Click Clack the Rattlebag – Neil Gaiman (Mini-review)

“‘What kind of story would you like me to tell you?’ ‘Well,’ he said, thoughtfully, ‘I don’t think it should be too scary, because then when I go up to bed, I will just be thinking about monsters the whole time. But if it isn’t just a little bit scary, then I won’t be interested. And you make up scary stories, don’t you?'”
So begins this subtle, witty, deceptive little tale from master storyteller Neil Gaiman. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, and enjoy!

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One evening whilst our narrator is looking after his girlfriends little brother the boy decides he wants to be taken to bed and read a scary story. As the narrator and the boy make their way from the light, warm kitchen, up the creaky old stairs, in the huge house they are in the boy cant believe his sisters boyfriend had never heard of the Click Clacks. He begins to tell the story about Click Clacks, what they are and what they do to their victims. The narrator is not unnerved until there comes the description of the Rattlebag and the pair make their way deeper in the dark, creaky house.

As with most Neil Gaiman books I’ve read the story is left for the reader/listeners interpretation. There is nothing outwardly stated but you get the feeling whilst listening that there’s something not right about the pair. I loved the fact that this is an audiobook so you get the sound effects and you can hear the worry in the boys voice and the uncertainty of the narrators’. Its a normal tale but has a climatic ending which really hits you, even if you’re listening first thing on a morning whilst driving to work!

The audiobook is only 12.47 minutes long and the beginning was taken up with Neil talking about the book and its purpose of donating money to the Booktrust charity. Basically the book is free all day on October 31st and each download means 50p is donated to the charity so go here if you want to download it! Neil narrated the story himself and I must say he has such a great reading voice, I didn’t want it to stop. I’ve always said that audiobooks and me wont work but I do think that they would in the car and listening to Click Clack the Rattlebag really made me aware of how good audiobooks would be in long car journeys for kids.