I'm a big fan of SF/F/Horror, and all things in between and out.
A beautiful little story for children and those who remember what it was like to be children. It made me laugh and smile and broke my heart.
Humphrey Bower's narration is perfection - the icing on an already delicious cake. His voice will make you want to look up at the stars, think of long-gone friends, and somehow - manage to hear their laughter.
It should be a walk down the street, but on a father's trip to buy some milk for his children's cereal (and probably also his tea), aliens show up (as they do), and kidnap him. Dad escapes by breaking the time space continuum and lands himself on a 17th a pirate ship, and here - things get a little weird.
Throughout the rest of the book there are vampyrs, time traveling dinosaurs, exploding volcanoes, oh-so-self-fulfilling prophecies, and other fun things.
Neil Gaiman's Fortunately, the Milk is at the exact opposite end of his fiction as The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and I'm all for it. I love that Gaiman can write something as staggeringly powerful and hauntingly personal as The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and then turn around and bring us something as absurd and silly as this. It's a Dahl-esque tour with Dad as hero, with a stegosaurus inventor riding shotgun in a hot air balloon (sorry! Floaty-Ball-Person-Carrier). It reminded me of James and the Giant Peach and Gaiman's own The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish as well as his poem "The Day the Saucers Came." If you enjoyed those books, this one's right up your alley. It's a fun book, completely devoid of anything creepy/scary, and I can't wait to listen to it with my children.
Gaiman himself narrates it, and really, who else could possibly read it as well as him? He's a commanding reader, and it's great to hear him cut loose and be silly for an hour.
Professor Steg, the stegosaurus inventor says it best: "Where there is milk, there is hope." Well here, there be milk. And lots of it.
Here's something I wasn't expecting -- a quirky little mystery packed with interesting, flawed, often-hilarious characters and experiences and tinged with the bittersweetness of growing up. Sixteen people are invited to live in a prestige apartment building by a mysterious benefactor. Soon, they discover that Sam Westing, the millionaire who lives at the top of the hill, is dead, and they've all been named as potential heirs, and are invited to play a game. Each character in this diverse cast has secrets and fears and motivations -- be it the kids or the adults -- and there isn't any obvious single protagonist. Best of all, it's a YA novel that never considers condescending to a younger audience.
My 10 year-old daughter discovered it in her school library, and she loved it so much I picked up the audiobook to listen to with her. I have lost count over how many times she's relistened to it.
Eric Michael Summerer provides a solid no frills-narration that might sound a little flat to some, but he brings a confidence to the reading that helps anchor all the different characters and the complexities of the story in a relatively short amount of time. He made it sound easy (and good)!
This is simply an excellent novel (It won the Newbery back in '78) that's at times smart, funny, exciting and surprisingly emotional.