This is the first Neil Gaiman book I’ve read, but won’t be the last. It seemed to pull me inside the story immediately and then rattled along at a great pace, I just couldn’t put it down. It is the magical story of a boy from an ordinary family living an uneventful life until everything changed and he ended up having a (fairly scary!) adventure with a girl who had been 11 for many years, entering the strange world she inhabits, or rather, that strange world comes over and inhabits his!
I didn’t realise until I’d finished the book that we never even find out his name, but it doesn’t matter, we get to know this 7 year old boy so well.
“I was not happy as a child, although from time to time I was content. I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
“Also, in my bedroom, nobody minded if I kept the hall door half-open, allowing in enough light that I was not scared of the dark, and, just as important, allowing me to read secretly, after my bedtime, using the dim hallway light to read by, if I needed to. I always needed to.”
“Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”
Although the main characters are children, it isn’t a children’s book so don’t let that put you off. I’d like to say that everyone should read this book, but I know it won’t be for everyone. But if you love stories that race along, dragging you with them so you can’t put down the book, if you were a bookish child who lost yourself in stories, if the quotes above ring very true, if you love being scared by a bit of magic – then this book is definitely for you.