Question re: Gaiman story "Murder Mysteries" (SPOILER WARNING)

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Question re: Gaiman story "Murder Mysteries" (SPOILER WARNING)

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1Carnophile
Editado: Ago 7, 2010, 3:41 pm

I recently read the Neil Gaiman story “Murder Mysteries,” which appears in his collection Smoke and Mirrors. I have a question about it but should at this point include a SPOILER WARNING.

Okay, so this is the one in which the angel Raguel, the Vengeance of the Lord, has to solve the first murder.

Gaiman implies through various hints that the narrator is an angel, and may be Raguel. In this case, I suppose the man who tells him the story of Raguel is not Raguel, but actually Lucifer. (“I don’t care what they say; I never fell.”)

On the other hand, it also seems like the man who claims to be Raguel in fact might be Raguel. Does anyone have any thoughts on this?

It seems really clear that one of them murders the two women and one of the womens' daughter. I think it’s our narrator, because he confesses to a gap in his memory. And in the story-in-the-story, God says to Raguel, “You may find it better to forget when you administer the Vengeance of the Lord.” Although I’m hard pressed to see what a five-year-old kid could do that warrants “the vengeance of the lord.”

What the hell?

Finally, I’m sure not imagining that there is something else going on here, because Gaiman admits it in his commentary on the story (but he’s cagey about the details).

2kmaziarz
Ago 7, 2010, 3:59 pm

I'll continue the SPOILER WARNING here....

Hhmm. I never thought that the angel was anyone other than Raguel himself, telling his own story. The way I read it, Raguel, the Vengeance of the Lord, was used by God to inspire Lucifer's rebellion and became disillusioned with his role and left Heaven, but never considered himself "fallen" per se. He never rebelled... he just left, and sees himself as continuing his work. But now, he takes away the memories of the crime and leaves a kind of innocence in their place.

And yes, the narrator killed the women and the girl, and Raguel took the memory away from him...because he believes that forgetfulness is a kind of freedom.

3kmaziarz
Ago 7, 2010, 4:08 pm

Also, you should perhaps read the graphic novel version of the story, illustrated by P. Craig Russell. I think it makes some of the plot points a bit more obvious when you can see the action! :-)

4Carnophile
Editado: Ago 7, 2010, 4:21 pm

kmaziarz, thanks for the fast response!

And yes, the narrator killed the women and the girl, and Raguel took the memory away from him...because he believes that forgetfulness is a kind of freedom.

That hadn't occurred to me. I guess I was too hung up on the idea of Raguel deleting his own memories. It does make sense your way, though.

And I will keep an eye out for the graphic novel version (I hadn't known there was one).

Again, thanks!

5kmaziarz
Ago 7, 2010, 4:48 pm

You're welcome! I really do recommend the graphic novel. The combination of words and images make everything a lot clearer, I think...