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Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Hey all, Dani here.

Finally I have a review up for Middle Grade March. This is a book I read during the latest Readathon by Zoe, but I wanted to make sure I put up an actual review for it instead of just saying that I really enjoyed it. So, Neil Gaiman is just one of those authors that I continuously heard lots of great things about, and I eventually gave him a chance with the Sandman comics. A good friend of mine recommended that series, and I loved them all. Since then I’ve been wanting to read more Gaiman, and I’ve managed to read StardustThe Sleeper and The Spindle, and now The Graveyard Book. I’m really enjoying what I’m reading, and I definitely plan to continue making my way through all of Gaiman’s published works.

Let’s jump into the review now.

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Summary

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

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…

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. 

My Thoughts

Rating: 4 stars

The first few chapters of this book were absolutely outstanding. I was pulled into the story very quickly, and the way things were described or the ways some of the characters spoke left me laughing. Several times I had to pause in my reading to read a passage to my fiance, and he found it all very interesting too. This book certainly has an interesting premise, and as always I love the way Gaiman describes things. Also, the realistic yet also otherworldly way that the atmosphere of the story makes you feel.

And yes, Bod does have a number of adventures as he grows up in the graveyard and learns from those around him. But I can admit that there were points where I felt like the story dragged a bit more than I’m used to with a Gaiman story. That doesn’t mean that it wasn’t interesting though. Perhaps my feelings were also partly due to reading this during a readathon.

All in all though, this is a lush world, with intriguing characters, and looking back I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to wanting to know more about the Jacks. The story switches from Bod and his life, to the man called Jack, the one who killed everyone else in Bod’s family. Jack has been looking for Bod this whole time because his job killing the whole family isn’t complete.

We get to see Bod grow up, from toddler to young boy, to middle grade young man, and it is interesting to see the friends he makes and the lessons they teach him. I did really enjoy this read, even if I didn’t give it the 5 star rating that seems typical with any Gaiman book I read. I definitely like how Gaiman can take a quirky concept and make it seem fairly normal.

Where to Buy

You can pick up a copy of The Graveyard Book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Books-a-million, Book Depository, or your local indie bookstore.

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