Valerie's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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really liked it
bookshelves: 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 was a little hesitant to pick up The Graveyard Book. Again, the idea is interesting - a toddler's family is killed, and he's raised in a graveyard by ghosts - but Gaiman's books have seemed interesting to me before. So it's with gratitude that I say:

Finally. FINALLY! To me, this book (at long last) connected. I loved the characters and the concept, and the actual text seemed to flow and be more engaging than the previous books I'd read. I'm glad I gave Gaiman's books one more last chance after the last last chance. I may even try one more.
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Reading Progress

August 8, 2008 – Shelved
Started Reading
October 1, 2008 – Finished Reading
October 18, 2008 – Shelved as: young-adult

Comments Showing 1-50 of 50 (50 new)

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RandomAnthony My library system inexplicably doesn't have this yet...I can't wait to read this...

message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

Try "Coraline."

message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

I saw the movie "Stardust" on a plane and I wanted to dig my eyes out.

RandomAnthony I liked Stardust, although I think they went the "fairytale romance" route a bit too much in the movie...

message 5: by [deleted user] (new)

I don't know why, but I just wanted to punch every character in the face.

Valerie Me, too, Montambo! And there were some really good actors in it. I liked the parts with Ricky Gervais the best, but even so - overall? Not so much.

RandomAnthony It could have been a lot shorter, I agree...the Robert Deniro parts were horrible.

Valerie DEFINITELY. I couldn't figure out if he went too far, or not far enough with it.

message 9: by [deleted user] (new)

I love Ricky Gervais.

Yes, Robert Deniro has totally jumped the shark, in my opinion. He's embarrassing to watch.

Valerie Sarah: did you read the graphic novel of Coraline, or the regular book?

message 11: by [deleted user] (last edited Oct 18, 2008 04:54PM) (new)

The original book. I haven't read the graphic novel. The movie is coming soon, though:

message 12: by Jackie "the Librarian" (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:40AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jackie "the Librarian" I liked The Graveyard Book a lot more than Coraline. For one thing, I liked the characters a lot more.
I didn't really care for Coraline, or her parents, or even the old ladies downstairs, all that much.
But I loved everyone in Graveyard, the fussy old ghost teachers, and the girl friend, and especially the vampire, who never gets called a vampire, by the way.

message 13: by Miss Bookiverse (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:41AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Miss Bookiverse That's funny. I really enjoyed Stardust and Neverwhere but was quite disappointed by The Graveyard Book.

Julia Valerie,

Now that you've found one Gaiman you like, I suggest his amazing American Gods.

Valerie Hi Julia. You're not the first person to recommend American Gods to me (shout out to RA!) but I haven't read it yet... I'll move it up on the to-read list. Thanks for the suggestion!

Julia You're most welcome. American Gods is a novel, for adults, without pictures, as I recall, except the kind one's mind makes...

message 17: by Jain (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jain I had something of the same experience with Stardust and Neverwhere. Since you're considering giving him another try, I'll second the recommendation for American Gods, and also recommend his comic book series Sandman and the book Good Omens, which he cowrote with Terry Pratchett (another author whose books often leave me a bit cold, but who really shone in this particular collaboration).

message 18: by Valerie (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:41AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Valerie Thanks, Jain. Have you read The Graveyard Book?
(Terry Pratchett is another author that I think about reading, but never actually do.)

message 19: by Jain (last edited Feb 25, 2009 03:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jain I just finished The Graveyard Book yesterday and loved it; I have a newfound appreciation for Gaiman as a result.

Laura I am a huge Gaiman fan, but Stardust is my least favorite. It felt like an ordinary fairy tale and nothing like a Neil Gaiman book at all. If you want to keep going, I recommend his short stories (I think he does his best work in this medium) and the Sandman comics.

Melanie Ford I felt exactly the same way you did! I have tried other Gaiman books and couldn't get into them, although they sounded so interesting to me (I did, however, enjoy Sandman). I listened to the audio of The Graveyard Book (read by Neil Gaiman) and loved it so much I had to listen to it again immediately.

message 22: by Nicole (new) - added it

Nicole hahahaa! i actually loled when i read your comment. probably because i have the same exact experience reading his books. But...since you gave the graveyard book a chance i think i will as well =)

message 23: by Rad (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rad Hey, that's true. I wasn't a fan of Coraline and I expected Graveyard Book to be the same, but it blew me away. It was on an entirely different plane than Coraline.

Brooke I really, really LOVED Good Omens that he co-wrote. Far more entertaining that the other adult books of his I have read. I did enjoy his books, I will not lie, but mostly because it was a good story that was well-written. They were a little more boring than I might have thought. Haven't read Stardust yet. Now I don't know if I should! But I wanted to suggest Good Omens to you because it was VERY good and funny, too!

Lady Salford I went through the same thing when I read Fragile Things. I was so disappointed with it that not even one of the short stories I found interesting. But, I gave The Graveyard Book a try and found it enjoyable to read.

B wrote: "But I wanted to suggest Good Omens to you because it was VERY good and funny, too! "
Of course it is. It was co-written by Terry Pratchett. :p

message 26: by Adam (new) - rated it 4 stars

Adam O'Brien Salford wrote: "I went through the same thing when I read Fragile Things. I was so disappointed with it that not even one of the short stories I found interesting. But, I gave The Graveyard Book a try and found it..."

I have to disagree, after having only read The Sandman, Fragile Things was the first prose book of Gaiman's I read, and it made me fall in love with his prose writing. "How to Talk to Girls at Parties" has taken place as my favorite short story ever. I also found stardust to be a bit lacking compared to his other books, not to say a bad book. Neverwhere also didn't have quite the engrossing feel. I would recommend tracking down a copy of Fragile things, or if you like novel-length stories, at least American Gods.

Erika Gill I suggest Good Omens over American Gods as a last last last chance. American Gods was my least favorite of Gaiman's books (though I haven't read everything) which is pretty surprising because everyone else seems to really love it. I loved Stardust, and Neverwhere, so maybe you'll actually enjoy American Gods more? but I stand by my recommendation.

Sherry American Gods was my first introduction to Gaiman. I think it's brilliant and prophetic. The graveyard Book is not disappointing me in the least. I am currently reading it and am 70% through it.

message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Try Neil Gaiman's Sandman. I find it to be the most striking book Neil has made.

Mary Grace Nakao I actually liked Neverwhere...

Sherry Mary Grace wrote: "I actually liked Neverwhere...

I want that on my list. It looks good.

message 32: by Ben (new) - rated it 4 stars

Ben bandelean I like Neverwhere a whole lot! it was so much better than American gods, or Anansi boys. Coraline was pretty good too. Although Neil Gaiman is VERY hit and miss, he seems to be a strong finisher.

Sherry Roxanne wrote: "You should try his short story collection! When I love Gaimain I LOVE him, but when I don't, I am so disappointed. I found American Gods (which is supposed to be his best) sort of unmemorable, an..." I loved both American Gods and Anansi Boys. And adored The Graveyard Book. I think I just like Gaiman.

Sherry Roxanne wrote: "Yeah no, that's fair. I remember really liking Anansi boys, I just don't remember a lot about it. Which may really say more about my reading retention skills than Mr Gaiman. That said, a lot of h..." Yes it is! absolutely awesome! My husband loved it too. He's very picky!

message 35: by Wulf (new) - rated it 2 stars

Wulf Eldritch This is the only Gaiman book I found to be a disappointment. I wanted to like it, I truly did. But... I honestly couldn't immerse myself in it. Not the way I usually do with his books.

Epigoni I loved neverwhere and the graveyard book. I don't think I've read a book of his I didn't love...

Geoff Ha. So true. I thought Stardust would be freakin awesome given the synopsis (and that its Gaiman). Guess I was wrong...

Catherine I don't normally comment because the responses I get back are negative but another Gaiman book you may like (or may not) is The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I wasn't a big Gaiman fan until I read that book (only with the Sandman series). It was one of the better books I read last year.

Laura I have a similar issue with Gaiman- I love the ideas but get so bored. Usually it picks up around the halfway-3/4 mark but with Graveyard Book I'm just so miserable I don't know if I'll ever get through it.

Todd_b-d I think Gaiman's style is fantastic. The ideas are fantastic. Slow pacing, however, is a trademark of his. This book alone devotes tens of pages to character development alone. That, i can appreciate. Most, if not all characters are not what they seem, especially Miss Lepuscu and Jack. I encourage you to give Gaiman another try!

Michelle Gartner I agree with your assessment of Gaiman. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane- and thought it was interesting enough to continue one. Read Stardust- and it was sort of flat at the end in retrospect. Started Neverwhere and can't get into it but I am enjoying Graveyard.

message 42: by Celina (new)

Celina Lively I completely agree! I was starting to wonder if I was broken, as I appeared to be the only non-Gaiman fan! Am just about to start The Graveyard Book so let's hope it ignites a whole lotta Gaiman love

Anjali Negi Read neverwhere now after a couple of years cant remember the plot.. tried american gods couldn't finish, tried anansi boys couldn't finish.. read stardust but found it rather ordinary now the graveyard book i loved the graveyard book..

Anjali Negi read coraline too, didnt care for it.. And odd and the frost giants that one i enjoyed..

message 45: by Cortney (last edited Jan 25, 2018 09:48AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Cortney AHHHHHHHHH! Love! Love! Love this review!
I tried reading Good Omens and thought watching paint dry would be more exciting and engaging!

Then I tried listening to the Anansi Boys, and wanted to pluck my eyes from my skull!

I am been eyeing up The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I keep putting it off bc Gaiman just isn't my cup of tea.

I came across this one as a group read and wait... what is that? Am I enjoying this? I AM!!!!!! I'm SOOOOOO EXCITED! So many people rant and rave about Gaiman and I do not understand it! BUT I GET IT WITH THIS ONE! <3

Olivia I agree with you 100%. I have tried reading "Stardust" before and I absolutely hated it. (That was one of the few times where I liked the movie better than the book.) This made me hesitant to pick up this book, but I'm glad I did! :)

message 47: by Melina (new) - added it

Melina Dear lord, this is EXACTLY what happened to me too!

Mommooshka I agree with Michelle's comment - you may like Gaiman's The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Neil Bryson I don't know why but I liked Anansi Boys and The Graveyard Book more than The American Gods.

Zarfishan I still haven't managed to get through American Gods. Stardust was underwhelming but finally a Gaiman book I liked

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