Why I read it: Recommended by the librarian when I was taking out "Troll's Eye View". Saturday, when I was on about page 185, and I'd left the book sitting on the reading nook while I read the entire internet at the dining room table, Ed picked this book up and started reading. He'd read the whole thing by dinner.
Bookmark: Library receipt.
Tastes like Chicken: There was a little bit of Narnia, I suppose, because of going to another world, and the WWII associations. It's sort of a meta-fairy tale, because you'll enjoy it much more if you know at least some of the fairy tales that David, the main character, encounters on his travels.
What I liked: This book was written for grownups, but it had that texture of something that will find its way into the hands of whatever people should read it, regardless of age. The main character is a youth, but I've never really seen that as a criteria to make something a kids' book or a grups' book. The fairy tales involved were all twisted horribly, and that seemed really fun.
Not so much: There was a lot of exposition, a lot more than I'm used to. For me, this worked better at the beginning than at the end.
Lesson: First of all, I'll take that librarian's recommendations again. Second, this was a lot about writing what you know. The author knows fairy tales, so that was what he wrote about. Also, just because there's lots of tell, not showing, that doesn't mean it won't work. Or maybe that's just because the author isn't North American.