The Graveyard Book | Neil Gaiman | Reviewed by Niina

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

thegraveyardbook
“It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.” - Neil Gaiman, The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book is a story about a boy called Nobody Owens (called Bod by his friends and family). The peculiar thing about Bod (apart from his name) is that he lives in a graveyard. Why does he live in a graveyard then? Because he's adopted by two ghosts, Mr and Mrs Owens who adopted him when his whole family got murdered by a man called Jack. The Owens family and their ghost friends keep Bod in the graveyard to keep him safe from Jack who's for some reason still out to get him. 
Bod's days are filled with playing with ghost children among the graves, having conversations and getting educated by ghosts who all lived during different centuries. And then there's Silas. Bod's mentor and guardian, someone who Bod really cares about but can't quite figure out. While all this is going on Bod still feels the need to communicate and interact with humans, But while gets closer to the human community he also gets closer to danger...

The Graveyard Book is the second book I've read by Neil Gaiman. While I was pretty disappointed by Stardust I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book. The book is mainly directed to a younger audience but I think both adults and children can really appreciate this story. I really liked the fact that the story is set in a graveyard. There can't be any place that's more mystical and interesting than a graveyard? And the whole idea that Bod can communicate with ghosts who've lived through different centuries is so fascinating! Just think about all the wonderful stories Bod gets the opportunity to listen to! I almost wish I grove up in a graveyard myself. I also really found the characters in this novel really well-written and interesting. Bod is a really likable yet different kid and Silas is a really mysterious yet lovable character. And of course I loved the ghosts, because like I said before, the ghost really give the story an interesting twist. Like any good children's fantasy this story also touches a lot of important and real subjects like friendship, family, trust and identity.

The only complaint I might have is that I struggled a bit with getting into the story through the first chapters, and I kind of wish that I had gotten the opportunity to read this when I was younger because I think I would've appreciated it even more! So this is definitely a book I'm going to read for my future (hypothetical) children! And it also made me interested to read more of Gaiman's books (if you have any suggestions, please leave them in the comments!) So, yes, I gladly give The Graveyard Book 4/5 stars.

This review was written by regular reviewer Niina, get to know her here.

8 comments :

  1. The only one of his books I've read so far is Coraline which I did enjoy but similarly wish I had read when I was younger. I also picked up Neverwhere which I haven't read yet but I've heard good things!
    Great review Niina, I may add this to my to-read list! x

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    1. I think you should give it a go! It's a pretty fast read, but I know what you mean; so many books so little time, right? :)

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  2. Oh this is the only one of his books I've read, and for a children's book I thought it was quite scar! (Especially the pictures!) I did enjoy it though :) x

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    1. I guess it's for a bit older children, but I think it's okay for children's books to be a bit scary, I mean life can be scary, right? :) I'm glad you enjoyed it as well!

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  3. Neil Gaiman is incredible. Have you read any of his other work? He does some quite dark adult fairy tales and a great collection of shrot stories. I haven;t read this yet though, thanks for the review xx Lizz

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    1. I have read Stardust and was a bit disappointed with it, but I'm going to read more of his books soon!

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  4. I LOVE Gaiman and I loved this book, it's so charming and has such heart. I'd recommend Anansi Boys and American Gods - written for an older audience, but still with the quirk and originality that makes Gaiman Gaiman.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendations! I'll check them out!

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