumberland." And "Return to Cockaigne" turns high fantasy inside out, in what can only inadequately be described as a collision of Candyland, C.S. Lewis's Narnia, James Branch Cabell's Poictesme, and LSD.|
The promotional printing of Little Doors promises "seventeen new stories that represent his best work to date": this is not true. The anthology contains 16 stories and one poem. Also, the copyright page indicates that every work has been previously published, and some of the stories date back a decade or more, to a time when Di Filippo was a less skilled and versatile stylist. However, the early stories do display the wild imagination for which he is justly praised, and the later stories demonstrate his full creative powers, from the impressive surrealism of "The Death of Salvador Dali" to the jabberwacked-out magic realism of "Jack Neck and the Worry Bird" to the eerie e.e. cummings tribute "Mehitabel in Hell."
Source: Cynthia Ward, Amazon.com.