Tuesday, 1 December 2009

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

From Amazon: When a baby escapes a murderer intent on killing the entire family, who would have thought it would find safety and security in the local graveyard? Brought up by the resident ghosts, ghouls and spectres, Bod has an eccentric childhood learning about life from the dead. But for Bod there is also the danger of the murderer still looking for him - after all, he is the last remaining member of the family. A stunningly original novel deftly constructed over eight chapters, featuring every second year of Bod's life, from babyhood to adolescence. Will Bod survive to be a man?

The Graveyard Book is unusual and strange, and I absolutely loved it. Once I started reading it, I couldn't stop, and I'm blaming that on Gaiman's fantastic characterisation and original ideas.

Although Bod is the main character, I felt like everyone had a big part to play and, in a way, they all took centre stage. Each personality was so vibrant and unique that it was easier to think of them as an ensemble cast. Gaiman wrote gravestone epitaphs after each character's name, and that was one of my favourite parts of The Graveyard Book. How someone is remembered says a lot about their life, and it was fascinating to see how each ghost was represented. Even in death, they were still remembered, through Bod and his ability to exist with them.

Having never read a Gaiman book before, I was surprised by the humour included in his writing. It was on the more quirky, ironic side, and fitted in well with the overall tone of the story. I did find myself quite sad at the end, not just because of the events, but because I couldn't spend any more time with Bod and Co. I'm thinking that a re-read may be in order one day, though I doubt I'll ever be able to get that initial magic back.

The Graveyard Book gets two thumbs up from me. Please can I join the Gaiman fanclub?

13 comments:

Aimee said...

i'm so glad you liked it! It makes me want to read it even more now :)

-Aimee
http://myflutteringheart.blogspot.com

Donna said...

*hands over badge*

Welcome to the club! And I love that cover.

Rhiannon Hart said...

I was just talking about this book with Aimee last night as we haven't read any Gaiman. Looks like I should do something about that!

BrittLit said...

I just read this too and loved it!

Orchid said...

I read it a couple of months ago and I loved it. :)

Jessica Kennedy said...

I read about half of this and never finished it. :( I will though!

Chicklish said...

It sounds great! Thanks for the review.

So Many Books, So Little Time said...

I didn't like the book of his that I read, but your review has made me want to give him another chance.

Andrea said...

Join away, there's plenty of room. I have loved most of the books that I've read by him. But be forewarned that his childrens books are very different from his adult books.

Becky said...

I agree, this is a great book. The parts in the Graveyard are outstanding. I just wasn't so keen on the bit when Bod left the graveyard. Great review.

The Book Owl said...

Hmm, I've never heard of this before. The first line of the summary reminds me of Harry Potter. :)

Kate said...

Superb review. One day I shall read a book by Neil Gaiman. Especially since I found out he wrote Stardust (which I have on DVD). The Graveyard Book sounds like a great read.

Tam said...

I adored this book and agree 100% with your review!