Violet's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Sep 20, 2008

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-stars, fantasy, favorite-authors, illustrated, british
Read in August, 2015

***August 2015***

It’s been six years since I’ve read this book. Looking at my previous review, I cringe. It’s like I’m looking at an awkward middle school photo. How could I’ve been so naïve, so painfully eager? (I mean did you see all those exclamation points?) A lot has happened in those six years. I’ve…well, grown up.

There’s a sort of beautiful symmetry here as this book is also about growing up. After a baby boy’s family is killed, the ghosts of the graveyard decide to adopt him and name him Nobody “Bod” Owens. The book then chronicles his childhood growing up amongst the headstones. (Sort of like a supernatural, PG Boyhood, except that the book was written while the movie was still in the beginning stages.)

I still love the book. It’s delightfully creepy, yet full of heart and adventure. Only Gaiman can turn a graveyard into something that you’re sad to leave. Gaiman also knows exactly what to show and what to hide, giving just enough background information to understand the overarching storyline but not too much as to detract from the story of Bod. Gaiman truly is master storyteller.

When I first read this book, I was only just realizing this. The only other Gaiman book I had read was Coraline. It’s hard for me to believe, honestly. So much has changed since then. And now reading this book again has put me in a very reflective mood. It makes me think of my childhood, before and after I read this book.

And in a way, I think that’s the point of this novel: to make you think about the changes, the developments that happen throughout childhood. What makes a person who they are. There are plenty of books (and films) that do this, but only Gaiman can do this with a graveyard.

***May 2009***

Amazing book! I love it! No wonder it won the Newbery Medal! It was so so so so good!!!

(view spoiler)

The drawing just adding to the wonder of the book. I loved them. Dave McKean (the person who did the drawings) draws in a quirky style that just fits Neil Gaiman's writing so perfectly it's almost as if they were made for each other. I love the drawings, just like the ones in Coraline who were also by Dave McKean.

I'm so so glad that I read this book. I almost didn't. The only reason I did was because it won the Newbery Medal and it was by the same author of Coraline. Like so many books, the summary doesn't do it justice.
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Reading Progress

08/11/2015 marked as: currently-reading
08/14/2015 marked as: read

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