This is a great tale... but not a very good book. It's rife with "product of it's times" passages that make me wince with the audacity of them, but at its heart is a lovely story about creativity and childhood and loss and love. I loved this tale as a childhood, but as an adult - and perhaps this is part of the child/adult dichotomy from the book? - the problems become so front and center. Though, what does that say about the heartlessness of a child? Meh, I suspect whole papers have been written on the topic. Regardless, I'm glad to have reread it. It was an interesting nostalgia bomb.Also... I don't think I much liked Slightly as a child, but I really feel sympathy for him now.