Misty's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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The graveyard book tells the story of Nobody Owens (called Bod), who escapes to a graveyard as a toddler after his family is murdered. Bod is given the freedom of the graveyard, allowing him to pass freely through the graveyard and learn the ways of the ghost inhabitants who are helping to raise him. This graveyard family teaches Bod how to see at night, to Haunt, Fade and Dreamwalk; they protect him from the outside world, and from the man who killed his family and would like to finish the job. But they cannot protect him forever, and Bod knows that one day he will have to confront the world and the dangers in it, embracing his destiny for good or bad.
I was really excited to read this book, and even though I was in the middle of another, I found myself repeatedly picking The Graveyard Book up and opening to the brilliant first page. I finally caved in and set my other book aside so I could read this, and at first I was entirely disappointed and didn’t think I was going to like the book at all. I found Bod’s toddler years to be only tolerable. There was occasional cuteness, but nothing to hook me and make me want to keep reading (aside from the fantastic Gorey-esque illustrations). That all changed when Bod went to Ghûlheim; from then on I was absolutely hooked. The writing is clever and has a certain brightness mingled with the dark of the story. The book is sprinkled with interesting characters (with amusing epitaphs). The worlds Gaiman created are vivid and intriguing, with interesting and original takes on familiar mythology. Bod’s journey is relatable, even in all of its surrealness, and the overall message is incorporated well without being didactic. This is the sort of story I know I would have become completely lost in and obsessed with as a child.
A warning to parents that there are some dark themes and scary elements, but overall I would recommend this to any child/young teen, especially those who like fantasy and darker elements. This would also make a fun read-aloud for parents and children, or a classroom, and the illustrations add to the story immensely. I would rate this closer to a 4.5.
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Comments (showing 1-3)

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Resa Misty, I always love hearing your take on a book. Especially because, most of the time, I disagree! I agree that this novel does have a strong grabbing power, but I found that it was only because the author is good at writing. The plot, however, I could not pick up on. For me, the best way to describe it is this--a really great author describing the characteristics of an orange. Just because he is a great author does not mean I am excited about an orange. And this is why I do not think it should have won a medal--the plot wasn't great.
But then again, it could have something to do with the fact that I can't get into "haunted" stories.

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Misty, I enjoyed this book also. I really like your review, it's pretty close to what I was feeling as I read the book. I loved the illustrations.

Misty On Gaiman's children's website (Mr Bobo's Remarkable Mouse Circus) there is a book trailer that Gaiman narrates, and other stuff, some of it having to do with the illustrations. I talked about it (and put the trailer up) on my blog, so check your Greader. :)

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