After I’ve completed an exam, I no longer need to feel guilty if I read something other than my study notes. Having just finished a subject, I recently went out and grabbed myself some fiction to read instead. One of my favourite authors is Neil Gaiman, and in my random wanderings through the bookstore, I came across a book of his that I hadn’t heard about before.
A satisfying fantasy novel that manages a new take on a cliched formula
This novel is pitched as an adult fairy tale. However, it’s only adult in the sense that it’s not a children’s fairy tale. It’s not cover-to-cover steamy raunchiness or anything. There is some raunchiness. Bad things happen to good people. All up, more of a “young adult” book than an adult one, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
On the copy that I’ve got, there’s a review quote from Stephen King. In fact, aspects of the book do remind me of King’s work, as Gaiman is able to conjure up some pretty strange and freaky creatures to inhabit his fantasy world. The physics and logic of the fantasy world start off strange, but grew on me during the course of the book. Just seeing Gaiman apply his creativity is part of the enjoyment of reading it.
Apparently this book has been turned into a movie, although I hadn’t heard of it either. Although, after reading this book and enjoying it, I’ll be keeping an eye out for the movie at the local video store. I also discovered that Gaiman is behind Coraline, which I am very keen to see, now that I’ve read his take on a children’s fairy story.
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I loved this book! Go Neil Gaiman!
As a postscript to the above review…
A friend at work had a copy of the movie that I’ve now watched. I liked it, but not as much as the book. In general, I find it best to watch the movie before the book, because this is pretty common. It was interesting how much stuff had been left out or changed, because it’s not a very long book in the first place. The movie sort-of felt like a cross between Pirates of the Caribbean and Harry Potter. The book didn’t feel like that at all.
By the way, Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book” is another excellent read, that struggles somewhere in between the child and adult market.