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The Graveyard Book [Paperback]

Neil Gaiman , Chris Riddell
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.03 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Paperback, 5 Oct 2009 5.03  
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Book Description

5 Oct 2009
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?

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Product details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Children's ed edition (5 Oct 2009)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0747594805
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747594802
  • Product Dimensions: 13.3 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 4,497 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description


'The highly skilled craftsmanship of Neil Gaiman's expertly joined plotting is constantly fascinating. With The Graveyard Book he appears to have exceeded even his own exacting standards, seeming to revel in creating the improbable and layering on impossible convolutions. The impossible he deals with through mind-twistingly clever links and attention to the most minute of details, the improbable becomes totally convincing through the sheer brilliance of the writing'
-- The School Librarian

'This well-written, creepy, yet funny story has all the mystery and suspense that your older readers could want; while Chris Riddell's macabre illustrations are frighteningly good' -- Literacy Times Plus: Ages 9 to 11

'You cannot fault the sheer inventiveness in this brilliantly paced and plotted fantasy novel'
-- Books for Keeps


'You cannot fault the sheer inventiveness in this brilliantly paced and plotted fantasy novel'

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
205 of 212 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a graveyard 10 Oct 2008
Imagine Rudyard Kipling's "Jungle Book"... but replace the animals with ghosts, ghouls, werewolves and other such supernatural creatures.

Such is the concept of "The Graveyard Book," which cleverly turns Kipling's classic story into an exquisitely-written, darkly witty fantasy. While it starts as the assorted supernatural adventures of a young boy raised by ghosts, the story slowly evolves into a beautifully ghastly confrontation between Nobody Owens and the people who want to do him harm.

"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." A man named Jack kills an innocent family at night -- except for a baby boy, who toddles out to the graveyard.

With the approval of the Lady on the Grey, the Owens ghosts adopt the boy, whom they name Nobody (or "Bod" for short), and the mysterious not-dead-or-alive Silas is appointed his guardian. Bod slowly grows up, but his upbringing is hardly ordinary -- he is taught by a Hound of God, wanders into the horrific realm of Ghulheim, watches a danse macabre, and befriends a witch's spirit from the Potter's Field.

But the man named Jack is still out there, and for some reason he (and the organization he works for) still wants to kill Bod. And though Silas and the ghosts are trying to keep him safe, Bod is becoming curious about the world of living humans -- and about the man who murdered his family. And when they come for him, he'll be ready.

The world of Neil Gaiman is never a safe place -- it's always painted in shadows and shades of grey, and something horrible may be lurking around the corner.
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63 of 65 people found the following review helpful
By R. Hill
What one word best describes this tale of an infant whose whole family are murdered, and who toddles to the safety of a local graveyard, where he's raised and educated by the resident dead? That word, surprisingly, would be "charming".

And it is, in every sense of the word. It's eloquent without being condescending, comforting without being soft, sharp without being bitter, and it captivates your attention throughout its entirety, leaving you perfectly satisfied by the end.

The cast of characters are written to perfection. The dead maintain an eerie timelessness, whilst the other supernatural creatures are subtle yet distinct, ("Silas ate only one food, and it was not bananas"); the villains pull off the trick of being both evil *and* credible; the living have a refreshing mundane quality, and Bod the protagonist is left with the uneasy struggle of being neither fish nor fowl (nor dead).

A delight to read and a joy to think about.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
I'd never read anything by Neil Gaiman before; "Not my thing", I'd decided. Then I watched the film adaptation of Startdust and thought maybe I'd give it a try after all. But I never did. And then all the publicity for The Graveyard Book started appearing ... and talk about judging a book by its cover. As a school librarian I should be ashamed to admit it but I decided to read the book purely because of the magnificent cover by Chris Riddell! I probably wouldn't have bothered if only the David McKean cover had been available. And what a mistake that would have been! Because WOW, what a book!
Bod is only a toddler when his whole family is murdered by the Man Jack; narrowly escaping, he takes refuge in a nearby graveyard. After many discussions, the ghostly inhabitants decide to look after him and he is adopted by Mr and Mrs Owens. Under the watchful eye of his guardian Silas, Bod grows up as a living boy in a dead man's world, with all the abilities of a ghost. But the Man Jack cannot rest until he has finished the job and is still on the lookout for Bod.
This is a fantastic fantasy book and a great coming-of-age book. There is lots of action, plenty of twists (some of them I did not see coming!) and enough gory creatures to keep fans of this genre entertained. But most of all, it is an amazing love story. Gaiman writes so well you forget that Bod's parents are in fact ghosts and his guardian a vampire; what you take away from this story is the sheer feeling of devotion for a child (the last chapter was heart-breaking for me but I think that's just because I am a mum and the thought of "letting go" of your child is quite hard!).
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman 19 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Deservedly this book won the Newbery Medal. It is a remarkably unsentimental, wonderful,gently humorous tale of Nobody. The Baby who crawled into and was brought up in The Graveyard. To tell more of the story than that would spoil the magical effect of Gaiman's skill in leading you down a path which has you believing seven impossible things before elevenses.

To say I was entranced by this book is to put it in banal terms. I have now told at least forty people that until they read Gaiman's latest work, they will not realise that English writing is not only well, not only thriving, but reaching heights that the most optimistic would hardly credit.

This is story telling at it's highest level. I suggested to one of my grandsons (aged 11) that he might like to read this book. Unlike me he is not a great reader though he usually has a book by his bed. He shrugged but took it. Two days later he came to me with a huge grin on his face. "It's cool, Dadoo." he said " It's just...magic"

I don't think I can improve on that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable!
This is the third Gaiman book I have read (behind Stardust and The Ocean at the End of the Lane) and it is the one I have enjoyed the most. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Emma
5.0 out of 5 stars Stunning
How to describe this book? It is magical in an ordinary way. Scary in a comforting way. And an excellent read.
Published 14 days ago by KM Byrne
5.0 out of 5 stars The Graveyard Book
A facinating and well writen book ,allready obtained another title by the auther, which I am looking forward to reading.
Published 21 days ago by Brian Smith
3.0 out of 5 stars Creatively written, but not very interesting
This was the first book by Neil Gaiman I've read and I can't say it makes me want to read any more of his books. Good writing, but the story was a bit boring. Read more
Published 21 days ago by Juggernaut Jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved this book!
I loved this book. It is quirky and different. Although the majority of the characters are ghosts, they certainly came to life! This is one book I will read again and again!
Published 1 month ago by MISS SOPHIA ANWAR
5.0 out of 5 stars Gothic and excellent
From the 1st sentence I needed to find out what happened next. The chapters where Nobody stood up against the two class bullies is actually a good analogy of how children can take... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mel
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow pretty damn amazing
This book was a breath of fresh air if you like Gaimans style of writing in his graphic novels then you will love this book unique yet somehow familiar .
Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars The Jungle Book if it were set in a Graveyard
Bod Owens is a normal boy, except for the fact that he has been raised by ghosts and a vampire and lives in a graveyard. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Noor Jahangir
4.0 out of 5 stars New read
This came down as a recommendation because I like Terry Pratchett, I was taken into a fantasy world very quickly following a very dramatic introduction with the brutal murder of a... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Alexander J Warden
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman does it again
This is Gaiman on top form once again.
He creepy tale of one boy's survival whilst being raised by ghosts is just wonderful! Read more
Published 1 month ago by S. Beckett
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