Lisa's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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Oct 06, 2008

it was ok
bookshelves: award-winners
Read in November, 2008

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 adventures are had, never to been seen or talked about again. The ending was beautiful, but its too little, too late: a truly unique concept that fails in reaching it's full potential.
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02/21/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-11)




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Grace I had the exact same problem with the M is for Magic thing.
I felt kind of gipped and didn't understand why he had the short story published if he knew he was going to turn it into a novel.


Anastasia I haven't finished this one yet, but I've told a few people the exact same thing. It's a bunch of slightly interesting short stories. I don't seem to ever really enjoy Gaiman's work, but for some reason I keep going back to him.


Lisa Yeah, you know I heard Gaiman speak I think in May, and he said it started off as a short store (The Witch's Headstone). I love how he got the idea though---he used to live across the street from a graveyard and would take his son there to play because he lived in a townhouse with a lot of stairs and didn't want him riding his little tricycle in the house!! Glad you agree though! What do you think of it winning the Newbery?


Lisa Grace wrote: "I had the exact same problem with the M is for Magic thing.
I felt kind of gipped and didn't understand why he had the short story published if he knew he was going to turn it into a novel. "


Hi Grace,

I am unsure if you thought it was going to be included in a novel, it might have started as a short story.


Myth I'm glad I'm not the only one who noticed the lack of character development and how disconnected the plot seemed. Nothing was really deep, even problems and obstacles that should've left more of a mark. It was all just "information" in the end. Disappointing.


message 6: by Kay (new) - rated it 2 stars

Kay I totally agree with this review of Graveyard Book.


Sydne I agree with this 100%. I got a little over half way through it and there was know rising action whatsoever.


Jeffery E Doherty For me the beauty of the book was the episodic 2 year jumps in Bod's life. I can't see how you can say there was no character development though. there are minor characters that come and go in most books. The major players stay with Bod throughout most are ghosts and don't grow and change. The whole book was built around the character development of Bod.


Corbin I agree with you, lisa. Except, I didn't even enjoy the ending.


Kaaren Nafar At least you gave it a 2. I couldn't give it more than a 1. It was horrible. I agree with you. I have no idea why it's won all the awards.


message 1: by Eva (new) - rated it 4 stars

Eva Richards I agree with some of the things said in this comment. However, in some ways I feel as though there was enough character development to keep the story interesting, but wasn't too much to bore you to death.

Although the climax did happen at the very end of the book, there were parts throughout the book that provided the reader with an ability to see how the ending was going to play out. For instance the meeting with the Jacks of all Trade could give the reader enough information to make the assumption that The Man Jack was eventually going to reach Bod.

I agree that the book was composed of chapters that were like short stories. However, all the short story chapters did have similar detail and kept consistent characters. Because of this, I feel as though the chapters were connected.


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