There was much to admire in this book--the writing is lovely and Gaiman does a great job authentically capturing his young narrator's voice. The book beautifully captures the feeling of anxiety and danger the world sometimes presents to a young, sensitive kid. In the end, though, I found the book a bit...muddled. I kept wanting it to be either a straight fantasy book or something more clearly allegorical. It didn't satisfy this reader on either count, though it really seemed to want to do the latter. Didn't quite work for me.