Friday, July 23, 2010

Review by Lauren - The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

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.

First Impressions: I was very excited to read The Graveyard Book, mostly because of the high praise it has received. I didn't really have any idea what the book was going to be about, but I went in with high expectations.

Bod (short for Nobody) has spent almost his entire life in a graveyard, raised by ghosts instead of parents, and given all the same priviledges as the dead around him. He is kept hidden from the outside world to protect him from the people who want to hurt him, and spends his time learning to use his ghostly powers.

Because I read The Graveyard Book with such high expectations, it took me a while before I began to really enjoy it. You have to keep in mind that it is a children's book, with mature themes, but the story is still meant for younger children.

In the end, I did enjoy the book. It was endearing and imaginative, and I loved the illustrations that were included in every chapter such as the one off to the left. Every character was special, each ghost unique and entertaining. I loved how Neil Gaiman included each ghost's epitaph after their introduction, and how almost every chapter seemed to be a little story of its own.

Final Impressions: A great (mature) children's book about the joys of truling living. Oh, and can you see the face on the cover? :p Took me a couple days to figure that one out...

Memorable Quotes:

- "Name the different kinds of people,’ said Miss Lupescu. ‘Now.’

Bod thought for a moment. ‘The living,’ he said. ‘Er. The dead.’ He stopped. Then, ‘...Cats?’ he offered, uncertainly."

-"Bod quite liked crows. He thought they were funny and he liked the way they helped to keep the graveyard tidy."

- "Suppose we pick a name for him, eh?"
Caius Pompeius stepped over and eyed the child. "He looks a little like my proconsul, Marcus. We could call him Marcus."
Josiah Worthington said, "He looks more like my head gardener, Stebbins. Not that I'm suggesting Stebbins as a name. The man drank like a fish."
"He looks like my nephew Harry," said Mother Slaughter...
"He looks like nobody but himself," said Mrs.Owens, firmly. "He looks like nobody."
"Then Nobody it is," said Silas. "Nobody Owens."


  1. Great review! I've only read one Neil Gaiman book. This should change.

  2. Great review! I have to say that I liked the book more as it went on as well, but it definitely started with a bang! And overall it's extremely strong - well-written, heartfelt, funny, a little bit absurd, and sweet. Everything I've come to expect from Gaiman, even when he's writing darker adult novels.

  3. Awesome :) This isn't something I'd usually read but it sounds awesome!


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