“Fairy tales are for adults too.” And Gaiman delivers. This fully realized fairy tale is as fresh and red-blooded as ancient mythology. Wow.
That said, this book might have been rated only four stars had it not been for the inclusion of his speech “Writing and the Imagination” (2000). Comparable to J. R. R. Tolkiens’ “On Fairy Stories” (1939). Gaiman’s speech reminds us that mythology and fairy tales are important “because they have power.” Not just as children’s stories but for all of us. He paraphrases G. K. Chesterton, “Fairy tales more than true. Not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be defeated.”