I read this when it first came out 10 years ago and just reread it in preparation for the motion picture. I think its even better the second time around.. truely feels like a fairy tale. Every paragraph is well written and magical. This is chiefly the tale of a young man setting out on a foolish quest for a fallen star and finding more than he expected. The ending was more bittersweet than I initially remembered too, but maybe thats me getting soft.
It's billed as an adult fairy tale, but it is very much like any child's/young adult fantasy journey, except there is one mild sex scene and one use of the F word. It was the type of story that would have appealed to me as a tween, but seems to be written too "young" for something geared toward adults.
This book is a great quick read. I love the story (though the movie is pretty true to the book) and the characters do feel well-developed to me. I love how much of the past connects to the present in this story.
A quick, absorbing little read. Short. The font in this book is really big, which is why it can boast as many pages as it does. If you're familiar with Gaiman's world-building and character-building, the whole thing will seem like a spin off familiar territory. (It's obviously the same Land of Faerie that Gaiman created for Sandman and his other books and stories.) I enjoyed it and it is a highly acclaimed little book.
You don't have to be a Gaiman fan to enjoy this book. It's a quick read, and though it doesn't delve too far past subverting cliches of the fairy tale story, it's a well-written satire on the genre. Guiltless fluff is how I would describe it.