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The Graveyard Book Hardcover – 20 Oct 2008

4.7 out of 5 stars 397 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC; Children's ed edition (20 Oct. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0747569010
  • ISBN-13: 978-0747569015
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 20 x 2.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (397 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 356,744 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

From the Back Cover

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy.

He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer.

But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack who has already killed Bod's family. . . .

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages." --This text refers to the Library Binding edition.

Review

`Beautifully judged, fluid prose' -- Literary Review

`Both twisted coming-of-age novel and riff on established folklore, it comes with my highest recommendation' -- Literary Review

`Chris Riddell embellishes the tale with elegant illustrations, some of which (four threatening villains, for example) communicate as much as the text'
-- The Sunday Times

`It is wise and exciting'
-- Sunday Herald (Glasgow)

`Meet Neil Gaiman ... the haunting writer adored by kids, adults - and Hollywood'

-- The Times

`One of the joys of reading Gaiman is how he subverts our expectations of magic, horror, fantasy and the mundane'
-- The Times

`The Jungle Book meets Philip Pullman in a graveyard. A new kidult classic' -- Metro

`The book is at once exciting, funny and touching and the illustrations by Chris Riddell perfectly enhance the text' -- 3SIXTY Magazine

`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 brief, dark, savoury adventure deserves to become a modern classic of children's writing' -- Independent on Sunday

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By EA Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 Oct. 2008
Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
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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Format: Hardcover
Brilliant - sinister, lyrical and poignant all at the same time. Like 'The Jungle Book', it's a great evocation of growing up as an outsider, and the world is vivid and perfectly imagined; and, like 'The Jungle Book', the narrative voice is faultless. But it has more narrative tension than 'The Jungle Book', and a grimmer edge - the gothic elements (ghosts, werewolves, vampires) are picturesque without being cliched, and occasionally funny, but at the heart of the book there's a real engagement with fear, time, and loss. There were a couple of moments towards the end where I thought the structure was weaker, but that's just a quibble - on the whole I thought this was wonderful: an intelligent, elegant, and - in spite of the pervading sense of graveyard cold - warm book. And Chris Riddell's illustrations are beautiful - ethereal-looking line drawings that are witty and unsettling. I haven't seen the other edition but I can't imagine Riddell's drawings being bettered.
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