Like many others before me I read this in one sitting. I didn’t know exactly how I felt after I finished. A little unsettled, respectful of the obvious talent of Neil Gaiman, and kind of icky I guess. Like Steven King, Gaiman is a masterful storyteller who can easily convey tons of emotion with simple sentences. Like King too, those same simple sentences can really freak you out even as an adult, even when he is only describing a cloth-creature who wants to snatch up the little boy who is the main protagonist of the story.
It’s an adult fairy-tale minus the fairies. Minus the fairies how we think of them anyways!
A seven year old boy who doesn’t easily make friends, instead falls into the comforting world of stories and myths (therefore a boy after my own heart) finds a warm and welcoming home on a farm just down the lane from his own family. The two women and girl who live on the farm are not average country folk though, they know things no human knows, and they protect our reality in a sense from the dark things that go bump in the night. Through happenstance, the boy is drawn into a wild and scary adventure that is really quite disturbing for a young boy- and it makes sense that as an adult, he really only truthfully remembers from time to time when he wanders back to his childhood home.
I profess myself surprised that this book got so much attention from mainstream media when it came out because it’s full of so much fantasy and ideas that the normal crowd don’t really go for. I know this is kind of a crap review but I’m out of practice.
One thing is for sure, there isn’t anything else out there that I know of and that is marvelous. I’d say if you are not a person who enjoys flights of fancy or stories not of the solid stuff of reality you will very probably hate this book. If you are a person whose imagination is one of the most important things you possess, then the story may seep into your own mind a little more than you wish- and that’s the true mark of a great story (I’ve concluded).