The Next Best Book Club discussion

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Group Read Discussions > Graveyard Book - Spoilers

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message 1: by Lori, Super Mod (new)

Lori (tnbbc) | 10089 comments Mod
Go ahead, tell me everything!


message 2: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments This book is wonderful! Excited that it will become a movie in 2011. Naturally I believe there will be some alterations and changes if we compare to Gaiman's other book->movies.

Read this novel in August for another book club. The characters are hilarious. The chapters themselves could be mini-stories like the Brothers Grimm.

With the other book club, readers enjoyed the other characters rather than the protagonist. I liked them all.

I'll add more than this brief write-up as people read the novel more. HEE!


message 3: by Kandice (last edited Sep 01, 2009 07:53AM) (new)

Kandice I actually audio-ed this book, and Gaiman himself read it. It's a delightful story, and I love the way he doesn't spell everything out. He leaves some "details" to the readers imagination. As I was listening, and had to change the CD's, I was actually disapointed there was so little left. I could have listened to tales of Bod and his "family" forever.


message 4: by Petra (new)

Petra I also listened to the Audio, narrated by Gaiman. It's fantastic! He really brought the characters alive. I, too, could have listened to more of Bod's story.
I'll follow this discussion carefully and add more as people read and comment.




message 5: by Jackie (new)

Jackie (thenightowl) Loved the audio version of this and would recommend it to anyone. Gaiman really has a great narrating voice. I'm with Kandice on this one...I would love to listen to more tales of Bod. I just thought that the whole graveyard concept was very creative.


message 6: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) Jackie wrote: "Loved the audio version of this and would recommend it to anyone. Gaiman really has a great narrating voice. I'm with Kandice on this one...I would love to listen to more tales of Bod. I just thoug..."


I don't know if it's the British accent or what - but I agree about Gaiman's voice.



message 7: by Kandice (new)

Kandice Besides his nice voice and perfect accent, Gaiman WROTE it, so he got everything right. I am always so pleased when an author reads their own work. Even if they have a goofy voice, like Stephen King's, you just KNOW listening to them, that this is the way they meant the story to sound. This is not an interpretation...this is the real deal.


message 8: by Rach (new)

Rach (rachlovestv) | 104 comments Now I want to listen to the audio version, lol!

I loved this book when I read it! :)


message 9: by Leila (new)

Leila (leilasbooks) I enjoyed this quite a lot :)

I'm wondering though - am I the only one who would love to see this as a Tim Burton-ish film? I just love the imagery.


Yvette (hooked on the nook) (yjacobs99) I just finished this book. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it. The beginning was a little gruesome with the killings. But I did find it interesting how the ghosts in the graveyard were able to raise Nobody to adulthood. The powers Nobody possessed in the graveyard was extraordinary and came in very handy many times as the story evolved. The ending had me biting my nails when the encounter with The Jacks came to a suspenseful head. I was sad that Scarlett went back to Scotland. However, I did agree that it was necessary for Silas to remove all memory of The Jack and the events of the graveyard from Scarlett and her mother for everyone's protection. Now that Bod is 15 and has left the graveyard, what adventures he may have. I wonder if there will be a sequel?? I was hoping that Bod would see his mother (in spirit) again before the book ended but that did not happen. I was not sure the resemblance of the the girl on the white horse, anyone? Yeah for the upcoming moving that was mentioned!!


message 11: by Leila (new)

Leila (leilasbooks) Ohhh, it is becoming a film?

*excited* I didn't know that!

I loved however how unique it was in it's own way. You often hear and read about ghost stories but this was one was rather peculiar.



message 12: by Kandice (new)

Kandice I think this would be the perfect novel for a Tim Burton adaptation. I think it may even work better in claymation, because CGI of the characters may cause them to come across as cheezy, and I would hate that. I loved them all.


message 13: by Tara (new)

Tara Kandice, I totally agree with you that a claymation, Tim Burton-esque film would be the best adaptation.

I really liked this book and might just listen to some of it read by Gaiman to get the experience everyone's talking about! I loved that it was a light, children's book but still touched on a lot of pretty mature subjects (like death, love, responsibility, ethics, etc). I was thoroughly entertained, and loved Bod's character. I liked how all of the adventures that could almost serve as stand-alone vignettes all came together at the end to help Bod defeat The Jacks.


message 14: by Carol (new)

Carol I have to get to library. Hope they have it.


message 15: by Usako (new)

Usako (bbmeltdown) | 326 comments Gaiman wants a live-action feature. To quote from a news article in October 08 - ("I want to see the ghosts for real. I want to be able to touch the graveyard").

With what CGI has become, the ghosts could become very vivid and charming. Or they might do live action figures and only do CGI when they go into ghost form. There is /that/ possibility.

The ghosts on Potter weren't horribly done.


message 16: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (JenJen1221) | 215 comments I read this book a few months back, but I do remember that I was a little creeped out with the beginning. The idea of a young kid and family murder...eeeek (in a ya...I didn't expect that). And yes, the book is kind of Tim Burton-like. It would be cool if Tim Burton made this movie...off to go look up info on the movie now.


message 17: by Joanie (new)

Joanie | 714 comments Totally agree with everyone that a Tim Burton type of film would be awesome-that's what I pictured too.

The beginning was rough but thankfully it was over soon. I liked how all the lessons Bod was being taught by (why can't I remember her name) came into play later-love when that happens.

I think a sequel would be awesome!


message 18: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (mamallama) | 130 comments Leila wrote: "I enjoyed this quite a lot :)

I'm wondering though - am I the only one who would love to see this as a Tim Burton-ish film? I just love the imagery. "



I agree! This would definitely be great if Tim Burton did the movie. He did a wonderful job with Coraline.



message 19: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) One thing that distracted me was how Gaiman kept saying "the man named Jack" instead of just "Jack. I guess it has to with being part of all The Jacks. Anyone else find that distracting?


message 20: by Tara (new)

Tara Stephanie wrote: "One thing that distracted me was how Gaiman kept saying "the man named Jack" instead of just "Jack. I guess it has to with being part of all The Jacks. Anyone else find that distracting?"

Yeah, that was strange to me too at first, until the whole "Jack of all Trades" thing was introduced and we learned that there were a bunch of "men named Jack." But Gaiman saying it like that made me guess that there was some conspiracy or something, so I thought it was an interesting clue.


message 21: by Rauf (new)

Rauf I heard it's going to be director Neil Jordan who'd direct it.



message 22: by Jill (last edited Sep 02, 2009 07:48PM) (new)

Jill (wanderingrogue) | 329 comments Tracy wrote: "I agree! This would definitely be great if Tim Burton did the movie. He did a wonderful job with Coraline."

Tim Burton didn't direct Coraline. Henry Selick directed it. Selick also directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, which Burton produced.

To the best of my knowledge, Burton had nothing to do with the making of Coraline.


message 23: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (mamallama) | 130 comments Jill wrote: "Tracy wrote: "I agree! This would definitely be great if Tim Burton did the movie. He did a wonderful job with Coraline."

Tim Burton didn't direct Coraline. Henry Selick directed it. Selick also d..."


You are absolutely right! I didn't do my homework. Anyway, Tim Burton directed Nightmare Before Christmas and was directed by Henry Selick. So they should get Henry Selick to produce The Graveyard Book movie. My apologies for the wrong info.




message 24: by Pam (new)

Pam (pammylee76) I read this a couple of months ago. I liked it and thought it was an interesting concept, I felt like I was left with unanswered questions. But I am looking forward to seeing it as a movie.


message 25: by Eve (new)

Eve (eve_lyn) I like how Gaiman handled the end - it's lack of sentimentality. One by one the ghosts disappear from Bod's world and while Gaiman doesn't talk a lot about emotion, nevertheless, it was a bit sad, especially since you know that the last to disappear will be his parents. However that was balanced with this great sense of adventures to be had outside the graveyard. There will definitely be a sequel.


message 26: by Tracy (new)

Tracy (mamallama) | 130 comments Stephanie wrote: "I like how Gaiman handled the end - it's lack of sentimentality. One by one the ghosts disappear from Bod's world and while Gaiman doesn't talk a lot about emotion, nevertheless, it was a bit sad,..."

I agree! I sensed that Bod will have more adventures outside the graveyard and the ending smacked of a sequel. I was sad that he had to say goodbye to his family, but it's just like any child when it's time to leave the nest. Even if his "nest" is a graveyard.




message 27: by Kim (new)

Kim | 28 comments I disagree; I don't think there will be a sequel. Gaiman doesn't like to explain everything to his readers, including what happens to the characters and the worlds he creates after the book is finished. He leaves it up to the imagination. I felt that the story came to a satisfying finish - the reader was not left hanging. The story of Bod's childhood in the graveyard ended nicely. And now it's left up to the reader to decide how he will survive in the real world.


message 28: by Petra (new)

Petra I also thought the it was a fitting ending. It left me thinking of all of Bod's future experiences and where Life might take him.
I was sad, though, that the ghosts slowly disappeared. I thought how sad it was that Bod, at about 15 yrs of age, would be so totally alone in the World without a family member to talk things over with in the future. I mean, technically, he could return to the Graveyard and tell them all how his life is going and they would hear him, gather around him and be pleased or sad for him. However, if he wanted or needed advice, they wouldn't be able to speak to him in a way he could hear. I found that total aloneness at such a young age a bit sad.
That said, overall it was a positive ending and I was happy that Bod could go out into the World.



message 29: by Julianne (new)

Julianne | 314 comments I really enjoyed this book (read it a few months ago). The thing I loved best--that Gaiman was able to tell this story in so few pages.

I don't read a whole lot of YA or children's books, and if this had been written as an adult novel I have no doubt it would be 600+ pages long. Yes, I felt that Gaiman didn't explain everything and some themes weren't wrapped up nicely and tied up with a little bow. But I chalked that up to reading a kid's book. Kids (I'm making an assumption here) use their imaginations to fill in the gaps, while I want my authors to explain everything to me.

I considered it one of the better things I've read in 2009. And I'm excited about a movie. I also recently finished Coraline and look forward to renting that movie.


message 30: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 31 comments I am new to the group and was very excited about the my first group read. I had read a lot of postive reviews of the book and was excited to read it.

For me the first 100 pages were torture. I did not enjoy reading the fantasy of the ghoul world. I just did not get it. I almost quit reading the book, but I really wanted to participate in the discussion so I kept going.

I really, really enjoyed Chapter 4 where Bod meets the witch. I thought the book was going to turn around for me, but I was wrong. I did enjoy the book a little more after that, but overall it was a disappointment to me.






message 31: by Carol (new)

Carol Cathy wrote: "I am new to the group and was very excited about the my first group read. I had read a lot of postive reviews of the book and was excited to read it.

For me the first 100 pages were torture. I..."


I don't know if I will like for that reason also. That is why I am hesitant. to buy it.


message 32: by Liz (new)

Liz (arcanepenguin) | 285 comments Cathy wrote: "I am new to the group and was very excited about the my first group read. I had read a lot of postive reviews of the book and was excited to read it.

For me the first 100 pages were torture. I..."


(all opinions are based on 3+ years of bookstore employment)
I've really found that dark fantasy books, like Gaiman's are directed at a specific audience. All the feedback I've gotten has been either an absolute love or an absolute hate, with very little middle ground. Although this genre of books is one of my favorites, it is one that I very rarely would recommend (based on customer input about their previous favorites).

I also think that Gaiman left the ending open ended intentionally. He typically gives basic closure to the story at hand, but does not write anything that resembles an epilogue. I love this because it give the reader so many possibilities about what could happen to the character in the future, and if they get sucked back into the world in the book or continue with their descent back to normalcy.



message 33: by A. (new)

A. (aekirk) | 4 comments I loved this book, thought the beginning opened with a bang, it had it's ups and downs but I enjoyed until the end where I felt it fell flat. I wanted more resolution. I hadn't heard it's going to be a movie and will look forward to it!


message 34: by Eve (new)

Eve | 41 comments Cathy wrote: "For me the first 100 pages were torture..."

I totally agree... The begining was very slow for me too, but i guess i had quite high expectation. Chapter 6 was my favorite (when Bod went to school) and further on i liked it much more. So overall i liked it: all the funny pits and the sad ending (i hope Gaiman doesn't write a sequel - it would most probably be a big disapointment as everybody has there own ideas :))

One thing that i was left wondering - when Bod is discovering the world outside his graveyard, would he still be able to fade and dreamwalk etc? What to you think? I'm guessing not, as Gaiman mentioned that he couldn't go through things in graveyard anymore... but in my mind i'm still imagining that his fooling around and playing pranks on people (like in school) :)


message 35: by Petra (new)

Petra Eve, I think that when he finally leaves the Graveyard, he loses all the abilities. It was the Graveyard (and/or it's inhabitants) that gave him these in the first place. When he leaves that final time, I think he becomes a "normal" human being.
It makes sense that if he's to make it in the World that he's the same as everyone else. I would have liked for him to keep the ability to see his ghost parents, though. That way, he could visit with them in the future. It's always nice to go home for a visit, don't you think, when the relationship is a good one?



message 36: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer Eklund (jennifere) | 54 comments Cathy wrote: "I am new to the group and was very excited about the my first group read. I had read a lot of postive reviews of the book and was excited to read it.

For me the first 100 pages were torture. I..."


Cathy, I'm so glad to finally hear someone say they were disappointed in this book. I, too, had great expectations of this book based on the reviews, but it really fell flat for me. I, on the other hand, thought the beginning was strong (though a bit gruesome) and the concept of the ghosts in the graveyard raising young Bod was interesting and engaging. I felt like the plot wasn't thick enough to hold my interest. Yes, it's YA, but I think young readers like a strong plot as much as adults do. I think I would have liked it more if Gaiman had given us a little more information as to why Bod's family was killed or why it was so necessary that they go after Bod, too. I think it would have added to the conflict and made it more interesting to me. As it was, everything was explained at the end, but I don't feel like it was some great "Ah-ha" moment. It felt like the explanation was rushed up in an effort to end the book. I understand I am likely in the minority in my thoughts on this book. Did anyone else feel let down by this book or am I alone?


message 37: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Julianne wrote: "I really enjoyed this book (read it a few months ago). The thing I loved best--that Gaiman was able to tell this story in so few pages.

I don't read a whole lot of YA or children's books, and if..."

That's what I love about Gaiman, he doesn't skimp on plot or imagination, but he manages to tell his story in a very succinct way. Plus the images and fantasy he comes up with are great.

I read this book a couple of months ago after hearing an interview with Gaiman on NPR. I fell in love with the book.



message 38: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (pearlady) | 45 comments The movie might be better than the book, I'm thinking. The descriptions in the book don't seem to do much justice, besides fueling one's imagination. Though, perhaps the point?! I'm not exactly jumping up and down with excitement, proclaiming the book has "wonderful", "delightful", and such, as my review will attest, but it 's not one of the worst reads by any means.

(on another note: I'm still makes me grimace when Silas took the memories of his friend. I think she and Bod could still make a lovely team, travelling the world together and having adventures. So, my imagination takes me there, and, I do give Gaiman a nod of appreciation for that much.)


message 39: by Mounica (last edited Sep 07, 2009 03:34PM) (new)

Mounica | 32 comments Jennifer wrote: "Cathy wrote: "I am new to the group and was very excited about the my first group read. I had read a lot of postive reviews of the book and was excited to read it.

For me the first 100 pages w..."


I agree with just about everything you wrote, Jennifer. I also thought the reason for murdering Nobody's family was explained loosely. And the prophecy wasn't very convincing, and kind of vague. The whole concept of being raised in a graveyard was brilliant, but I would have liked a stronger plot too.


message 40: by Robin (new)

Robin (robincarlton) | 21 comments Well... this book turned into a "move on to something better" moment for me. With just about 100 pages to go and some quiet relaxation time tonight, I found myself with zero desire to pick this book up again. I dunno, I just wasn't impressed and sadly, I didn't really care what happened to Bod. It was just a strange little book to me that didn't bring about any sense of enjoyment to me and I read to ENJOY books and stories.


message 41: by Meghan (new)

Meghan Well, since no one here mentioned it, did anyone else pick up on all the Jungle Book refernces? (i.e., the title? each story has a boy raised by things other than live humans? each are hunted? etc.)

I thought Gaiman did a great job and enjoyed the book immensely. My only "complaint" would be that a lot of the secondary characters were underdeveloped. Not sure if he did that deliberately or if he was constrained by the idea that this was more a "YA" book rather than for adults only?

I'm an American, so I found it kind of weird that people let their kids run around cemeteries. But I thought it was interesting that he came up with the idea of Bod watching his son play in one.


message 42: by Natalie (new)

Natalie Meghan wrote: "Well, since no one here mentioned it, did anyone else pick up on all the Jungle Book refernces? (i.e., the title? each story has a boy raised by things other than live humans? each are hunted? etc...."

In an interview Gaiman actually said he set out to write a Jungle Book of his own, so the similarities are no coincidence ;)


message 43: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments Okay, I've kind of scrolled past all of the spoilers just because I want to ask this question. Was the UK version not set in San Francisco? This US version keeps mentioning that business in San Francisco and it's bothering me because, there were no Romans or Celts in San Francisco, also California didn't do the whole witch trial thing. I know I'm being picky, but I'm just wondering if this was Americanized?


message 44: by Daniela (new)

Daniela | 3 comments I knew nothing of this book until I saw it on the group read list. I didn't expect much and was surprised by how intriguing and creative it was. I loved the mood of the story and the sense of place I got while reading it! I'll be looking forward to the movie adaptation and will explore some of Gaiman's other books- if anyone has read his other work and could suggest something similar, please do! This was my first group read with you all and I thought it was a great choice!!


message 45: by Meghan (new)

Meghan April wrote: "Okay, I've kind of scrolled past all of the spoilers just because I want to ask this question. Was the UK version not set in San Francisco? This US version keeps mentioning that business in San Fra..."

The story, I believe, was to imply that the Jack of all Trades had business dealings all over the world. Hence, the references to SF. Even though the Jacks date back to ancient times, they are modern men. One got the feeling Gaimen was using the freemasons (think Da Vinci Code) as a model for his secret society.


message 46: by Lydia (new)

Lydia (loverofinformation) I read this for another group (I'm into YA books) and really enjoyed it. As a librarian I received his other book Coraline and really did not like it although my grandkids adored it and the movie. I did, however, read Gaiman's short story anthology and would recommend, if you are interested, reading this. Gaimain is into the writing, much like Stephen King in my eyes. He is quite versatile and as a result, there are works I like and others I don't.

Ireallly did enjoy Graveyard.


message 47: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments Meghan wrote: "April wrote: "Okay, I've kind of scrolled past all of the spoilers just because I want to ask this question. Was the UK version not set in San Francisco? This US version keeps mentioning that busin..."

Thanks for the answer Meghan, I literally thought the book was taking place in SF, after reading that section, so thank you for correcting that assumption and your wonderful explanation. I expect to finish this book in a few hours and post some things I wanted to discuss/ read in depth what everyone else has written :-D



message 48: by Melissa (new)

Melissa (macyboston) Leila wrote: "I enjoyed this quite a lot :)

I'm wondering though - am I the only one who would love to see this as a Tim Burton-ish film? I just love the imagery. "


I thought the same thing. I could so see this as a Tim Burton film. I suspect it will be similar to the format of Coraline.




message 49: by Jaclyn (new)

Jaclyn (jaclynr0806) | 88 comments Daniela wrote: "I knew nothing of this book until I saw it on the group read list. I didn't expect much and was surprised by how intriguing and creative it was. I loved the mood of the story and the sense of place..."

Daniela, I agree with you that because I didn't have any expectations going into the story, I enjoyed it more than I thought I would considering this is not my typical genre. I thought it was incredibly creative and although I did wish for a better explanation of why Nobody's family was murdered, that was the only thing for me that was disappointing. I was sad at the end when he began losing his powers and how non-sentimental the good-byes were, but I picture him being buried there when he dies and being reunited with all of his "family" again someday - after he's had all his adventures and truly experienced the life that up to this point he's mostly only heard about. I didn't think about the loneliness aspect really until someone brought it up here, but I guess I just figured he'll go find Scarlett and although she won't remember him, there'll be some kind of pull there that will bring them together again.

I'm definitely looking forward to the movie when it comes out. It would be fun to see the creativity of this story played out on screen.


message 50: by April (new)

April (booksandwine) | 954 comments I think this would make a perfect Tim Burton-esque film, like many of you also think.

I also went into this knowing a little bit, but not a whole lot. I loved it. I could see this becoming a children's classic.

By the way, anyone else enjoy the Danse Macabre part? Seriously that was awesome!!


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