Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle, by Neil Gaiman

There are few authors who make a mark on the reader even with short works. For me, one such author is Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a fan of his work ever since I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, so when a friend recommended that I read The Sleeper and the Spindle, I didn’t hesitate. The cover intrigued me further as well.

The Sleeper and the Spindle brings a new twist to beloved fairy tales. It wouldn’t really be a spoiler if I said that one of the fairy tales it’s similar to would be Sleeping Beauty. Yet the story itself is not along the same lines. It narrates an adventure where a queen goes on a quest to set a princess free from her enchantment. Yet, all is not as it seems. And sleep changes the world, as it does when we sleep. Can the queen succeed in her quest?

Yes. Without a doubt, the novel managed to keep me reading from start to finish. Maybe it was the familiarity of old fairy tales narrated in a new voice, or the intrigue of the genre itself, I cannot say. The story has a charm to it, that’s for sure. I also loved the black and white illustrations in the book, done by Chris Riddell. They made the book much better.

I like the character of the Queen who puts her subjects’ joy before her personal happiness, and her determination to succeed in her quest. The dwarves are quite memorable too, but they aren’t developed much because it’s a short book.

The length of the book, it seems very short. With illustrations accompanying it, the book seems even shorter. The characters develop quickly because of that, and except for the Queen, the others aren’t that exciting.

As I said earlier, the storyline seems familiar, so it does bring some joy. The narration is magical, and I enjoyed it. It’s not extremely simple language, but something that most people would like reading.

It’s a well presented novel, and one that I would definitely enjoy reading again. It makes me eager to pick up Gaiman’s work again.


A score of 9 out of 10
A score of 9 out of 10
Book Details
Title: The Sleeper and the Spindle
Author(s): Neil Gaiman Genre: Fantasy
ISBN/ASIN: 9781408859643 Publisher: Bloomsbury

No payment was taken for this review. The views expressed here are mine, and they remain uninfluenced and unbiased.


(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
30th August 2016)

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: The Sleeper and the Spindle, by Neil Gaiman

  1. I liked this book, but it defied category- was it a novella? a graphic novel? what age range? I work in youth services and ended up putting it in the teen department collection at my library.

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