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216 of 225 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It takes a graveyard
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...
Published on 10 Oct. 2008 by EA Solinas

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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Life during death.
A killer is loose he has claimed three victims from one family but one escapes. He lives to fight another day. But there is something unique about this escapee.

He is a baby.

He does not know his name.

He finds shelter in a graveyard.

The ghosts who live in the graveyard, claim him and name him as No'bod'y.

Bod...
Published on 5 Feb. 2012 by Jo D'Arcy


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Graveyard Ghosties, 26 Sept. 2009
By 
Ms. B. Stevens "Berni" (Bushey, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Hardcover)
I loved this book from the start. It's a wonderful idea - although Neil Gaiman freely admits he 'borrowed' it from the Jungle Book!
I liked the ghostly 'scarecrow' scaring humans away from the treasure in the crypt. The Danse Macabre was glorious creepy fun as was Bod's ability to 'fade' even though he is still human. The 'Man Jack' is a really scary idea although I did wonder what the point of all the murders actually was. Why did they target Bod and his family? Maybe I missed something . . . I did feel that each chapter almost stood alone as though the book had been written for a TV series rather than a complete novel. But that's a minor point. Chris Riddell's beautiful illustrations were a joy throughout. A gem of a book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ghost and Gouls and things that go bump in the night!, 7 May 2009
By 
Ms. Victoria Harvey (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Hardcover)
Neil Gaiman. The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaman is a new find for me; the first book I read was Coraline, which although good, did not really come together for me. But the Graveyard book was by far much better. The concept is marvellous and you easily get dragged into the strange world of the graveyard and the ghostly inhabitants and how they live along side the living in harmony.

The book is about a small child who wanders into the local graveyard late one evening after he escapes the clutches of the man who has just murdered his entire family.
He comes across all the ghost of the buried occupants and creates a stir when a pair of friendly ghosts Mr & Mrs Owens want to keep and bring him up as their own.

Eventually the graveyard folk agree and the child is given the freedom of the graveyard, which allows his to go anywhere within the parameter. And he is named Nobody Owens, Bod to his friends.

The story is about the 1st 15 years of Bods life and his adventures, but unbeknown to Bod the man who failed to kill him all those years ago, is still out there waiting for him to surface, and the graveyard folk can only keep him save while he stays in the graveyard.

Although this is a children's book, Neil Gaman has demonstrated a brilliant imagination, which makes every character seem real. A truly scary but magnificent book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Graveyard Book, 8 Dec. 2009
By 
Jenny, Wondrous Reads (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Paperback)
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?

4.5/5
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Four and a half stars - almost perfect, 2 Jan. 2009
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This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Hardcover)
I love Neil Gaiman, and my eleven year old son loved Coraline, so I bought this book to read to him at bedtimes. He didn't like it and asked me to start a different book instead when we were only a couple of chapters in. (We went on to the third book in the Philip Reeve Mortal Engines series, which we're both enjoying). I kept reading The Graveyard book on my own though, and I enjoyed it very much. I liked the mythical lyrical quality of the writing, as well as the believable characters and humour - and the suspense involving The Man Jack. It wouldn't be my favourite Neil Gaimen but it was still brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful!, 26 April 2011
This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Paperback)
I knew from the first sentence that I would love this story which probably has one of the best opening lines since "Pride & Prejudice". I also wish Neil Gaiman had been writing when I was young, as to have been able to appreciate "The Graveyard Book" as a child would have been very special I think.

It isn't a perfect story by any means. I wanted to know more about how the Jacks found out about Bod and more about Bod's parents. Also, as someone else mentioned, what it was they did the rest of the time. I also felt a bit short-changed by being denied the detail of the "work" Silas and Miss Lupescu were doing on Bod's behalf in other parts of the world.

However I did like the way in which the reader was given clues and allowed to make his or her own mind up - about what Silas is for example - and I did wonder whether the Man Jack was actually Jack the Ripper although he is never named as such.

It has been a long, long time since I have read a story I didn't want to end but this was certainly one of those. Thank you Neil, I shall definitely be adding more of your books to my wish list!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A lovely Dark gem, 24 July 2009
This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Hardcover)
Much as I adored and obsessed over the Sandman series when in my twenties, I have learned to be selective as to whom I recommend Neil Gaiman's earliest work. However, during the last ten years he has managed to create books that appeal to all people without compromising his integrity. The Graveyard Book is the masterpiece of one of our top twenty greatest living storytellers at the peak of their powers. If you haven't yet read any of NG's work, start with this one.

Strangely, as a fan, I wasn't that bothered about rushing out to buy The Graveyard Book at first because I thought I had already read it... my brain had filled in some of the gaps that were left from an earlier work of Neil Gaiman's inside a collection of Short Stories - a short story called 'The Witch's Headstone'. "Oh yeah that sounds familiar!" I said. Well, I wasn't wrong there. The writer probably felt that this was just too good an idea to leave lingering out there and like an eager seventh grade chemistry student he carefully took his precious speck of alum and grew it into a lovely Dark gem.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A boy called Bod, 18 Aug. 2009
By 
Paula Mc (Glasgow, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Hardcover)
I really enjoyed reading 'The Graveyard Book', another gem by Neil Gaimain. The story was excellent (based loosely on 'The Jungle Book' by Rudyard Kipling, just change the animals for ghosts ). Nobody, affectionately known as Bod was a wonderful character, he was full of spirit and determination. Silas was a great character and an excellent guardian to Bod.

I am so sentimental sometimes, I had a tear in my eye at the end but it was a nice tear, not a sad tear.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Gaiman light, 2 April 2013
This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Paperback)
I adore Neil Gaiman. I have literally devoured "Neverwhere", "Stardust", "Coraline" and "Anansi Boys". He is the master of myths and takes the best bits out of existing genres, legends and characters to create new, exiting remixes with a lot of tongue-in-cheek and surprising literary depth. Which is why I was utterly disappointed by The Graveyard Book.

Gaiman tells the story of a little boy named Nobody Owens (Bod), who is raised by ghosts in a graveyard after his family was murdered by an unknown organisation. In the course of the years, Bod learns a lot of "ghostly" skills, like dreamwalking and fading, and encounters many famous characters, such as the Lady in Grey and flesh-eating Ghouls. The story is full of cheeky little references to historical events and figures, which made me smirk quite a few times.

Unfortunately, the story is told like a movie script. Short scenes, more like flashbacks than actual chapters, and then gaps of several years during which apparently nothing exciting happened. Gaiman introduces a lot of interesting characters, but their background stories are never fully revealed (e.g. Silas and Miss Lupescu). And suddenly, really interesting characters are introduced, but dropped two pages later, such as the Mummy who accompanies Silas and Miss Lupescu on a mission.

The point of view switches constantly, from Bod to the murderer of his family, to the organisation this murderer belongs to, to a group of Ghouls, to Silas on a mission, etc. Which would have been really interesting if Gaiman had actually added some depth to these little stories and characters, but it's just brief flashes, as if he wanted to cram as many popular figures and references in there as possible. It might definitely work as a movie script with a bit of editing, but for a book, it leaves a lot to be desired.

Three stars, because Gaiman would still give most fantasy authors a run for their money with The Graveyard Book, but within Gaiman's fantastic worlds, this one is the weakest I have encountered so far.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fabulous, 5 Jan. 2013
By 
Kat (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Graveyard Book (Paperback)
I've always been a little ashamed that I haven't read a Neil Gaiman book, after all, it's hard to find someone that doesn't like his writing style and story-telling prowess. I was determined to rectify that with The Graveyard Book, even if I was a little unsure about the intended audience.

However, I'm now seriously regretting NOT reading a Neil Gaiman book earlier. Right from the beginning I was completely entranced by The Graveyard Book - the characters, the setting, the tension and the enormous creep factor.

I loved Bod - it was easy to like him, empathise with him, and travelling with him through Neil Gaiman's mind was like going on the best creepy holiday ever. The supporting characters are equally engaging or villainous and although I couldn't figure Silas out in the beginning, by the end I was almost in tears. The Man Jack is incredibly villainous (I just wanted to use that word again!) and the ghouls were fantastically creepy and macabre.

Although not all the parts of the plot are completely connected to the story, I did enjoy the sideways wanderings into other, unrealised, plot lines. For me it helped to build the world of the graveyard, the kooky spooky characters and kept me guessing as to just how things would play out.

The Graveyard Book is marketed as a young adult book, but as a reader who is quite far past that particular audience, I found it captivatingly creepy. The ending also fell into the category of unresolved plot lines, but sometimes I don't want everything to be wrapped up nicely - I want to imagine for myself how things really ended up.

The Audio Version

Books narrated by their authors are unusual, but to find one that is superbly narrated by the author is a rare chook indeed. Therefore, I hereby christen Mr. Gaiman a rare chook as The Graveyard book is one of the very few audiobooks I could just listen to - no playing Sudoku no half eye on the scene outside the window, it was an audiobook where I could just close my eyes and enjoy the storytelling.

Passion for his story and characters, great inflection and a creepy musical score made The Graveyard Book a wonderful listen.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully dark and oozing with imagination, 22 May 2012
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The man, Jack, is a professional killer with an expert sense of smell, and he's on the trail of a toddler, who unlike the rest of his family has evaded the fatal edge of Jack's blade! Vulnerable and alone, the toddler is discovered by the Owens, a pair of happily married ghosts, who reside in the local graveyard. As it is agreed by paranormal council that 'the dead must have charity,' they agree to take the boy in and raise him as if he was their own.

Safe from the murderous Jack for now, Nobody 'Bod' Owens grows up amongst a cavalcade of quirky, supernatural characters. The creepy cast include Silas, a caretaker living between this world and the next, Mother Slaughter, the Indigo Man, The Sleer, mist walkers, witches and even a young girl called Scarlett who visits the graveyard. Whilst being schooled by Miss Lupescu - who at second glance appears to be a right dog - Bod is granted the 'Freedom of the Graveyard' and sets about exploring every dark corner, coffin and mausoleum inside its gates. Despite these fantastical adventures, his intended life beyond the graveyard still beckons him, but one step outside the protective gates and the threat of Jack and a sinister organisation known as the 'Convocation' looms larger than the brightest and fullest of moons.

The fabulous illustrations by Chris Riddell & Dave Mckean, that precede each chapter, set the tone as Gaiman orchestrates a witty, sinister, page-turning, fantasy adventure. Set in a world where leaving a graveyard has deadlier consequences than entering one, this is wonderfully imaginative story-telling at its best.

I wish I'd started reading Neil Gaiman's stuff years ago!
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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (Hardcover - 20 Oct. 2008)
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