I feel a tiny bit like I have failed in being a fantasy-loving English major. How have I managed to reach the age of 23 and NOT read anything by Neil Gaiman? Perplexing.
I have to admit, I really only read this because I was introduced to its existence through the movie. But I think that is not such a bad thing as the movie is one of the more well done renditions of the “book to movie” trend. Of course there were things left out, things changed, things omitted, things added. But such is the way of transferring from media to media.
And Robert De Niro plays Captain Shakespeare wonderfully.
The writing was clear, easy to read, and enjoyable. It was rather…odd to get used to the frequent mention of urinating in the book. It is just one of those things that books tend to avoid- whether because it is unimportant to the plot, or whether it is understood and just not stated. But Gaiman states it. Frequently. I’m all-a-puzzle about his reasons.
Anyway. The story was diverting, as is the movie. The characters had just enough comedy, romance, adventure, and spunk. It was a short read, and definitely worth the time.
I do not see why he is one of the more famous writers of fantasy, though I did think his writing was good. I will read another of his books, but his writing did not send me in a tizzy to the closest bookstore for another sample of his writing.
This book is a firm 4 star book. There are some lapses where the action drops, but overall this book is fantastic.
Read it. And then watch the movie :)