Author: Neil Gaiman

Type: Fiction, novel

Published: 1996

I read it: November 2013


This one is right there in between “I liked it” and “I really liked it.” I feel I have to go with the more conservative assessment since the book just didn’t quite pin me down as much as it could have. Don’t get me wrong, it was quite a fun read, and it did the job I asked of it: it kept me awake in the middle of the night when I was feeding my son, and it lent itself to being read in small doses. There are a ton of great mini-scenes that guarantee you can spend just a few minutes reading and you will be entertained.

I liked following Richard’s adventure even though it was ill-defined. His confusion and constant questioning of his own sanity was a big part of the story. However, that also allowed the story to drift a bit too much. At times I wondered if it was supposed to be Door’s story. And a lot of the colorful scenes seemed to only brush up against the plot instead of really be critical within it. Finally, there were those glaring POV shifts that I guess have to be chalked up to this being an earlier work of Gaiman, but man, I really get hung up on poor POV handling and this book had a lot of that. Regardless, it’s fun fantasy and I’m glad the book was challenged in a New Mexico school (read his excellent response here), because that finally gave me the push to take it off the shelves.

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