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The Graveyard Book

A fantasy novel for young adults written by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Dave McKean.

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Deliciously Different

  • Oct 27, 2008
  • by
Rating:
+5
Neil Gaiman's wonderfully dark The Graveyard Book opens with murder--three members of a family are mysteriously killed by a man named Jack, whose intent was to kill all four of the family members. Unfortunately for him, but luckily for us and the child, a toddler escapes the house and makes his way across the street to a graveyard. The inhabitants of the graveyard, long since dead and forgotten, save the young child and bring him into their world, giving him "Freedom of the Graveyard" and raising him in a most unusual manner. And while the dead do not eat or leave the confines of their ghostly "homes", the mysterious undead Silas agrees to be the child's guardian and supply him with his earthly needs. Thus Nobody Owens is adopted into a lifestyle which will find him able to converse freely with ghosts and learn many useful traits such as Fading and Dreamwalking.

I was entranced from the first pages of this delightful book. Bod, as he's called, is a typical boy in a very untypical place. Brought up by people long dead, he misses out on today's modern world but finds so much more to occupy him. As the tension mounts when the man Jack realizes where his intended victim now lives, we see how Bod's upbringing has helped him as he saves not only himself but also his real friend, Scarlett. I was surprised by the twist Gaiman gave us with the man Jack, and I loved the setting and the bravery of the dead and the living. Filled with dark atmosphere and sly manipulations, The Graveyard Book is charming and engrossing. I didn't want it to end; I want to live with Bod! This one is sure to delight readers of Gothic literature, young adult literature, and those who just plain love a good story. Highly, highly recommended.

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More The Graveyard Book reviews
review by . May 06, 2013
Dark, spooky and edgy. Totally engaging and fun.
Once again, with imaginative and narrative skill, Neil Gaiman has created a children's book unlike any other. At once gothic and phantasmagoric, it is still, at heart, a children's story with perhaps a literary nod to C.S. Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft.      At the beginning of the story a murder happens which leaves the lone survivor-a male toddler-moving out into the open towards a cemetery which is inhabited by a band of spirits from all generations. Once in the graveyard, …
review by . July 13, 2010
Perfectly-paced storytelling from Neil Gaiman and stark illustrations from Dave McKean combine to make this a fantastic, enjoyable quick read. I have always found that McKean's art evokes imagery from Gaiman's tales incredibly well, with their sharp, almost woodcut-seeming black lines, and this is certainly the case in The Graveyard Book, as in Coraline.      Though the story opens with serious action, it takes a bit of reading before one becomes truly absorbed by the …
Quick Tip by . March 24, 2011
I've always been fond of slightly dark fantasy adventures about children, whether written by Lewis Carroll, Edward Gorey, Roald Dahl, or J.K. Rowling. Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is certainly of that same vein and is worthy to sit upon the bookshelf among those authors mentioned above. The novel is a Gothic coming of age story, modeled on Rudyard Kipling's The Jungle Book, and tells the story of a young boy, Nobody Owens, whose family was murdered when he was a baby and as a result …
review by . November 29, 2010
Once again, with imaginative and narrative skill, Neil Gaiman has created a children's book unlike any other. At once gothic and phantasmagoric, it is still, at heart, a children's story with perhaps a literary nod to C.S. Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft.     At the beginning of the story a murder happens which leaves the lone survivor-a male toddler-moving out into the open towards a cemetery which is inhabited by a band of spirits from all generations. Once in the graveyard, the spirit …
review by . November 28, 2010
Entertaining and enjoyable
First I want to say how wonderful it was to listen to Neil Gaiman narrate this audio. I love his wry humor and wit, and this book doesn't disappoint.   The Graveyard Book was like a darker combination of Harry Potter and the Jungle Book. A coming of age story where a small boy Nobody Owens finds himself orphaned and being raised by a graveyard full of ghosts and 1 possible vampire (this is never really made clear) while being hunted by an assassin with a keen sense of smell. I was …
review by . July 02, 2010
The concept of this story is refreshingly unique considering the current trend of writing about monsters and death.  The life of the protagonist as he grows up in the graveyard, makes for an interesting story, but the other characters are what make this book a must read.  The book also takes the reader into other worlds as we travel along learning life lessons with Nobody Owens.  This book is not just for kids, its a great read for all ages.
review by . August 30, 2010
Pros: Interesting idea.     Cons: Weak storyline.     The Bottom Line: If this were a meal, it would be missing a lot of meat and potatoes.     Sometimes I wonder if I must be missing something when it comes to some of the books I read.  I enjoyed Hyperion while everyone around me went nuts trying to read it.  American Gods grated endlessly on my nerves while others raved about it.  I guess in the end it just depends upon …
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
Changed the food industry!
Quick Tip by . July 02, 2010
This is a an engaging, interesting story. I was always together with Bod. The ending in a way disappointed me, but it also made me feel food since it was unexpected and that's what you expect from great writers.
Quick Tip by . June 24, 2010
I was a little disappointed by the end, but the overall story was good, and the writing kept me going without any problem.
About the reviewer
Tammy Koudelka McCann ()
Ranked #425
I'm a tall person trapped in a short person's body.
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Wiki

The Graveyard Book is a young adult fantasy novel by Neil Gaiman. The story is about a boy named Nobody Owens, whose family is killed by a mysterious man named Jack, and who is subsequently adopted and raised by the occupants of an old graveyard. Gaiman's first full-length children's novel since the bestselling and widely acclaimed Coraline, The Graveyard Book won the 2009 Newbery Award.
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Details

ISBN-10: 0060530928
ISBN-13: 978-0060530921
Author: Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean
Genre: Juvenile Fiction, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Harpercollins Childrens
Date Published: October 01, 2008
Format: Novel
First to Review

"Deliciously Different"
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