Friday, 28 June 2013

The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a perfectly normal boy.  Well, he would be perfectly normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living or the world of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard: the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer; a gravestone entrance to a desert that leads to the city of ghouls; friendship with a witch, and so much more.

But it is in the land of the living that real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives and he has already killed Bod's family.

I wish I hadn't read The Graveyard Book on a beautiful June day.  Neil Gaiman's wonderfully weird story probably would have benefited from me reading in a dark and cold place (normal British summer weather) to heighten the atmosphere of the graveyard in which a young boy named Bod resides with many ghosts and strange creatures.
For me, The Graveyard Book reads like a fairy-tale, with each chapter containing a moral story that could be a singular short in a collection, but instead are linked together by the sinister man named Jack who has been looking for Bod.  Instead of being just an enjoyable coming-of-age read, there's plenty that Gaiman leaves the reader to think about without ever being heavy-handed with the themes which he wants to explore.  The only distraction I had while reading is that when you say Bod, I think of this guy

A fantastic concept that has been beautifully executed through both the prose and illustration, I would definitely recommend The Graveyard Book.  In fact, why aren't more stories set in graveyards?


  1. I really enjoyed this one too. It was lovely and touching. It seems I only like Neil Gaiman's novels geared towards kids, lol.

    1. He seems to have the right voice for kids stories. I haven't read any of his adult novels yet, apart from The Sandman graphic novels. I keep seeing a lot of negative reviews towards them, so I've been a bit wary. Although his new one is supposed to be quite good...