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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
12,672900188 (4.19)1 / 1028
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. 312
    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. 90
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (emperatrix)
  6. 80
    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. 93
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  8. 71
    The House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs (timspalding)
  9. 61
    Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
  10. 1510
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  11. 40
    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (kawika)
  12. 30
    Abarat by Clive Barker (kawika)
  13. 41
    From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury (Ape)
    Ape: Eerily similar stories...
  14. 52
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (jonathankws)
  15. 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.
  16. 31
    Fragile Things by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
  17. 20
    The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley (FFortuna)
  18. 20
    Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham (keeneam)
  19. 75
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (FFortuna)
  20. 32
    Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J. K. Rowling (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Childhood and adolescent,murdered parents, supernatural, cultural and social isolation, ghosts - any Potter fan would love this quaint coming of age story.

(see all 35 recommendations)

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English (884)  Finnish (2)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Hungarian (1)  Romanian (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (899)
Showing 1-5 of 884 (next | show all)
Imagine a city painted in the dull, grayscale watercolors of a city eternally at dawn and rained on. It is in this landscape that we watch as Nobody “Bod” Owens comes of age. As a toddler, Bod escaped the clutches of a hitman who had just killed his parents and sister by crawling up a hill to the gates of a graveyard. There the kind denizens and Silas, his dark and silent guardian, took him under their wing and granted him the Freedom of the Graveyard, where he gains protection from the outside world and learns to be as ghostly as one made of flesh can be. Throughout the book, a variety of mystical and intriguing characters are introduced, such as the world of ghouls and Ms. Lupescu, a Hound of God. Each chapter presents a new adventure of Bod’s life and although these chapters connect into a broad narrative as a whole, they can feel a little disjointed. Much of that feeling comes from the desire to learn more about the characters and settings introduced in the book; new ideas will be presented, but without a satisfying amount of depth of detail. In this way, while interesting the book can feel a little unfulfilling. Additionally, the book can feel slow paced at times, but the degree to which the narrative comes to life nonetheless makes it feel more like a lilting song than a truly slow and boring story. This book would surely delight children who enjoy supernatural stories as it follows the vein of horror and macabre without ever feeling too adult or scary. Recommend additional purchase. Ages 10 and up. ( )
  kornelas1 | Dec 3, 2014 |
This enchanting novel cloaks its exploration of family and independence in the trappings of a horror story to appeal to young readers and adults alike. The story follows Bod, whose family was murdered when he was a baby by an agent of a shadowy organization. Bod is adopted by the ghosts who live in a nearby graveyard, and he grows up there, learning the secrets of the undead. When Bod is older, the assassin returns, accompanied by other agents of his organization. Bod uses his knowledge of the graveyard to dispose of the assassins and protect the graveyard, but now that he has proven that he can be self-sufficient, Bod must leave the graveyard and make his own way. The prose oscillates between the lyrical and frank, and the twisted black ink illustrations lend a creepiness to the text, though they do not add to the narration. The story balances violence and death with love and friendship. Not all of the mysteries Gaiman introduces are explained, creating a sustained sense of wonder throughout. The reading level is suitable to young readers, but the sophisticated themes and compelling story will appeal to children and adults. Highly Recommended. Grade 7+. ( )
  kottenbrookk | Nov 30, 2014 |
This book is one of the best I have EVER read, and I say that without hyperbole. I am still teary-eyed, and I cannot hope to capture the amazing feelings the stories left me with -- for make no mistake, while this book is a novel, it is also a collection of wonderful short stories. And since Neil Gaiman, IMO, shines when he writes short stories, it should not surprise me in the least that this book was so perfect.

I will be forever grateful to the librarian who handed me this book when I simply went it to get a copy of "M is for Magic" for a book club reading. Thank you every so much! ( )
  ladypembroke | Nov 22, 2014 |
I never thought I'd say this about any book written by Neil Gaiman, but I wasn't very fond of this one. The beginning was really slow and dragged a bit. It was actually somewhat dull until the last few chapters. It picked up by the end, but not enough to give it more than maybe a three and a half star rating. It was a very neat concept, and I adored the characters, but it just didn't do enough with the potential, maybe. I'm not completely sure what it was. I just know that I was kinda bored while reading it throughout the entire first half of the book. Maybe I need to avoid his children's books and just read his adult fare from now on. Yet I adored Coraline. I just don't get it. Makes me sad to say all this, but I wanted to be honest. Sorry. ( )
1 vote VampAmber | Nov 6, 2014 |
Like ghostly watercolors, Gaiman paints glowing images in eight chapters (and an interlude) touching on themes of death, family, and coming of age in this young adult novel. For those familiar with his work, you'll likely find enjoyment in the master storyteller's craft. Some readers might not enjoy the book simply because it's more young than they are adult, and that's an understandable complaint. The book shines in spite of it's flaws and weaknesses, of which there are many. Writing is a demanding art, and it's techniques not easily mastered. But the author's pure ability to simply tell a story is without question, and often without equal. I enjoyed the book, but was not challenged by it. I doubt a younger person will be challenged by it either, but they might be captivated. Worth Reading. ( )
  wjmcomposer | Nov 5, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 884 (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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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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