Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
On the Shelves: Fiction/Young Adult> Supernatural/Fantasy
IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.
“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, a gateway to abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible fleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will be in danger from the man Jack – who has already killed Bod’s family . . .” (Goodreads 2014)
Gaiman does it again in this wonderfully built world of graveyards, ghouls and humanity. This is probably my second favourite work of Gaiman’s, right after Neverwhere. It is dark, it has moments of humour, moments of heart hurting truth and moments of joy.
The story follows Nobody Owens, or “Bod”, who became an Orphan as a baby when his family were murdered. However, Bod had somehow crawled out of his cot, down the stairs, out of the house and away from the killer. By the time they found him, he was in the local Graveyard, where he automatically fell under the care and “Protection of the Graveyard”. Nothing bad or evil could touch him as long as he remained in the Graveyard. The story jumps ahead to when Bod is around the age of 10, when he starts to actively question why nobody else around him is…alive, and why he can never leave the graveyard, these questions especially come up once he has met a girl his age who visits the graveyard with her mother occasionally. Suddenly the story takes a much darker turn and it becomes a chase, literally, between life and death.
I never have much to say in my Gaiman reviews really, mainly because everything is positive and I can’t seem to find anything to critique. (Maybe American Gods, but I’ll come back to that another day). I loved this story. Gaiman is a master world-builder anyway, but the characters are some of his most memorable. I grew so attached to Bod and all of the residents of the Graveyard. I laughed, I certainly cried, and I just overall adored every page.
“If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained”
BONUS: Note to all fans of this book, they are releasing a graphic novel of The Graveyard Book at the end of july and it is going to be a thing of beauty!!