Thursday, January 22, 2009


I read The Graveyard Book for a future bookchat on Evil Editor's blog.

Summary: The man named Jack kills a family, but a toddler wanders out of his crib and the murderous scene at just the right moment. He makes it up a hill, to the town's graveyard. There, the community of ghosts vow to protect him.

The boy is without a name -so he is called Nobody. Nobody grows up in the graveyard, and at one level, the book is literally a metaphor for growing up. Nobody is supposed to stay within the bounds of the graveyard to be safe from the man named Jack. He doesn't. He gets into trouble.

There is a witch. There are ghouls. There are ghosts and wolves and secret orders. While I didn't feel the emotional tug I usually feel in my favorite reads, there was an under-the-surface tension that kept me turning the pages. I felt like having a seance after closing the book. :-)

This is THE perfect campfire story. I loved this book. It's the first Gaiman book I've read (though Cindy Pon--YOO HOO!!--gave me The Anansi Boys when I met her in the summer. Now I will read it!).

Sorry for the quickie review, but I wanted to get something up and see if others have read this book.


Pamala Knight said...

This is an AWESOME book and Neil Gaiman is similarly afflicted--a wonderful writer, as it were. I'm re-reading 'Good Omens' which is a collaboration with Terry Pratchett and is very funny as well as a fine piece of fantasy.

Thanks for the review.

I_am_Tulsa said...

Please read Anansi Boys and American Gods too! (You will find that some characters pop up in several stories.)
Fragile Things is also a very nice collection of short stories and it was in this book that the seed of the Graveyard Book was planted.

Chris Eldin said...

Thanks for replying!

I may give The Graveyard Book to my 11 year old son. I think he'd like it. The beginning is a bit rough, but there is more violence on cartoons these days.

sylvia said...

I enjoyed this. I've struggled with some of Neil Gaiman's novels (although Neverwhere remains a firm favourite) and so I wasn't sure if I would but it hooked me in.

The initial scene surprised me with its horror-story feel and then the betrayal of the old man - I think as a child this would have frightened me a lot. But maybe it would just have fit in with the fears I already had.

I'll be at EE's book chat for sure!

Ali said...

I've gotten way behind on the EE site--he's doing a book chat for this? By happenstance, I'm reading it aloud with my sons right now. I'll be reviewing it in a week or two. I have mixed feelings about it.

cindy said...

i have not read your review, but saw you mention me. welcome to the wonderful world of gaiman's awesome storytelling! =D i'll discuss when i finish reading!

laughingwolf said...

a longtime gaiman fan, i have not read this, yet... thx chris :)