Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman Review

Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean
Published date: September 30th 2008
ISBN: 0060530928

Summary from Goodreads:

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

My thoughts:

This was the first Neil Gaiman's book I've read and I would say it was an excellent read. It was dark for a middle school read but I think it was the usual Neil Gaiman's style. The setting and the characters in the book were really well done. Nobody a.k.a. Bod, the main character, was an unfortunate boy. His parents were killed by Jack and he ended up living with the dead in a graveyard. It's really fun seeing Bod trying to be like his ghost friends and yet he knew he can't. Being a curious young boy, he ventures out to help a ghost friend and gets in trouble. Seeing Bod getting out of trouble was really fun. Throughout the whole book Bod struggled with accepting who he was. Sometimes he felt like he was in between the living and the dead. Another problem he struggle with was keeping human friends because of his ability and his living environment may endanger those friends. I find the story pacing was quick and easy to follow. Later on, the mystery of who Jack was and why he wanted to kill Bod was explained and it was very satisfying.

The book felt episodic in a way since each chapters has Bod at a different time period in his life. One chapter he was a young boy and lasted till his teens. I was a bit teary in the ending and it felt worthwhile reading this book. Overall, I enjoyed The Graveyard Book a lot and I can't wait to read his adult title The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

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