‘You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.’
LENGTH: 310 pages
GENRES: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Fiction
RELEASE DATE: 30 September 2008
Bod is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place – he’s the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians’ time as well as their ghostly teachings–such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.
Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?
It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.
First off, before I start this review, I gotta acknowledge the day, so…
This book was a nice little story to read right before Halloween. (Which is what I did.) It’s spooky, yet so very wholesome.
I’ve only read a couple of Neil Gaiman novels, but out of the two I read (this and Neverwhere) I’ve liked. He has such a weird brain and I love the campy ideas in these books.
Without further ado, let’s move on to the review proper.
Bod said, ‘I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,’ he said, and then he paused and he thought. ‘I want everything.’
• The characters ▼
I love all the characters. Nobody “Bod” Owens is such a cute little protagonist. I loved reading about all the hijinks and mischief that he got up to throughout the novel. It was great to watch all of his character development as he grew up.
The ghosts in the graveyard were the best part of the novel. I loved all of their weird personalities, and the way they interacted with one another. And they were all super defined as characters.
• The story ▼
This book is heavily inspired by The Jungle Book by Rudyard Kipling, hence the title. So, as a huge fan of The Jungle Book novel and 1967 animated movie, of course I was gonna like the plot here.
I also really like ghost stories, so this was just a recipe for a book I’d enjoy. And I loved the parallels of the themes that the two share. There’s definitely a similarity between the spirit (*cough*) of both books.
We who make stories know that we tell lies for a living. But they are good lies that say true things, and we owe it to our readers to build them as best we can. Because somewhere out there is someone who needs that story. Someone who will grow up with a different landscape, who without that story will be a different person. And who with that story may have hope, or wisdom, or kindness, or comfort. And that is why we write.
• The atmosphere ▼
The atmosphere in The Graveyard Book is impeccable. Regardless of my feelings on the way that Gaiman writes, he skillfully weaves an excellent, mildly spooky ambience.
• The artwork ▼
The pictures within add so much to the story itself. Dave McKean does such a great job. I especially like the sketchy looking aspect to them, and how they set the tone for each of the chapters.
• The writing style ▼
This one is just a personal preference. I’m not the biggest fan of Gaiman’s writing style and prose. It’s not bad, not at all, I’m just don’t really care for the way that he writes.
I do like the way he writes dialogue, however. Gaiman’s dialogue is pretty good.
‘You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.’
All in all, I really enjoyed The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. It’s a quick and easy, mildly spooky read that’s great for all ages. It’s a nice and wholesome little ghost story with a bit of mystery plot floating in the background.
I definitely recommend this to fans of Gaiman’s other works, as well as those who enjoy a nice ghost story that isn’t really that scary. I think fans of The Jungle Book will also really like it. It’s a perfect read for the Halloween season.
Thank you so much for reading, and have a spooktackular day/night!
See ya ~Mar