Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
illustrated by David Mckean

Published: 2008
Genre: Coming of Age, Ghosts, Paranormal
Hardback: 320 pages
Rating: 5

Inspiration: love Gaiman's work and to fulfill my challenges for R.I.P. iv, Helluva Halloween and Newbery Awards

Description from amazon:
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-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

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:
In-a-word: Jack

Very Gaiman. Very entertaining. Very.

Life lessons spun into a graveyard setting. What a concept! and it works!

And, the velvet count was high! Some authors have favorite words they like to incorporate in their works. I noticed that Gaiman uses velvet at least once in all the books I've read to date. I love it! Of course, being that my name is Velvet I'm a bit biased.

Blogosphere bit
When Neil was on tour last year he recorded the readings of each chapter of the book. I had the pleasure of listening to him live during the San Francisco reading of chapter six, Nobody Owens School Days.

If you don't have the book or would be delighted to hear Neil read Go listen to the whole book. It's free. GO.

Side note:
I couldn't help it. I was reminded of this poem I learned in Jr. High every time I came across Nobody's name.

I'm nobody! Who are you?
by Emily Dickenson

I'm nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there's a pair of us -don't tell!
They'd banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!


  1. What an excellent review! This book has been on my radar. I REALLY want to read it!

  2. I had to memorize that poem too! Great review. This one is in my pile. I didn't know he read this one. I'll go listen straight away!

  3. Ooh, I'm your 99th follower (well, via Google Blogspot following, that is). So close!

  4. Glad you liked it, V! Wasn't my cuppa, but what can ya do?
    I got your package today! Thanks for the goodies! Chocorooms is like my new favorite word, BTW. It's so fun to say! XD

    How dreary to be somebody!
    How public, like a vlog
    To type your screenname the livelong day
    To an admiring blog(osphere)! ;)

  5. I can't wait to read it ! I'm reading Neverwhere at the moment, and The Graveyard Book is definitely on my waiting list. :)

  6. I have never read any Gaiman. I feel like I'm going to be arrested for saying that. MUST READ!

  7. I've heard it's good. I think I'll look into sometime! I tried to read American Gods by him, but it was just too graphic for me, but I have yet to try any of his children books...I really like Coraline.

  8. I didn't notice that about velvet and Neil, but now that you've said it, it makes perfect sense. I loved this book - and I got to listen to him read the very first chapter...*sigh* Mr. Gaiman is awesome. Glad you enjoyed it!

  9. I really love this book! I got to hear the first half of chapter 7 (which ended on a cliffhanger!) at Santa Monica last year. I love Gaiman's storytelling! Plus, my boyfriend snuck me backstage so I could meet him. :)

  10. Isn't that site where he reads it fantastic? When I picked this up, I was so excited because it has one of the most captivating first pages ever, but then it kind of lost me a bit. But once the hit Ghulheim, I was hooked from then on.

  11. And I never noticed the Velvet thing. I'm going to have to pay attention now.

  12. I just finished Neverwhere, and you're so right about the velvet thing. He DOES use it quite a lot ! :)


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