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The Graveyard Book

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4.12  ·  Rating details ·  355,598 Ratings  ·  25,884 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, 307 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)
Ryan Apel Because it is time for his to go out to the living world and live his life

Community Reviews

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Patrick
Jun 29, 2009 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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Mark Lawrence
Dec 31, 2015 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
...more
Betsy
Jul 01, 2008 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
Oct 31, 2015 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
Will Byrnes
Oct 18, 2012 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
Helen Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος   Vernus Portitor Arcanus Ταμετούρο   Αμούν Arnum
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
...more
Valerie
Aug 08, 2008 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
...more
emma
Ho-ly shit. You guys!

https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co...

I just managed to get through a book - a whole freaking book - with no blatant sexism, racism, homophobia, girl-on-girl hate, instances of the beloved not like other girls trope, love triangles, flat characters, overused archetypes, that plotline where you discover your power and it’s consuming you, gag-worthy romance, weird writing quirks, overwrought emotion, social issues used to make it seem ~profound~, apocalyptically bad characte
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Jason Koivu
Jan 23, 2011 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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Fabian
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The riproaring adventures of Huck Finn's wiser half-brother; Harry Potter's long lost second cousin. A Mowgli doppleganger, admittedly so.

When Tim Burton died*, the void was taken up, wholly, by Mr. Gaiman. When will "The Graveyard Book" become a film? Cannot wait to watch singin'/dancin' ghosts, not the usual rerecycled shit from some Disney classic. Hey, it worked like a charm with "Coraline"!

*career- & art-wise
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 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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Lyn
Feb 04, 2014 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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Celeste
Jul 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
You can find this review and more on Booknest.

I’ve now officially read every novel and short story and piece of nonfiction that Gaiman has published, outside of his graphic novels. And this particular book was probably one of my favorites. It was an adorable adventure, a dark version of The Jungle Book if Mowgli had been raised by ghosts instead of jungle predators.

Gaiman writes wonderful children’s books. Sometimes kids want to read something that scares them just a little, and Gaiman does tha
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PorshaJo
May 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
Rating a 4.5

What is a Halloween read without a story by Neil Gaiman. I think I have made it known quite a few times of my love for Mr. Gaiman. This is a story I read a number of years ago, I believe when it first came out. Before I started writing reviews on GR. But I found the story so enchanting that I knew I would read it again some day. But this time, I *listened* to the audio read by Neil Gaiman himself.

The story is of Nobody "Bod" Owens who grows up in a graveyard after his parents are mu
...more
Bookdragon 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
...more
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
...more
Debra
Dec 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is the first book I ever read by Neil Gaiman and it is my favorite of his books. I saw this book while volunteering in the library at my son's elementary school. I decided why not? It was a book for kids or so I thought...after all it had won the American Newbery Medal and the HUGO award for children's fantasy book. I checked it out using my son's library card thinking I would read it to him at bedtime. It proved to be too dark for him but I was hooked. Most of the book takes place in a gra ...more
Lisa
I can't possibly tell if I'd love this book as much if I hadn't read it under such special circumstances, so this review will serve as proof that context matters!

It all started a couple of years ago in August, one of the first days of school. I had a literature lesson with Grade 8, and the topic was:

"What shall we read together?"

I made several suggestions, and they turned them down. They made several others, and I turned them down, mostly because I didn't think the books were appropriate for gr
...more
Duane
2009 Newbery Medal winner.

I'm probably not the only person that would like to know the next chapter in Bod's life. Even Neil Gaiman may not know, but then again, maybe he does. But that's the nature of books, they end, and many times we are not satisfied, not completely. What a wonderful story, what imagination Gaiman has. Five stars and deserving. Children's literature at it's finest.
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
...more
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
...more
karen
Aug 02, 2009 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
Piya
Nov 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This magical book was the perfect Halloween read for me![Thanks to Avi for the gr8 rec :)] This book has so much heart and warmth and at the same time it’s bit creepy and weird. I adore this book so much that I would pack my bag and move to a graveyard if I could (aah..wait..only if this graveyard has adorable Mr. and Mrs. Owens :) )

The story begins with three gruesome murders and the murderer searching for his last target – a toddler. However this toddler manages to survive by escaping to a n
...more
Ginger
Apr 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
I'm going be honest here, I have a love/hate relationship with Neil Gaiman.

What I love: His mind and wonderful imagination for book ideas.
What I hate: His writing style can be tedious at times.

Books like Coraline, and now The Graveyard Book are fantastic. I really enjoy his young-adult books more than books for the adult audience.

The Graveyard Book was a dark, macabre and excellent book! It was a short read and the artwork in the book was fantastic. Kudos to Dave McKean on some wonderful illustr
...more
Miranda Reads
Nov 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: gaiman, audiobook
It takes a graveyard to raise a child

Nobody Owens (yes, that's his name) becomes orphaned at an early age when an unknown "Jack" murders his entire family. Nobody doesn't even notice - he's too excited that the house door is open and toddles off for adventure. He finds it at the local graveyard. The local ghosts grant him the Protection of the Graveyard.

A childless ghost couple adopts him and a vampire becomes his guardian. Together, the graveyard and its inhabitants, seek to raise the living b
...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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Dan Schwent
Jun 18, 2008 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
...more
Marilyn C.
Apr 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2017
3.5 Stars
This was my first Gaiman book, and I am in awe over his storytelling! The Graveyard Book was a highly imaginative and very entertaining story - definitely YA at it's best.
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