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The Graveyard Book

4.09 of 5 stars 4.09  ·  rating details  ·  253,486 ratings  ·  19,185 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
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)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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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
Jul 31, 2008 Betsy rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
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
Jason Koivu
Jun 10, 2014 Jason Koivu rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jason by: Everyone...just fucking everyone
Shelves: fiction
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'
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
I always have a little trouble rating children's books. Read as a book for adults, The Graveyard Book is a solid four. There are too many things that are oversimplified for the book to earn a five. But when I step back a moment and remind myself that this book was written for children who do not know what I know and who have not experienced what I have experienced - that's where the fifth star comes into play.

My adult complaints are as follows:

1. Not every situation in the story furthered the pl

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
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”


Nobody’s, or Bod to his friends, has just had his parents murdered by “The Man named Jack
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
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
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
Dan Schwent
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
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja)
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
Whitney Atkinson
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
Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh
Jun 29, 2013 Florence (Lefty) MacIntosh rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
Tara Račić
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
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
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
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
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
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
Vane J.

It happens to me sometimes that when an author has many works and I like one of them I instantly want to read them all. This is my story with Neil Gaiman. It started with the shortie Snow, Glass, Apples. I didn’t love it, but I liked his style, so I wanted to read more of him.

Coraline followed after SGA, and I really liked it. And then… I decided to go with The Graveyard Book, and while it was good, I didn’t feel the same way as I did with the previous books I read by Gailman.

Nobody Owens, bett
Jul 17, 2015 Carmen rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Most People
Recommended to Carmen by: Library
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
Will Byrnes
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

Before I had picked up The Graveyard Book I was yet to find a Neil Gaiman novel I loved. His writing was always solid and interesting in Neverwhere and Stardust but I didn't love those books to death like other readers. It's rather curious that this is the case because one of my favourite recent Doctor Who episodes was written by Gaiman. However I now have to look no further. This is the kind of book I was looking for.

The Graveyard Book sounded like a macabre story. It focused on a boy named Nob
The toddler was woken by a crash – startled, he decided to climb out of his cot; after all, he could walk now. When he made his way to the front door without seeing anyone, the discovery that it was wide open delighted him. He was a mischievous lad – what fun he could have. His arrival at the gates of a graveyard hadn’t taken him long – it was near his family home. And his rescue from near disaster by the residents of the graveyard didn’t frighten him; he soon settled into his new home with his ...more
Sean Smart
Another well written written, slightly dark and imaginative story of a boy being brought up by ghosts after his own family are murdered when he was a baby. A supernatural Jungle book!
4.0 to 4.5 stars. Another superb effort by Neil Gaiman. He is one of only a few authors who I have NEVER been disappointed in after reading one of their books. That is saying a lot as I come to each of his new books with very high expectations. This one certainly met those high expectations and is a terrific YA fantasy. I do find that I enjoy his more mature fantasies more than his YA fiction, but that is simply a personal preference and is not a result of the YA books being of lesser quality. T ...more
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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.” 1552 likes
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