The Graveyard Book

graveyardbook The night was dark, the house was silent and the Everyman Jack was walking through with a knife, searching for the last member of the family he’d come to “dispose” of.  Little did he know that Nobody (or ‘Bod’ as he’s affectionately known) has managed to escape to the graveyard up the hill where the inhabitants are glad to take him in and teach them what they know.

And dead people know a lot.  They know how to fade into the shadows and see in the dark and they know of the creepies and crawlies that living people should stay away from.  But they don’t know how to protect him from the outside world and eventually even baby boys grow up.  And it seems like Everyman Jack’s have a long memory…

*****

Yay for kids stories!  Well, yay for Neil Gaiman kids stories!  Because only Gaiman would have a kids story contain more dead people and things than live ones.  I enjoy Gaiman’s work, and while I’m not sure I’d read this to a 3 year old, I’d probably give it to a 6 year old – which may be an indication that I’d be a pretty lousy parent.  I mean, after all, the story starts out with the entire family dying.  On the other hand, I remember having nightmares when I was a kid where my whole family had been captured and we were all on conveyor belts and our heads were bring chopped off.  Isn’t it strange how you always wake up when the blade is coming down on your own head?  But I digress (and it’s okay, I haven’t had that dream in YEARS!) and all I was trying to point out was that it’s pretty obvious that kids have some twisted imaginations.  Or maybe it was just me.

Gaiman has a way of making things that should be creepy, like ghosts and graveyards, into people and places that you’d like to meet and visit.  This book made me wish I could talk to dead people who could tell me tales about their lives.  I guess that’s what historical books are for, huh?  With the exception of the beginning and the ending, each of the chapters in this book feels like it’s own little self-contained story – which is kind of nice since it means that there’s a natural stopping point when you’re reading.  To your kids.  Who I’m sure won’t have nightmares from this one.  Now, the last Harry Potter – that’s an entirely different story.

This one’s a good Gaiman read – wait until the paperback comes out though because there’s no reason to own it hardback.  But make sure whatever copy you get (or borrow, natch) has the Dave McKean illustrations because they are really great.

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, 307 pages

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Published in: on February 18, 2009 at 10:12 am  Comments (2)  
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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Dammit. Does this mean I have to do more math?

  2. Pretty sure that 300 pages doesn’t make much of a dent in 1,000,000..but if you really want to knock yourself out, feel free!

    Just don’t hurt yourself, this place doesn’t carry insurance.


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