Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Tuesday Reviews: The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: September 22, 2015
Format Read: Hardback
Rating: One star

Description from Goodreads: It was the closest kingdom to the queen's, as the crow flies, but not even the crows flew it.

You may think you know this story. There's a young queen, about to be married. There are some good, brave, hardy dwarfs; a castle, shrouded in thorns; and  princess, cursed by a witch, so rumor has it, to sleep forever.

But no one is waiting for a noble prince to appear on his trusty steed here. This fairy tale is spun with a thread of dark magic, which twists and turns and glints and shines. A queen might just prove herself a hero, if a princess needs rescuing...

I didn't know much about THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE going into it. I knew it was a retelling of Sleeping Beauty, and that it was a Neil Gaiman book, and that was pretty much it. Never having read anything from this widely-acclaimed author, I thought I'd start with this one, since the cover was gorgeous and the illustrations inside made it feel like an old storybook.

I must say, though... I wasn't too impressed by said gorgeous book.

Not having names in the story, while interesting, proved to be confusing. There were so many "he"s and "she"s that it became hard to tell which character was speaking, and when. As well as this, the story being only 66 pages felt like a bit of a rush. There were things that could have used more than a sentence or two explanation, and elements that were added to the Sleeping Beauty story (the queen) that didn't make much sense. 

When it comes to the plot, it just didn't wow me. There were new characters and aspects brought to the story, but nothing that made me fall in love with the book. As for the darkness of the story... there wasn't much. Other than the single plot twist at the end of the book that still leaves me with questions about how, exactly, it worked, there wasn't any darkness to the book.

In fact, if it weren't for the art on the pages and ESPECIALLY the cover, I wouldn't be keeping it. 

I give THE SLEEPER AND THE SPINDLE a single star. It wasn't something I see myself reading again, and I honestly just didn't enjoy it. This short story definitely doesn't take a place amongst my favorite retellings. 

My question is, how does Gaiman's other works compare to this one? He's won a lot of awards, but if his other novels are anything like SLEEPER... are they worth reading?


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