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The Graveyard Book (Ala Notable Children's Books. Middle Readers) Hardcover – 1 Jan 2008
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"It takes a graveyard to raise a child. My favorite thing about this book was watching Bod grow up in his fine crumbly graveyard with his dead and living friends. The Graveyard Book is another surprising and terrific book from Neil Gaiman."--Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife
"The Graveyard Book is endlessly inventive, masterfully told and, like Bod himself, too clever to fit into only one place. This is a book for everyone. You will love it to death."--Holly Black, co-creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles
"This is, quite frankly, the best book Neil Gaiman has ever written. How he has managed to combine fascinating, friendly, frightening and fearsome in one fantasy I shall never know, but he has pulled it off magnificently - perfect for Halloween and any other time of the year."--Diana Wynne Jones, author of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci
"The Graveyard Book manages the remarkable feat of playing delightful jazz riffs on Kipling's classic Jungle Books. One might call this book a small jewel, but in fact it's much bigger within than it looks from the outside."--Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn
"After finishing The Graveyard Book, I had only one thought -- I hope there's more. I want to see more of the adventures of Nobody Owens, and there is no higher praise for a book."--Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels
"Wistful, witty, wise--and creepy. This needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
"Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying."--Washington Post
The Graveyard Book is everything everyone loves about Neil Gaiman, only multiplied many times over, a novel that showcases his effortless feel for narrative, his flawless instincts for suspense, and above all, his dark, almost silky sense of humor.--Joe Hill, author of Heart-Shaped Box
"I wish my younger self could have had the opportunity to read and re-read this wonderful book, and my older self wishes that I had written it."--Garth Nix, author of The Abhorsen Trilogy
"The Graveyard Book, by turns exciting and witty, sinister and tender, shows Gaiman at the top of his form. In this novel of wonder, Neil Gaiman follows in the footsteps of long-ago storytellers, weaving a tale of unforgettable enchantment."--New York Times Book Review
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.See all Product description
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Boy did it pay off. Cracking little book that took me a week to get through while sailing in Greece this year. Very nice surprise how engrossing this one was. I think it might just inspire me to give his other stuff another go.
So, if like me, you're usually not a fan of Gaiman but still want to try and like his stuff, start with this one. :)
The creativity and genius behind the writing of these stories is what really secured this book right at the top for me. The first story "The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds" was my favorite by far! As a detective tries to solve the murder of Humpty Dumpty, the story goes on to involve many more nursery rhymes characters, and I found myself chuckling and shaking my head at the absurdity of it all. But I loved it, absolutely loved it.
October in the Chair was another favourite of mine. How Gaiman was able to capture the essence of each month and brought them to life...I mean, wow.
And then there was Don't Ask Jack, which was a story revolving around a jack-in-the-box, which gives you chills. Finally, there was The Witch's Headstone, which was a glimpse at Neil Gaiman's other book The Graveyard Book, which I had already read. But it was still nice to go reread an excerpt of it almost and know that at the end of it, there is much more to the story.
A great collection, and worth the read.
Neil does a great job at setting the scene, and really manages to submerge you into this story.
Would I recommend? Yes, definitely!
Would I read again? Possibly but only once or twice more, not one I'd read dozens of times.
Overall, an excellent story with an easy flow
An assassin of legendary reputation has been given a simple job or wiping out the Dorian family. He kills Mum and Dad, easily enough, and the little girl tucked in her bed with her teddy too. But somehow baby Dorian has escaped from his cot, slid downstairs using his nappy to cushion his bottom and slipped out of the front door that Jack neglected to close behind himself. But Jack soon picks up his trail that leads him up a hill to a grave-yard so old that its become a nature-reserve. But at the graveyard the baby’s trail disappears. This is the first-time that he has failed to complete a job and Jack is avowed that he will one day finish what he has started. The baby, however, has not disappeared. At the bequest of his dead mother, the graveyard’s ghosts have agreed to give the baby the freedom of the graveyard, to be raised by Mr and Mrs Owen (who hadn’t had children during their lives) and with Silas (the vampire) to be his godfather and bring him food. Bod grows up to learn everything that the ghosts of his graveyard can teach him, including a number of supernatural powers, like turning invisible and walking through walls. He’s going to need all of his abilities soon, because Jack is still outside somewhere looking for him.
The book follows Bod in the latter half of his childhood, though his misadventures and lessons in life (and death) from the odd denizens of the graveyard. Despite his strange upbringing and postcode, Bod comes across as a normal boy, curious about the world around him (and beneath him), bored off lessons and somewhat lonely. His friends consist of a long dead, but still young at heart and in appearance, witch and a living girl called Scarlett who has to move away after visiting an ancient tomb beneath hill. This being a Neil Gaiman book, we are also treated to a whole panoply of quirky characters, including the ghosts of the graveyard, ranging from Roman Britain up to the Victorian period, Silas, the velvet wearing vampire, and a bunch of ghouls (notable mentions, the Bishop of Bath and the Duke of Wellington). It is the vast supporting cast that really make this book so enjoyable and worth reading.
The main setting of the story is the graveyard itself, with its little chapel, Egyptian walkway, a ghoul gate and its unhallowed ground. Really, the graveyard is as much a character in the book as its stuffy and mortified residents, to the point that through reading the book, the graveyard will become as familiar a place to you as it is to Bod, and you will be able to sense its moods too. There are a few brief detours during the course of the book to a secondary school, Scarlett’s house, the Dorian house, the ghouls’ world and Africa too.
This book is pitched by the publisher as a children’s novel/YA, but the opening is rather chilling and serious. Despite the intended audience, Gaiman writes as flawlessly as ever, never condescending in tone or style, and that will no doubt be a huge factor in the longevity and universal appeal of this book. Its definitely made favorite books list and is amongst Gaiman’s best.
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