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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Neil Gaiman, Dave Mckean (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
14,7731025133 (4.19)1 / 1169
Title:The Graveyard Book
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Dave Mckean (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2008), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 320 pages
Collections:Your library, Read in 2012 (inactive)
Tags:'12, Fantasy, YA/children's, Vampires, May eventually give away, Newbery Medal, Didn't review

Work details

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)

  1. 313
    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. 174
    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. 100
    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. 71
    The Wolves in the Walls by Neil Gaiman (moonstormer)
  8. 71
    The House With a Clock In Its Walls by John Bellairs (timspalding)
  9. 93
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  10. 1510
    The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman (ut.tecum.loquerer)
  11. 40
    The Thief of Always by Clive Barker (kawika)
  12. 41
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (PghDragonMan)
  13. 52
    The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John Connolly (jonathankws)
  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
    Down the Mysterly River by Bill Willingham (keeneam)
  17. 42
    From the Dust Returned by Ray Bradbury (Ape)
    Ape: Eerily similar stories...
  18. 20
    The Palace of Laughter by Jon Berkeley (FFortuna)
  19. 42
    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.
  20. 75
    The Bad Beginning by Lemony Snicket (FFortuna)

(see all 34 recommendations)

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Showing 1-5 of 1008 (next | show all)
The graveyard book is very interesting it is between a horror and mystery. My favorite part of the book is when the baby ( Bod) climbs out if his crib and goes up the hill to the grave yard. This book gives my a feeling that i just want to keep reading more and more. The thing that i don't like about this book is that Bod is and had never go past the graveyard gate I think that since he is human instead of ghost that they should allow bod to leave and explore the world not keep him trapped. ( )
  raynaj.b1 | May 25, 2017 |
I have read 5 books by Neil Gaiman. And so far I realized that they are either a big hit for me or a big miss.
The Graveyard Book was unfortunately a miss.

The book started out very promising. A murder, a child that escaped, ghosts who decide to raise that child, and obviously some bad guys to chase after the said child.
Silas, a mysterious being that takes on protecting the kid, is probably the most interesting person in the whole book. It is mostly left to the reader's interpretation, but is hinted that Silas is a (view spoiler). Now if there was a book just about Silas - man, I would read that!

The story set up was amazing, and it started out great too, but then it just trailed off into...nothing. I lost interest about 200 pages in, and then the ending was not fulfilling at all (to me personally).

Also wanted to mention that this is a second book of Gaiman's that the ending just didn't do it for me (the other one is "the ocean at the end of a lane"). So maybe I am missing something? Or misinterpreting the bigger picture?

Would I recommend The Graveyard Book? Probably not, I just wasn't impressed, or to be honest, interested in it much.
If you want to read some good fantasy by Gaiman I would recommend checking out Neverwhere (amazing!!) and Stardust (pretty darn good) ( )
1 vote bookandsword | May 13, 2017 |
I had started this book many years ago and can't say why but I got interrupted and never finished it. So when I picked up the Audio book from the Library, narrated by Neil Gaiman, I was immediately captured by the story. Nobody Owens (named so because "he looks like nobody but himself"), or simply Bod, is the sole survivor of the triple homicide of his family, who is, in The Jungle Book style, promptly adopted by a sweet ghost couple, the Owens, in the graveyard inhabited by an afterlife Supernatural community. Bod even gets a vampire as his guardian and mentor - “There were people you could hug, and then there was Silas.”This is a story that I would love to have read to my daughter when she was growing up. Neil Gaiman has a real knack for the imaginative combination of both sweet and macabre elements together with a bittersweet ending, creating an unforgettable story which will appeal to both children and adults alike. Told via a succession of stories from Bod's unusual life, it's just the right mix of sweetness, whimsy, sadness, suspense, and adventures to keep the reader captivated throughout. I'm certainly glad that I reconnected to this marvelous story.
Jack Murphy ( )
1 vote urph818 | May 4, 2017 |
Reading Gaiman is an experience. If you've read any of his work, you know you are entering a dense world of the author's creation, one that is at times funny, other times terrifying, and even more so exhilarating. The Graveyard Book has a carousel of characters, alive and dead, each one of them fully fleshed out (I'm not going to swing low with a pun). ( )
1 vote JaredOrlando | Apr 25, 2017 |
The Graveyard book is, in my opinion, Neil Gaiman's best novel. American Gods was a literary darling, sure, but The Graveyard Book is genuine, and heart-felt.

The Graveyard Book makes you feel like a child again. It's ingenious short-story format makes you feel--really feel the passage of time, and the growth of this boy. When the ending comes you feel as if you've grown up alongside him, and you cry for him, and for yourself. You cry for your misspent youth, and the deep craving you have to get it back. A craving so pulsating and persistent that it threatens to burst from your chest and flow from your eyes, and swallow you whole.

A craving you know can never be satiated.

Eventually this book begins to fade a little from your memory, and the craving dies down to a sad, sweet melancholy that blankets the world in a dull ache of nostalgia.

You may realize then that you are watching movies you used to love as a child, or trying to get in touch with old friends long forgot. And that is the moment when you also realize that, yes, a silly little kid's book has had that big an impact on you as an adult. ( )
1 vote ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 1008 (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)
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)
When the chilling moments do come, they are as genuinely frightening as only Gaiman can make them, and redeem any shortcomings.
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 editionscalculated
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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Rattle his bones
Over the stones
It's only a pauper
Who nobody owns

-- Traditional Nursery Rhyme
First words
There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
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.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the original prose book. Please don't combine it with any other format (Graphic novel, movie, etc).
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
Nobody Owens lost his "really" family when he was infant and became adopted by a ghost family in his local cemetery. Aside from having ghosts for parents and guardians he also persued by the mysterious man who killed his family.
Haiku summary

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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:56 -0400)

(see all 6 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 8 descriptions

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