Calico Reaction (calico_reaction) wrote in bookish,
Calico Reaction

Gaiman, Neil: The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book (2008)
Written by: Neil Gaiman
Illustrated by: Dave McKean
Genre: Children's/Fantasy
Pages: 307 (Hardcover)

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

My Rating

Buy the Paperback: but it's close to "Give It Away." Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed this well enough: it's a fast read with some delightful moments and lovely language, but a closer inspection of the plot made me batty. I'm glad I found it on the used bookshelf for only $8.99. :) The art's nice too (but then again, I do love Dave McKean), but I wish there'd been more of it. A predictable story in its own way, so if you're a Gaiman newbie, I don't suggest starting here. Go for his other Hugo winner: American Gods. Now that is a book to sink your teeth into, and to be honest, I'm kind of wanting to read it again. The Graveyard Book is fun enough, but I don't see myself coming back to it, unless I have a kid one day and we read it together. Which, for the record, would be lots of fun, even though the beginning is quite dark. :)

Review style: I'm going to verge into spoiler territory this time, because part of what I want to talk about are the bigger questions the plot raises but doesn't resolve. Don't worry, I'm not going to spoil the ending directly, but there's some logic questions I want to bring up that I hope closer readers of this book can answer. Also, I'll talk about the comparison to Kipling's The Jungle Book (which I've never read), and discuss the book's target audience (here's a hint, it's not YA!). If you're worried about the plot questions/spoilers I raise, skip to "My Rating" at the end of the review, where I talk about whether or not this is a good title for Gaiman newbies to start with.

The full review may be found in my LJ, if you're interested. As always, comments and discussion are most welcome. :)


Happy Reading!


Book club selections @ calico_reaction. Hop on over! We'd love to have you!

March: To Say Nothing of the Dog by Connie Willis
April: The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia
May: Natural History by Justina Robson

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