The Graveyard Book--Neil Gaiman

I first became acquainted with Mr. Gaiman's work through the illustrated Sandman stories and while I enjoyed these very much, I must admit that I did not follow the legions of fans into the world of his fiction and novels.  Apparently that was my loss.  Last year I picked up Coraline and found it one of the creepiest things I had read in years.  And yesterday I picked up The Graveyard Book.  While it didn't raise goosebumps the way Coraline did, it has its own special charms.

The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody Owens, a young boy adopted by ghosts in a local cemetary after he wanders away from the house where the rest of his family has been killed.  Having been welcomed by Mr. and Mrs. Owens into the family they always wanted to have, Nobody is granted the Freedom of the Graveyard and is watched over by Silas and a host of others.  Owens grows up in the cemetary and, naturally, has any number of adventures there.

The writing is, as usual with Mr. Gaiman, solid and beautiful.  Not one moment did I pause over the choice of a phrase, nor did I ponder the implausibility of what he wrote about.  Indeed, the book makes me want to go and find a graveyard of my own to call home.  And that is the magic of his work--Gaiman makes it all real, and makes all of the dead come alive--not mythically but in real, tangible, and human and humane ways. 

The Graveyard Book is a coming of age novel among other things.  But chief among the things that it is--a rip-roaring well-written novel with engaging characters and events and a real heart and soul amongst all of the debris of Ghoul-gates, sleers, Indigo Men, and Jacks of all trades.

Get it and read it--you won't regret the short time you will need to invest.

*****--Highly Recommended


  1. Loved both of these, but Coraline gave even my 11 yr old nightmares. Haven't been tempted to check out NG's graphic novels - are they worth it?

  2. Dear Emily,

    I love Gaiman's graphic novels. My 11 year old son read both _Coraline_ and _The Graveyard Book_, loved both of them, but didn't seem to be too disturbed by them. It's always hard to tell, because if they gave him nightmares, it would be hard to tell by the type of nightmare--so. . .

    The graphic novels are great, but definitely for adults.




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