Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: HarperCollins Children's Books
Hardcover, 309 pages
Date Published: October 1, 2008

Description (Taken from Goodreads): 
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy - an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family.

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel about life and death, love and growing up, and finding family in the most unlikely places.

Nobody Owens is not a nobody at all. The sole surviving member of a family murdered in the middle of the night, Nobody (Bod for short), is welcomed into a graveyard full of ghosts and even some ghouls. His life is spent protected by the things that are normally thought of as haunting. But life is for the living and Bod is surrounded by the dead, so sooner or later, the past catches up and murder is once again in the air.

This is the first (but certainly will not be the last) book I’ve read by Neil Gaiman. The story of Nobody Owens is a simple one, yet bursts off the pages and sucks the reader into this world of ghosts and Haunts; of things that go bump in the night, but of people that love and have been loved. As dark as the story may seem, The Graveyard Book is exactly the type of book that middle grade aged children (as well as older) will love.

Bod is impossible not to care for, with his constant curiosity and bubbling personality. His eagerness to explore his world, as small as it may be, is only rivaled by his fierce ability to care for others. The ghosts that surround him are funny and full of tales from the past, but it is Silas, Bod’s guardian, who is shrouded in mystery and elusiveness, that controls just how much the reader knows.

The man Jack, the man who murdered Bod’s family, is as much a mystery as Silas. He took the lives of Bod’s entire family and eventually, the boy must deal with and confront that fact. But before he gets there, Bod grows up, learns among the living, and has some wildly inventive and macabre adventures that Gaiman fills with mythology and lore that enticed me beyond the pages and forced me to do a few Google searches to ease my intrigue.

Reminiscent of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book is about the benevolence in the world and a boy’s journey to become a man. Bod lives, as the living should, and grows, as the growing should, and in the process, he discovers just who Nobody Owens is and how to live a life filled with everything.

Opening line: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. ~ pg. 2

Favorite lines: “You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.” ~ pg. 179
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it. 
 
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5 comments:

La Coccinelle said...

I've wanted to read this ever since reading a short story about Bod in M Is for Magic. I'm glad to hear the full-length novel is good!

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

I feel like I've been living in a hole that is void of Neil Gaiman goodness because I've never even heard of M is for Magic...I'll have to pick that up soon now too. I've already added The Sandman to my wishlist, so another Gaiman book won't hurt.

Melissa said...

I've heard a lot about how brilliant this book is, but I just haven't got around to reading it. Excellent review, as usual, Nikki :)

~The Book Pixie said...

While I'v never read a Neil Gaiman book, I have heard of this one and a ouple others. The Graveyard Book sounds like such a great read with very intriguing characters! Thanks so much for the great review! :D

~Briana

Bere said...

Excellent review, Nikki. I have never heard of this one before but it does sound fantastic. Your review makes me want to pick this one up, asap. Thank you =].

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