John Lawson's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Oct 16, 2008

liked it
bookshelves: dark-fantasy, sci-fi-fantasy, horror

This was a very sweet, mostly harmless book. Reading it, I couldn't help but get the impression that it was being written towards a future screenplay, and if a movie is in the works, I suspect it will be better than this book.

The book deals with a story about an orphaned boy being raised in a graveyard by a host of ghosts, a vampire, and various other sundry macabre spirits and entities.

I had a few concerns about the writing in general.

The first chapter deals with the slaughter of the boy's entire family, and its tone ended up being completely off from the rest of the book. I began expecting a dark fantasy not unlike King's Gunslinger, and it ended up being something light enough for maybe even gradeschoolers.

The tools, clues, McGuffins, etc introduced in the story (the ghoul-gate, how to call for help, the coffin at the bottom of the pit, etc) were too obviously placed, and their uses in the story came as no surprise to me, which was a disappointment.

Due to perhaps an overzealous economy of characters, the identity of the villain wasn't difficult to guess.

The ultimate revelation of the evil secret society was, well, weak.

This wasn't a bad book, but it wasn't great either. Something like Pratchett light, perhaps.
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Reading Progress

October 16, 2008 – Shelved
October 16, 2008 – Shelved as: dark-fantasy
October 16, 2008 – Shelved as: sci-fi-fantasy
October 16, 2008 – Shelved as: horror
October 16, 2008 –
page 61
October 18, 2008 –
page 205
Started Reading
October 19, 2008 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-1 of 1) (1 new)

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🌹Rose☮️ I believe this book was billed as for All Ages, therefore that was an indication that it was "light" reading so that children can read it too. For that, I think it was perfect. Not too cheery, yet not too dark as well. Nice intro book for our young folks.

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