Sean Barrs the Bookdragon's Reviews > The Sleeper and the Spindle

The Sleeper and the Spindle by Neil Gaiman
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did not like it
bookshelves: 1-star-reads, children-of-all-ages, fantasy

Wow! This was so absolutely terrible! Why do you always polarise me Gaiman? Sometimes I love what you do and at other times I absolutely hate it. I just have no middle ground with you.

Gaiman subverted the standard fairy-tale so much that his ending, one that was clearly meant to be surprising, was so blatantly obvious to the point of actually being mundane. I called this one from the get go. Certainly, some of the changes he makes are, indeed, praiseworthy. We have a gallant hero, one ready to wake the sleeping beauty. So to spice things up a bit Gaiman makes the hero a woman. This was a good move, but nothing overly remarkable. It’s been done before, and will be done again. By reversing such things, the story that followed was easy to predict; it was just the opposite of what you’d normally expect to see. I yawned through the entire thing.

Now the artwork was undeniably wonderful, but this story doesn’t deserve it. . The plot is simple at best, and the final ending just doesn’t deliver what it needed to. It relies on its reversal so much. It was disappointing as a story, and not worthy of being in an edition like this by itself. It was weak, so weak. There’s no time for anything to develop, and the eventual villain that revealed itself was practically an overdone caricature. There’s so little to this. I actually have nothing else to say because there is not much else here to criticise. It's like the bear bones of a story. Gaiman can do so much better than this.
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Reading Progress

October 7, 2014 – Shelved
October 7, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
Started Reading
January 12, 2017 – Shelved as: 1-star-reads
January 12, 2017 – Shelved as: children-of-all-ages
January 12, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
January 12, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Kimberley de Jong Wow! You really hated this? I thought it brought a lot for how short it was, and the artwork was a wonderful enhancement of the story. Funny how opinions can be so different! Maybe you should try Odd and the Frost Giants.. It is a children's book, but it also has a beautiful edition like this one :)


message 2: by Ginger (last edited Jan 12, 2017 03:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ginger I completely agree with you on Gaiman. You either love his story or you hate it. And it changes from story to story. I think he is the only author that I have gotten to know that is like this.
I enjoyed this one but your points are certainly valid!
Here is hoping the next one will be a win ;D


Cecily How sad - for you. (Not a criticism.) I agree the story was not very surprising, but then a traditional telling wouldn't have been either. Like you, I think the illustrations were the most special part, but for me, they were embedded in the words, and elevated them to create a magical whole. That said, I've always loved Riddell, but have patchier responses to Gaiman.


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