Sarah's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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's review
Jun 08, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: magic-sci-fi-fantasy, newbery-medal, gr-author, owned, young-adult, book-club-dm
Recommended to Sarah by: Dini

I really love Gaiman's writing style, and the way the chapters read like individual episodes but then are tied together at the end is really interesting. But I don't think the story of this book is quite as "inventive" as the blurbs on the back cover claim. The story begins with the murder of a family, but the toddler boy, who was the main intended victim, escapes unharmed. Sound familiar? Yeah. An awful lot like Harry Potter, right? The story is literally as old as Moses.

The baby boy escapes into a nearby ancient and nearly forgotten graveyard, and the inhabitants (ghosts and an undead Guardian) decide to raise and protect the boy. The rest of the story chronicles the boy's adventures in the graveyard and the murderer's quest to finish the job.

The adventures the boy has are interesting, imaginative, and important to the climax of the story. But the overall plot of the attempted murder is, IMO, weak and resolved too quickly, which is unfortunate since it was the reason the book appealed to me in the first place. Another weakness is in the character of Silas, who is mysterious to the point where we as the readers never really find out what and who he is. Perhaps Gaiman did this on purpose, to impart a sense of mystery, but it left me feeling dissatisfied.

But the strength of Gaiman's writing and the adventures the boy has were very enjoyable. If this had been a series of short stories or vignettes, and not tied together with the weak murder plot, I would have liked it even more.
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Reading Progress

June 8, 2009 – Shelved
June 8, 2009 – Shelved as: magic-sci-fi-fantasy
June 8, 2009 – Shelved as: newbery-medal
June 8, 2009 – Shelved as: gr-author
June 8, 2009 – Shelved as: owned
June 8, 2009 – Shelved as: young-adult
Started Reading
June 10, 2009 –
page 144
June 10, 2009 – Finished Reading
July 24, 2012 – Shelved as: book-club-dm

Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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RandomAnthony Well done, Sarah...yes, I agree with your last paragraph in particular...

Sera I had some of the same comments, but missed the point about Silas, which was spot on IMHO.

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