Patrick's Reviews > The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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it was amazing


Recently, on a car trip with my little boy, I decided to try listening to an audiobook.

In the past this hasn't been a success. He loves to be read to in person, both picture books and chapter books. But he not a fan of listening to books in the car. At best he's indifferent, but usually he just asks me to turn them off.

Generally speaking, he'd prefer to listen to Macklemore's Thrift Shop, which he calls "The Sway Music."

But he's four now, with a vocabulary that's diverse to the point of being a little creepy. (I taught him "cruft" yesterday.)

So I plugged in the Audio of Gaiman's Graveyard book. For those of you who don't know, Gaiman reads his own audiobooks more often than not. Lovely accent aside, he's fucking amazing at it. Really irritatingly good.

We listened to it for about 10 minutes or so, then I heard him saying, "Dad? Dad!" from the back seat.

I sighed and turned it off, I expected him to tell me that this was boring and we should stop. Or that he wanted to listen to the Sway Music or one of his, as he puts it "Kid CD's."

But it wasn't anything of the sort, instead he said. "Dad! I'm listening to the story and I can see the pictures in my head!"

"Really?" I asked.

"Yeah," he says. "It's like a movie!"

I couldn't be happier. Neil Gaiman as his first audio. My boy has good taste. "What does it look like in your head?" I ask.

"There's a hill, and on the top of it there is a fence and a graveyard!"

We talk about the story for a little bit. He's slightly confused on some points: he thinks the boy's name is Jack, and he thought that the man who was coming to hurt the boy was invisible except for his hand. (Which is understandable, given the way Gaiman describes things, focusing on the hand and the knife.)

But generally he was getting it. More importantly, he was enjoying it.

I know this because for the next couple days, whenever we got into the car, he asked if we could listen to "the story of the boy that lived in the graveyard."

Yes, yes we can.
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Reading Progress

June 29, 2009 – Shelved
Started Reading
September 28, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 91 (91 new)


Thomas Try Kipling next (even if it's only the Disney version) and tell him about the great secret ...


message 2: by M.J. (new)

M.J. Webb Nice. I'm chuffed because my 7 year old has just started reading The Magician's Nephew. Couldn't get him interested in anything but SpongeBob at 4. :-)


message 3: by Bob (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bob Mann Patrick,

My son and I enjoyed listening to this while on a trip (he was about 18 at the time). We stayed on the car at the end of the trip to hear the story's end.

May you and your boy enjoy many more years of story magic together!

Bob Mann


message 4: by Aminar (new)

Aminar That's cute. I remember listening to Star Wars books with my Dad as a kid.


S.G. Night Fantastic book. Gaiman did a great job flipping the Jungle Book plot into something a little more interesting


message 6: by Lettie (new) - added it

Lettie Thank you for teaching me the word "cruft". Or at least for sending me to look it up.


message 7: by Kathie (last edited Sep 28, 2013 07:55AM) (new)

Kathie The Graveyard Book is one of our favorites here, too. I've yet to do the audio version - to date the only Audio Book I've enjoyed was World War Z, but I think I may give this one a go. Thanks, Pat!


message 8: by Tiffany (new) - added it

Tiffany Fox The Kingkiller Chronicles and Ready Player One are my ALL TIME favorite audio books. I also enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane!


message 9: by Teresa (new)

Teresa When Oot is a little older, check out Stephen Briggs reading Terry Pratchett; my 11 year old can quote Granny Weatherwax and any Wee Free Man you choose to a "T".


Cynthia M.J. wrote: "Nice. I'm chuffed because my 7 year old has just started reading The Magician's Nephew. Couldn't get him interested in anything but SpongeBob at 4. :-)"
Try the Half Magic series by Edward Eager. They are what got my formerly non-reading 7 year old to start a lifetime of loving books.


message 11: by M.J. (new)

M.J. Webb Cynthia wrote: "M.J. wrote: "Nice. I'm chuffed because my 7 year old has just started reading The Magician's Nephew. Couldn't get him interested in anything but SpongeBob at 4. :-)"
Try the Half Magic series by Ed..."


Thanks, I will check them out now.


message 12: by Susie (new)

Susie Now when I heard "cruft" I must admit I immediately thought of "Crufts". Having now looked it up I see it has nothing to do with dogs, apart from having the potential to be dogged.


Crisp I thought the Graveyard Book would have been a little much for a 4 year old - we're coming to the end of Enid Blyton's Enchanted Wood books and I have been casting about for what to read him next. I will have to look the Graveyard Book over again.

Of course there's also Fortunately The Milk..


Nana  Devourer of Tomes Your boy has excellent taste!

I wish I could introduce my boys to Neil Gaiman but I only buy books in English and not my native language so I'll probably need to invest into creating a library for them!


Nana  Devourer of Tomes M.J. wrote: "Nice. I'm chuffed because my 7 year old has just started reading The Magician's Nephew. Couldn't get him interested in anything but SpongeBob at 4. :-)"

I started my 5 year old with "Charlie and the chocolate factory" and then proceeded to Narnia. I think he's a little bored of Narnia now so I'll just return to Dahl for the time being. Harry Potter is also an excellent read!


Nicole I gave my 9 year old son a copy of Name of the Wind and when he told me he loved it I was so happy! He is a teenager now and at this point reads more than I do, but its so nice when our tastes collide once in awhile. The Gaveyard book was another of those times.


message 17: by Brigid (new)

Brigid I grew up reading Gaiman's books, so I'm glad your son is enjoying them as I did when I was little. He's a great author to introduce your son to. Happy for you Patrick.


message 18: by Kara (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kara It was my sons first audiobook too! Although, it was more just me listening to it while breastfeeding... lol, BUT, what a cute little story. I still imagine I hear my little one practicing his Night-Gaunt calls. I plan on listening to it again when he's a little older... maybe 4 years old then? Glad to hear your son enjoyed it! =)


message 19: by Cina (new) - rated it 5 stars

Cina Little Oot has fabulous taste! I also love his description "I can see the pictures in my head!" High praise for Gaiman indeed.


message 20: by J! (new) - rated it 4 stars

J! That's magnificent. Oot is a gentleman of fine and distinct taste and it's the Neil's best reading ever!


message 21: by Iampet (new) - added it

Iampet Moore I am listening to The Name of The Wind currently and I love that you posted this, because I am one of those people that really has not been lucky enough to enjoy audiobooks very much at all. it took less than 2 chapters for me to be as swept away with the audio as I was with the book. so Oot and I both got to enjoy something we hadn't much before HUZZAH! here's to new pleasures right?


Christina Listening to Niel Gaiman read a chapter of this book every night while my husband and I were tucked in for bed is one of my favourite memories. Staying up late (well past bedtime) "just to find out what happens next" in The Name of the Wind is another. Brilliant Authors!


message 23: by Brad (new) - rated it 5 stars

Brad Thats too cute! What an awesome father you are.


Angie Taylor That's awesome! Nothing makes me happier than when my kids start loving the adventures in stories.


message 25: by Bob (new)

Bob I'd be curious to see what he thought about your audio books as they paint such a vivid picture.


message 26: by Chelsea (new)

Chelsea "I couldn't be happier. Neil Gaiman as his first audio. My boy has good taste."
I can't imagine a better first audio!


Nolan I love audio, that's how the majority of my "reading" gets done. I love that Neil reads most of his books, I wish more authors did that *cough* Pat *cough* :)


Joseph I just read this for the first time a couple weeks ago. Haven't listened to any of his audio books but I can imagine how well this story worked in audio. Fun story to share!


message 29: by Random Librarian (new)

Random Librarian Patrick thanks for sharing that! unfortunately this never happened with my daughter, but I'm holding out hope for my 2.5 year old son! Thanks again!


Natascha Awwwww, this is souch a lovely story! Welcome to the club, little one!


Bianca And not just for the children!


message 32: by Mary (new) - added it

Mary Congratulations! When I have children, I want to share with them the magic that re books:)


Samantha wickedshizuku Tolleson What a touching story that is, sir. My children and I also had a similar experience with How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell.


Christina Pilkington I'm reading this with my 7 year old twins right now. We're on page 70 and loving it! My kids were about 4, too, when they made that "pictures in the head like a movie" connection,too. It's one of my greatest loves in life to read aloud, especially to the kids. I love sharing books I loved as a kid. At night we're reading aloud A Tale Dark and Grimm. I highly recommend it.


Christina Pilkington Oh, and I just got your book The Name of the Wind for my birthday a week ago. Really looking forward to reading it!


message 36: by J! (new) - rated it 4 stars

J! I agree with you about this book Patrick. I can't wait to hear him read it on the audio-book. I found that, while I enjoyed reading 'The Graveyard Book', it was MUCH better hearing it read by Neil! That being said, I also greatly enjoyed your books on audio. Your reader is excellent and really brings out the passionate prose of your writing ;)


message 37: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian Blouin Review literally made me tear up, bravo good sir.


message 38: by Mark (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mark I love your review, thank you


message 39: by Andrea (new) - added it

Andrea Trenary <3


Bruce Deming great story


message 41: by Holly (new)

Holly Fournier While I'm [anxiously] waiting for Day Three, I have been looking around for something that will hold me over. A good review from you, especially one this cool, is all I need to make the decision to read this book. (I'm such a fan of yours...if you said the dime-a-dozen romantic vampire books were full of great writing, I'd have to give them another shot)


Jason I rarely...actually never...comment on reviews for people I don't know. But I really liked yours. I have boys of my own, so that is obviously a factor. And I just started experimenting with audiobooks for road trip. They love stories. So audiobooks, which I love, seems to be a natural progression. We have so far listened to a few children's audios, which weren't very good. Your review forces me to consider, in a good way, that I have underestimated them and that they may be ready for something more complex.


message 43: by PJC (new) - rated it 2 stars

PJC I don't understand where you find the time to not only write an epic fantasy series but continue to constantly read and review what seems to be every book I've been interested in on GoodReads... Graphic novels included. My hat's off to you kind sir. Keep doing whatever it is you're doing.


message 44: by James (new) - added it

James Mourgos Excellent story.


Julianna Great story! The boy has taste!

I didn't try an audio with my daughter until she was about 7 or 8. We had a 9 (one way, 18 total) hour car trip, and I had it figured that The Hobbit would just about fit, IF I could get her to do it.
Long story (HAHA) short, as we finished the ride home, we had about 15 minutes left of the book. We pulled into the garage, and sat in the car listening together until the book was finished.
And before anyone asks, the engine was off, we were perfectly safe.

Those moments, when you look at your child, or you hear those comments, and you know the wheels are turning, the gears are clicking into place just as you'd hoped they would; that warmth spreads from your heart, and right into the core of your genetic code. All you can think at that moment is, "Well, I got THAT part right."


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

This makes me really happy. This book is one of my favourites -especially the writing style. I've never listened to an audio, always like reading books myself so I can actually look at the words, but now that I've read this review I'm defiantly going to listen to it!!


☼♄Jülie  What fantastic and memorable moment for you and your child...beautiful!


Nichole That's awesome I have lots of memories listening to the auto books in the car with my mom and it was good fun!!!


Nichole This book was hard for me to understand??? Did this happen to anyone else?


Kookieduck This is a wonderfully imaginative book readers almost any age can enjoy. I have read it several times and even my husband enjoyed it.


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