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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
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The Graveyard Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Neil Gaiman, Dave Mckean (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
12,994919175 (4.19)1 / 1055
Member:creative.mother
Title:The Graveyard Book
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Dave Mckean (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2008), Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:None

Work details

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)

  1. 302
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (FFortuna, moonstormer)
  2. 233
    The Jungle Books by Rudyard Kipling (veracity)
  3. 151
    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  4. 164
    A Fine and Private Place by Peter S. Beagle (lorax)
    lorax: Beagle's work is not YA, but it is a classic, beautifully written love story involving ghosts and a man living in a cemetary.
  5. 81
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (emperatrix)
  6. 70
    Un Lun Dun by China Miéville (heidialice)
    heidialice: Both are fantastical YA at its best. Gaiman is an acknowledged inspiration for Mieville, and it shows, though he has his own distinctive style and voice.
  7. 71
    The House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs (timspalding)
  8. 71
    Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
  9. 93
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  10. 40
    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (kawika)
  11. 41
    From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury (Ape)
    Ape: Eerily similar stories...
  12. 52
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (jonathankws)
  13. 1411
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  14. 96
    Her Fearful Symmetry by Audrey Niffenegger (heidialice)
    heidialice: Similar in setting, and both ghost stories, these are very different books, but fans of one should be interested in the other.
  15. 30
    Abarat by Clive Barker (kawika)
  16. 20
    The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley (FFortuna)
  17. 20
    Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham (keeneam)
  18. 75
    The Bad Beginning (A Series of Unfortunate Events, Book 1) by Lemony Snicket (FFortuna)
  19. 31
    Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
  20. 21
    A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (kaledrina)

(see all 34 recommendations)

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English (904)  German (3)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Hungarian (1)  Catalan (1)  Romanian (1)  All languages (920)
Showing 1-5 of 904 (next | show all)
Read my review of the audiobook version (originally read by author alone, not the later full-cast version) of this 2009 Newbery Medalist fantasy at http://newberryproject.blogspot.com/2009/07/graveyard-book-2009.html.
  rdg301library | May 24, 2015 |
I did not enjoy reading this book as much as other book I read this trimester. The Graveyard Book is about a boy who's parents are killed when he is a kid by a man named Jack. The boy is then adopted by the ghosts in the graveyard near his house. He is named "Nobody" and taught the basics of the graveyard by the ghosts. He then goes to fight the man named Jack. Does he defeat Jack???
I did not this book as much because the action did not occur until the end. I mildly recommend this book because even though the action does not occur until the end - it is good when it happens. ( )
  craig22 | May 17, 2015 |
OMG! This book is a magical roller coaster ghost train ride! You go through every single emotion while reading this! Sadness. Horror. Happiness. Freaked out. You feel all of these things at any given moment! AMAZING. I originally bought this for my Son. As is tradition I read it first before giving it to him, so I know the contents.
Apart from the beginning (parents and sister murdered) it's fine for an eight year old I'd say (maybe your opinion will be different always check first) I also think it's a perfect read for an adult too. There are plenty of odd characters and each one you get attached to. I read this in one night, that is how brilliant it is. Nobody is one of my favourite characters this month. The Jack thing was perfectly planned!! I could almost live in this story for ever. The graveyard bunch are slightly insane but brilliantly together. You could easily read each chapter as a short story if you wished or you could read it in one go and see the chapters build together. Either is good. But whatever you choose, not reading this is not an option! I can totally see how this won the Carnegie and Newbery medals. This deserves the praise of the whole world.
My favourite parts are when the ghosts are mentioned they are mentioned with everything written on their grave... [Example: Doctor Trefusis (1870-1936, May He Wake To Glory) inspected it and pronounced it merely sprained.] I thought this was classic. This whole book could indeed be a classic one day in the long away future. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR! I don't know what took me so long...... ( )
  darceypaige | May 16, 2015 |
[4.5] Another finished in an unintentional sequence of morbidly titled short ebooks. (I'm slightly tempted to read Burial Rites to continue the theme, but the novel inside doesn't have the humour and irony of the others, and it's not that short anyway.) It may be May, but this weather *sounds* appropriately autumnal for reading such things.

Gaiman ... he's just so good at what he does. Whilst I'm not sure I agree with the cover quote from Diana Wynne-Jones: "The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written", there are moments when it's a masterclass; the opening chapter, for instance: this must be how you write horror for pre-teens; this is how you make something superbly chilling and creepy without any gory details.

He has so many ideas, he can throw something away on half a chapter or a minor character when many authors would have constructed a whole book around it. It's a melange of allusion richer than the average Discworld book; none are essential to understanding the plot, so it would be enjoyable for the 8-12 reader who hasn't read lots of these other books without them having a sense of missing things, but it means the story has another level of fascination for the adult reader well-versed in classic fantasy. Like Potter, Nobody Owens is a Boy Who Lived, which may seem a little too obvious (more obvious than the Jungle Book / Wild Boy theme Gaiman was aiming for). But what about a different twist on the governess from Willoughby Chase, and she and her charge finding themselves in a Tolkienly-named and landscaped mini-adventure where some of the interior scenery sounds like a German Expressionist film set and the inhabitants bring to mind varieties of goblin from multiple universes? Or a seventeenth-century teenage witch who's also kind of Tiger Lily? An old graveyard allows the wrapping together in one setting of spirits from pre-Celtic to Victorian - the low-fantasy children's books from the 60s, 70s and 80s which I loved, likewise set in provincial England, rarely had such a span in one volume, and each subplot has just as much magic as any of those novels. Shortening the hero's name to Bod likewise evokes that era. Sometimes allusions scuttle about at word level, barely conscious; the author knows so much, it can't help end up in there somewhere: "...purple. Doctor Trefusis..." [my italics]. Half-recognised references to films and books of decades past constantly flit in the back of one's mind: like the hero's guardians, haunting yet comforting.

To the reader who's technically old enough to be a parent of the child characters, a few plot points seem unlikely, that relevant adults wouldn't have thought a situation dodgy much earlier - but kids' fantasy books need that sort of scenario to function. And I thought the background of the villain somewhat underdeveloped (and thereby damp-squibbish), although he's the perfect Gaimanesque mix of the derivative reworked into the original-oh-I-never-would-have-thought-of-that. Re-reads of kids' books often show we were happy to take a writer's word for the badness or goodness of something, and this lot could on that basis perhaps still seem majestically powerful.

May 2015 ( )
  antonomasia | May 6, 2015 |
A good story, but I found the ending depressing, maybe unnecessarily depressing.

I listened to the audio book version. ( )
  Amelia_Smith | May 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 904 (next | show all)
Gaiman writes with charm and humor, and again he has a real winner.
added by lampbane | editVOYA, Rayna Patton (Jul 24, 2009)
 
Gaiman's narratives tend toward the episodic, and there are chapters of The Graveyard Book that could stand alone as discrete short stories. All the better for reading at bedtime, though, and what's lost in forward momentum is more than made up for by the outrageous riches of Gaiman's imagination
added by timspalding | editGuardian, Patrick Ness (Oct 25, 2008)
 
Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying.
 
This is fine work, from beginning to end, and the best bedtime story read-aloud material I've encountered in a long time. Can't wait until my daughter's old enough to read this to.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 10, 2008)
 
While “The Graveyard Book” will entertain people of all ages, it’s especially a tale for children. Gaiman’s remarkable cemetery is a place that children more than anyone would want to visit. They would certainly want to look for Silas in his chapel, maybe climb down (if they were as brave as Bod) to the oldest burial chamber, or (if they were as reckless) search for the ghoul gate. Children will appreciate Bod’s occasional mistakes and bad manners, and relish his good acts and eventual great ones. The story’s language and humor are sophisticated, but Gaiman respects his readers and trusts them to understand.
 

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Neil Gaimanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Iacobaci, GiuseppeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Parpola, InkaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Plouhinec, Valérie LeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riddell, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Rattle his bones
Over the stones
It's only a pauper
Who nobody owns


-- Traditional Nursery Rhyme
Dedication
First words
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
Quotations
Fortinbras Bartleby, ten years old when he had died (of consumption, he had told Bod, who had mistakenly believed for several years that Fortinbras had been eaten by lions or bears, and was extremely disappointed to learn it was merely a disease), now apologized to Bod.
“You’re always you, and that doesn’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
Nehemiah Trot said, “Ah, list to me, young Leander, young Hero, young Alexander. If you dare nothing, then when the day is over, nothing is all you will have gained.”
“And for that reason, if for no other, it is vital that the child be raised with as little disruption as possible to the, if you’ll forgive the expression, the life of the graveyard.”
"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." p. 104
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the original prose book. Please don't combine it with any other format (Graphic novel, movie, etc).
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0060530928, Hardcover)

In The Graveyard Book, Neil Gaiman has created a charming allegory of childhood. Although the book opens with a scary scene--a family is stabbed to death by "a man named Jack” --the story quickly moves into more child-friendly storytelling. The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopt him, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers. A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond. (ages 10 and up) -–Heidi Broadhead

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:17:42 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 9 descriptions

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