Saturday, October 25, 2008

The Graveyard Book



Gaiman, Neil. 2008. The Graveyard Book. With illustrations by Dave McKean.

I really loved this one. The atmosphere, the pacing, the characters, everything is just right with this one. The Graveyard Book is the story of a young boy, Nobody Owens, whose parents (and sister) have been murdered. The young baby--toddler--wanders into the neighboring graveyard and happens to escape the killer. The residents of the graveyard take pity on him. They adopt him. Mr. and Mrs. Owens especially. (Along with Silas.) Give him the freedom of the grave yard. They raise him. They teach him. He is one of their own. And yet...and yet he's not quite of them. He's alive. Can the dead really and truly raise the boy right? Silas is his guardian. He is one of the few that can leave the graveyard. He walks amongst the living and the dead. Him being quite neither. They only know this. Someone is out to kill 'Bod' (their nickname for Nobody). And it is only if the boy remains there that he is safe. But how long will the boy be content with them, with only the dead for company, alone from others his own kind?

This is an adventure-filled story with great characters and amazing atmosphere. The book is slightly unusual in that it is episodic. The book spans a dozen years or so. We see Bod grow from a toddler to a young man--a teen boy of fifteen or sixteen. We see him learn to walk and talk and fade and haunt and dreamwalk. We see him learn to explore the world around him both in and out of the graveyard.

Definitely recommended.

First sentence: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

© Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

6 comments:

naida 11:41 AM  

great review, I've been wanting to read this one.
http://thebookworm07.blogspot.com/

Dewey 1:04 PM  

I had to skim because I'm reading this next and I was afraid of even the slightest spoilers. But I'm glad to see your "definitely recommended" at the bottom!

The Holistic Knitter 4:43 PM  

This sounds interesting ;0)

Kim L 5:17 PM  

I loved this one! I haven't reviewed it yet, but I thought it was such a great read, and I got it at a Neil Gaiman event, which made it ubercool

Annette Laing 3:18 AM  

I'm always on the lookout for novels for my nine-year-old son (who is a great reader, but leery of much fiction.) This looks great!

Rhinoa 5:19 PM  

I read this last week and really enjoyed it (am a little behind on reviews sadly, but should be up before the end of the month). I am glad you liked it as much as I did. The perfect read for this time of year.

PS I just put up a wrap up post of the Inklings Challenge, thanks for hosting!

Post a Comment

I'm always happy to hear from you! To help fight spam, comment moderation has been set up for posts older than two days. Feel free to ask me questions or ask for recommendations!

Review Policy

I am interested in reviewing books and audio books. This blog focuses on books written for middle grade on up (essentially 10 to a 110). I review middle grade fiction and young adult fiction (aka tween and teen).

I also review adult books.

I read in a variety of genres including realistic fiction, historical fiction, mystery, romance, science fiction, fantasy, literary fiction, and chick lit. (I've read one western to date.)

I read a few poetry books, a few short story collections, a few graphic novels, a few nonfiction books.

I am especially fond of:

  • Regency romances (including Austen prequels/sequels)
  • Historical fiction set in the Tudor dynasty
  • Historical fiction and nonfiction set during World War II
  • Jewish fiction/nonfiction
  • dystopias
  • apocalyptic fiction
  • science fiction (especially if it involves time travel and alternate realities)
  • fantasy
  • multicultural books and international books

I am not a fan of:

  • sports books
  • horse books
  • dog books if the dog dies (same goes with most pets actually except maybe fish)
  • westerns (if it's a pioneer story with women and children, then maybe)
  • extremely violent books with blood, blood, and more blood

I am more interested in strong characters, well-written, fleshed-out, human characters. Plot is secondary to me in a way. I have to care about the characters in order to care about the plot. That being said, compelling storytelling is something that I love. I love to become absorbed in what I'm reading.

If you're interested in sending me a review copy of your book, I'm happy to hear from you. Email me at laney_po AT yahoo DOT com.

You should know several things before you contact me:

1) I do not guarantee a review of your book. I am just agreeing to consider it for review.
2) I give all books at least fifty pages.
3) I am not promising anyone (author or publisher) a positive review in exchange for a review copy. That's not how I work.
4) In all of my reviews I strive for honesty. My reviews are my opinions--so yes, they are subjective--you should know my blog will feature both negative and positive reviews.
5) I do not guarantee that I will get to your book immediately. I've got so many books I'm trying to read and review, I can't promise to get to any one book in a given time frame.
6) Emailing me every other week to see if I've read your book won't help me get to it any faster. Though if you want to email me to check and see if it arrived safely, then that's fine!

Authors, publishers. I am interested in interviewing authors and participating in blog tours. (All I ask is that I receive a review copy of the author's latest book beforehand so the interview will be productive. If the book is part of a series, I'd like to review the whole series.) Contact me if you're interested.

Unique Visitors and Google PR Rank

Free PageRank Checker

Pageloads Counter

Search Book Blogs Search Engine

The background is based on a background I found here...with some small adjustments on my part so it would work with the template.
Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

  © Blogger template Newspaper III by Ourblogtemplates.com 2008

Back to TOP