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The Wolves in the Walls is a 2003 work written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean. Dave McKean had been one of the main illustrators on The Sandman, giving it much of its distinctive look. The Wolves in the Walls is a children's book. Not a young adult book, which is a genre that has been bleeding into adult fantasy for a while, but a regular children's picture book.

The Sandman was a work that in terms of both visuals and storytelling was quite edgy, so the same team writing a children's book might have a unsettling result. However, it is not that far out of the pale for a children's picture book. The story involves Lucy, a young girl whose house shows signs of being inhabited by wolves (in the walls, of course). Despite her warnings and protestations, her family ignores the growing lupine menace, until they burst forward, throwing the family out. Eventually, the family creeps back in, inhabiting the space between the walls once taken up by the wolves. And they, in turn, burst out of the walls and scare the wolves away.

The story is amusing and quirky. Actually, it is hard to judge this book on its own merits, because of how else it fits in with Neil Gaiman's body of work. Actually, I think it is one of my favorite Gaiman works of the past decade. Not to be, (as they say), a hater, but when I imagine how Gaiman wrote most of his recent works, I imagine him sitting down and thinking "How exactly can I write a story that is formulaic, yet just original enough? And how can I make sure it has all the elements to become part of the geek canon overnight?" But while reading "The Wolves in the Walls", I got the feeling that Gaiman & McKean were actually, surprisingly enough, having fun with their story. And because of this, the reader as well can have fun. Pity that the book only takes 10 minutes to read.

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