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The Graveyard Book

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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  303,161 Ratings  ·  22,403 Reviews
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belon
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Hardcover, 312 pages
Published September 30th 2008 by HarperCollins
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Dawn Absolutely loved him. Bod is actually one of my favorite Gaiman protags. He's a departure from the hapless, wimpy slackers that usually characterize…moreAbsolutely loved him. Bod is actually one of my favorite Gaiman protags. He's a departure from the hapless, wimpy slackers that usually characterize his protagonists. Bod is tough, does what he needs to, and is utterly unapologetic about it while still being likable and sympathetic.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Emma Because he wanted to go out into the real world

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Patrick
Sep 28, 2013 Patrick rated it it was amazing

Recently, on a car trip with my little boy, I decided to try listening to an audiobook.

In the past this hasn't been a success. He loves to be read to in person, both picture books and chapter books. But he not a fan of listening to books in the car. At best he's indifferent, but usually he just asks me to turn them off.

Generally speaking, he'd prefer to listen to Macklemore's Thrift Shop, which he calls "The Sway Music."

But he's four now, with a vocabulary that's diverse to the point of being
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Betsy
Jul 31, 2008 Betsy rated it really liked it
Recommended to Betsy by: Monica Edinger
I’ve noticed that there’s been an increased interest in the macabre in children’s literature lately. Sometimes when I’ve had a glass or two of wine and I’m in a contemplative mood I try weaving together a postulation that ties the current love of violent movies into this rise in children’s literary darkness. Is the violence of the world today trickling down into our entertainment? Hogwash and poppycock and other words of scoff and denial, says sober I. But I’ve certainly seen a distinct rise in ...more
Nataliya
It takes a graveyard to raise a child. This is a summary of this magical, sweet and imaginative story for children, which (in a good tradition of the Brothers Grimm) started with a triple homicide.
“There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.”
Neil Gaiman does not waste time with unicorns and princesses and butterflies which are often considered acceptable for children. He kicks off his book with the brutal murders of a child's entire family, written in a chilling tone that made
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Ariel
Dec 16, 2015 Ariel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I just don't think Neil Gaiman can write something I won't enjoy. His worlds are so rich and visceral, his characters so unique and loveable. I loved this story, loved Bod with all my heart, and was proud of him as he grew up. I listened to this audiobook, narrated by Neil Gaiman, and it was top notch. Can't wait for my next
Mark Lawrence
Sep 27, 2016 Mark Lawrence rated it it was amazing
I read this to Celyn but the 5* are from both of us. I think I probably enjoyed it more than she did in fact.

It's a fine book. I can see why it's done so well. The story is well structured, the brutal opening providing an orphan, a mystery, and an ongoing threat. Thereafter the book slowly cycles back around to its beginning and in the mean time raises our young Bod, equipping him with the skills to deal with his problem.

Bod's life in the graveyard is very interesting, with him learning various
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Valerie
Oct 18, 2008 Valerie rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
This is how it usually goes with me and Neil Gaiman books:

Scene: at the library.
Picks up Stardust and reads back flap... thinks, "hey, this looks like a great book. What an interesting idea for a story..." When actually reading Stardust: bored.

A couple months later. At the library.
Picks up Neverwhere... thinks, "hmmm. This looks really interesting, but that's what I thought about Stardust. Well, maybe I'll give him one last chance." When actually reading Neverwhere: stupid last chances!!!

So I wa
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Jason Koivu
Jun 10, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it it was ok
Recommended to Jason by: Everyone...just fucking everyone
Shelves: fiction, fantasy
I've got a doctor's appointment scheduled for Monday. Maybe I'll ask what's wrong with me, I mean, why don't I love Neil Gaiman as much as everyone else?

After all the hype surrounding him, I finally gave in and started reading his books. Aside from his collection of short stories, Fragile Things, I haven't been as impressed as I expected to be.

The Graveyard Book in particular I found to be slow moving and depressing. Maybe that's inevitable being that most of the characters in it are dead. It'
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mark monday
Once there was a little girl who lived in a big house in a strange and wonderful city in the North. Her name: Dove Black*. An unusual name for an unusual girl. Her equally unusual mother took her away for the summer, across the sea. I came to that strange and wonderful city and stayed in that big house. In the house was a book. The Graveyard Book! I fell prey to an odd illness during my visit; while my companions made merry in the streets and taverns of that city, I recovered on the wide and sun ...more
Meredith
Oct 16, 2008 Meredith rated it liked it
**SPOILER ALERT**

This book was entirely mediocre. The plot was disjointed and very loosely woven throughout the story, and much of it didn't make any sense. Details (what few details there were) seemed to be added at the last minute to make later events in the story make sense. It's almost as if Gaiman wrote the middle first, then the beginning, and then the end. I think he had a million ideas floating around in his head and had no idea how to connect them all, so he made up some stuff on the fl
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Bookworm Sean
I read the first chapter with a massive grin on my face because it was so obvious where this book was going, and it sounded marvellous.

“I do. For good or for ill- and I firmly believe that it is for the good – Mrs Owens and her husband have taken this child under their protection. It is going to take more than just a couple of good-hearted souls to raise this child. “It will”, said Silas, “take a graveyard”

description

Nobody’s, or Bod to his friends, has just had his parents murdered by “The Man named Jack
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Councillor
You can say what you want about Neil Gaiman, but he certainly knows how to write engaging stories.

The Graveyard Book introduces us to Nobody Owens, nicknamed Bod, who survives as a toddler while his family is murdered in a gruesome act of violence. Bod escapes to a nearby graveyard and is taken in by the ghosts who are condemned to remain forever at the place their bodies were buried. The weird plot requires some time getting used to, which the author doesn't really allow us because the story so
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Nandakishore Varma
I remember reading The Jungle Book in translation while in the fourth grade, and being spellbound by Kipling's gifts as a storyteller. I remember reading the original in English as a young man and still feeling the magic afresh. I had not expected it to happen a third time... but it did. Thanks to Neil Gaiman.

The Graveyard Book is a thinly disguised parody of, and a tribute to, The Jungle Book. Only, the Indian Jungle here has been translated to an English graveyard; Sher Khan has been transform
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karen
Aug 04, 2009 karen rated it really liked it
and thats me finishing my last book for this class. and i managed to read it the same day i watched coraline, so im a little gaimaned out right now. this book was enjoyable - it is a little episodic-with-overarching- storyline number about a child living in a graveyard with the dead after a man slaughters his family with a knife. typical newbery fare. there are a few very memorable scenes, and i think i developed a crush on silas, but i have too much of a headache now for anything else. maybe mo ...more
Will M.
I'm really glad that I gave this book another try. When I first read this on my iPad about a year ago, I couldn't wait to put it down. It was so boring and confusing that I ended up choosing another book right away. I'm sure it had nothing to do with my reading preference then, so maybe it was just a bad timing.

I posted a status saying that this book will be Gaiman's last chance for me. I've read 2 novels and 1 graphic novel of his that I didn't enjoy, so I said this Commemorative Edition might
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Jadranka

Emotivna priča o odrastanju jednog dečaka....i o nekim tamo gulovima, i o jednoj veštici, i o duhovima, i naravno o groblju. Znate već o uobičajenim sitnicama koje čine život :)
Gde je samo bio Gejmen kad sam bila mala?! Bilo bi pravo uživanje odrastati uz njegove knjige.

"Iko slegnu ramenima. - Pa šta? - reče.- To je samo smrt. Mislim, svi moji najbolji drugovi su mrtvi."
Dan Schwent
Aug 11, 2010 Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing
I pre-ordered this almost a full year before it came out. It was worth the wait.

At first glance, The Graveyard Book reminded me of A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle. While I'm sure there's some Beagle in its parentage, the afterward mentions the Jungle Book as an inspiration.

Nobody Owens is an orphan boy raised by all the ghosts living (or unliving) in a graveyard. Each chapter in the book takes place in a different year of Bod's young life with his family's murderer lurking in the ba
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Maggie Stiefvater
I have just this moment closed the cover of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, after loitering rather longingly over the acknowledgments and possibly the back jacket flap as well.

I don't think I can manage a proper synopsis or review of this book -- about an orphaned boy who is raised by a graveyard of ghosts -- so I think I will just have to say that I love it very, very deeply. For so long I refused to pick it up because I thought it sounded quaint and possibly twee, but it was neither. It pushed all the but
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Tara Račić
Aug 17, 2015 Tara Račić rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourite
Two days ago, I was one of the rare people who never read a book by Neil Gaiman. I've heard about him, I've heard all the praise, but for some reason I didn't even have him on my to-read list.

Yesterday I was scrolling through my news feed and I read at least three great reviews of Gaiman's books and I felt a little left out, because I never read one of his books, so I promised myself that I will definitely read one in the future, just to see what all the fuss is about. That thought quickly slipp
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 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This review is hard to write. Not because I can't think of enough wonderful things to say about this book, but because there are so many things I loved about it. I am very glad that I had the experience of listening to this book on audio. Hearing Mr. Gaiman read it is icing on the scrumptious cake. He has a beautifully expressive, soothing, and emotive voice. He wrote it, so he has the advantage of knowing exactly what emphasis to put on the different lines and passages, and how he wants the var ...more
Helen Stavraki
Ένα μακάβριο ανάλαφρο παραμύθι για νεκρούς ανθρώπους και ζωντανές ψυχές.

Όλη η ιστορία εκτυλίσσεται μέσα σε ένα νεκροταφείο που είναι πλέον κλειστό και φυλάσσεται ως εθνικός δρυμός.

Ένα μωράκι τη μοιραία νύχτα που δολοφονείται η οικογένεια του απο μια παράξενη αρχαία αδελφότητα καταφέρνει να σωθεί και να βρει καταφύγιο στο γειτονικό νεκροταφείο.
Τα πνεύματα, οι καλές ψυχές,αποφασίζουν να προστατέψουν το μωράκι με τη βοήθεια του Σίλα που ανήκει σε κάποιο είδος απέθαντων.

Έτσι το μωράκι που το ονο
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Whitney Atkinson
Oct 24, 2015 Whitney Atkinson rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was a great book to read with Halloween right around the corner! I love the spooky vibe it has, yet it's still a children's book so it's just a twinge. This book was hard for me to get into because sometimes the sentence structure/writing could get a little bit wordy, and I was constantly having to go back and reread sentences just to comprehend them. Around 50 pages in I finally decided to just pick up the audiobook, and afterward, it went by a lot faster. The idea was cool and I
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Will Byrnes
Aug 21, 2013 Will Byrnes rated it really liked it
When a family is murdered by a mysterious killer, one of the intended victims is missing, a young, diapered boy, who had wandered off just before the crime took place. But the killer needed to complete the job. Fortunately for the boy, he was taken in by the late residents of a nearby graveyard. And when the spirit of his newly deceased mother asks for their help, the residents agree to raise her son. He is given to the care of the Owens couple and named “Nobody,” Bod for short, as he looks like ...more
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 29, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Hugo Award for Best Novel (2009)
Recommended to Florence (Lefty) by: Kelly
It’s an imaginative tale with a fable-like quality. Bod, the lone survivor of the murder of his entire family finds protection and comfort in the oddest of places – a graveyard. A story of murder, survival and retribution chalk full of dead people that somehow manages to be both dark & cheerful at the same time – like how Gaiman pulled that off. An easy, entertaining read - young adult leaning towards children’s - fun to read at any age. Fast moving plot right from this hook of an opening li ...more
Lisa
Nov 07, 2008 Lisa rated it it was ok
Shelves: award-winners
Disappointing. I first read an excerpt of "The Graveyard Book" as one of the short stories in "M is for Magic", a collection of Gaiman's short stories (4 stars, see review). And, that's just the problem: each chapter of "Graveyard" seems like a short story in itself, well written and no doubt imaginative, but in the context of a novel, only loosely connected to the chapters before and after it. There is little character development, nearly zero build to a climax. Characters are introduced and ad ...more
Kelly
Jan 21, 2016 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: children, ebook
Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say they're scared for the fear to become real.

This book was Perfection ~ More Please

My first Neil Gaiman and I absolutely loved this it!!! I loved to read books that have depth, I also love to be able to take away truths that you can apply in real life. This book did that and more. I can say without any reservation that I'll definitely be reading more from Mr Gaiman very very soon.

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Chantal  (Every Word A Doorway)
It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.

3.5 stars

The Graveyard Book is a story about an infant whose entire family was murdered, and who wanders into a graveyard where he is raised and cared for by ghosts. The ghosts name him “Nobody Owens”, also known as Bod. Bod isn’t allowed to leave the graveyard because his guardians fear for his safety, and so, the ghosts of
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Lyn
Apr 11, 2016 Lyn rated it it was amazing
When first reading Neil Gaiman’s wonderfully dark but playful fantasy The Graveyard Book, I instantly discovered that I liked it a lot. When I realized that The Graveyard Book was also Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, but updated to be gothic and macabre, with a boy not raised by wolves but ghosts, I loved it.

Winner of the Hugo Award in 2009, this is a rival to Gaiman’s masterpiece American Gods. This is vintage Gaiman at his masterfully fantastic best, an heir to the Grandmaster throne of Ra
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Amanda
Aug 26, 2013 Amanda rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult, blog
What a dark, macabre, and lovely book. Occasionally, I run across a book like this that gives me hope for young adult fiction (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is another such book that I read earlier this year).

I know that the book is loosely based on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, which I've never read (of course, I saw the Disney movie, but I'm assuming they managed to bugger that up like they do everything else--although, I will admit to loving Bagheera, mainly because of Sebastian C
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Carmen
Mar 28, 2016 Carmen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most People
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

This amazing opening line draws us into a story of ghosts, ghouls, and werewolves - along with other creatures that go 'bump' in the night.

Nobody Owens's whole family is slaughtered by the man Jack. Mother, father, and older 7-year-old sister. Nobody only escapes being butchered because he is a baby Houdini (aged 18 months) who likes to escape from his crib every night.

Baby Nobody wanders into the graveyard, with the man Jack on his trail. Hi
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“You're always you, and that don't change, and you're always changing, and there's nothing you can do about it.” 1752 likes
“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.” 1624 likes
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