I recently read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman for RIP 7 and the October Read-Along, and I am completely impressed with Neil Gaiman's writing and this story. I have not experienced any Neil Gaiman books, although I have seen the movie Coraline which is based on Gaiman's work. Without RIP 7 I probably never would have read this book and for that, I am grateful. Thanks to RIP 7 I enjoyed this magical tale and will certainly be reading more of Gaiman's work.
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 . . .
From the very beginning of this tale, Gaiman puts the reader on the edge of his seat and wondering. Who is the man named Jack and why did he kill Nobody Owen's family- and why on earth is a man out looking for a baby to murder?! We enter the graveyard with Bod and the man named Jack in pursuit. There we meet who is to become Bod's family and where he will subsequently live. Imagine, a baby being raised by ghosts and growing up in a graveyard. Sounds both mystifying and heartbreaking; which is exactly what this story evokes.
Bod grows up in the graveyard among ghosts as he tries to navigate through his adolescence. What will happen to a little boy raised in such a dark place?
Gaiman wrote this story in such a beautiful and haunting way. Some parts are terrifying and others are lovely. Filled with beautiful language and a setting that is strangely stunning in my imagination. I could see the graveyard where Bod was living and learning. The characters are also wonderfully developed- with enough mystery to keep the reader guessing but enough connection to feel like you know these members of the graveyard.
I discussed the middle chapters of this book in a previous post, which can be found here. If you click along to RIP 7 and the Graveyard Book discussion pages, you will uncover many views and pieces to the puzzle by other readers who joined the October read-along. I cannot say more except that Gaiman composed an extraordinary tale.
write to be understood, speak to be heard, read to grow