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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book (original 2008; edition 2008)

by Neil Gaiman, Chris Riddell (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
16,8691103183 (4.18)1 / 1248
Nobody Owens is a normal boy, except that he has been raised by ghosts and other denizens of the graveyard.
Title:The Graveyard Book
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Chris Riddell (Illustrator)
Info:Bloomsbury Publishing PLC (2008), Edition: Children's ed, Hardcover, 304 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:fiction, fantasy, novel

Work details

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (2008)

  1. 333
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(see all 34 recommendations)

Ghosts (2)
To Read (12)
Orphans (14)

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English (1,083)  German (4)  Portuguese (Brazil) (2)  Finnish (2)  Spanish (2)  French (2)  Dutch (2)  Romanian (1)  Hungarian (1)  Norwegian (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (1,103)
Showing 1-5 of 1083 (next | show all)
Delightfully weird - a perfect October read about a baby whose family was murdered but he survives and is raised by ghosts in a graveyard. But there is more to the baby than meets the eye and while he is safe in the graveyard, the mortal danger remains outside in the world of the living. Nobody, or Bod for short, Owens soon discovers that life is more complicated and his own desires to learn and grow and see the world are stronger than he could have imagined. And so he must go out into the world, despite the danger and in spite of warnings about what he might encounter among the living. The characterizations are very good with a good story about growing up, learning responsibility and leaving the nest. A ghost story with quite a twist. ( )
  Al-G | Oct 12, 2019 |
Neil Gaiman does it again. The Graveyard Book is what I'd classify as a middle grade book, but it's filled with a good dose of British humor and wit and fun references to historical times and places. The book starts off with the murder of a family. Very serious stuff. Only the baby gets away and is harbored in a nearby graveyard where its inhabitants promise to look after him. They name him Nobody. Nobody Owens. Bod for short. The story follows along with Bod as he grows up into a teenager. And then book ends in a bit of a serious way as well that, if I'm being honest, had me nearly shedding a heartfelt tear or two. Because by the time I got to the end, I had come to see the graveyard inhabitants just like Bod did, and leaving them, closing the book, was a little sad. ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Sep 29, 2019 |
Just as each day I wake my dreams remain shrouded by night, so each day I live my childhood becomes more dreamlike and drifts a little bit further beyond my grasp. The results of that childhood are evident every day, the loves and insecurities produced in the factory of my childhood course through my veins with every beat but the factory itself is dark, empty and abandoned. THE GRAVEYARD BOOK captures this feeling for me. From the beginning it has the quality and language of dreams in its description of the murders that set the story in motion. As the child grows, the ghosts who raise him, echoes of the people they were at the moment they died, are dreams that walk and talk. It is a joy of the book that the real world remains a threat to this dream childhood the way ghosts are usually considered a threat to the living. As the child grows, some of his ghost friends fall away, reject him, as he continues to grow up (and grow more real) while they remain still. Others remain by his side, watching over him and teaching him what they learned up to the point they stopped living. As a child I would have absolutely adored this book. As an adult there are modest flaws that bothered me. The author admits to having written the book in chunks over time and this lends to a certain disjointed quality in the narrative, some abrupt stops and simplified solutions. I also never bought the conspiracy revealed at the end to be responsible for the murders that start the book. Beyond all that I loved the book's presentation of childhood being a land of ghosts. The magic used to navigate those lands left behind as we grow. The whole world before us as we walk out the gates that once protected but also contained us. ( )
  KurtWombat | Sep 15, 2019 |
Great book. Masterfully written. I would recommend reading (or skimming since it's boring/old-fashioned) The Jungle Book before or afterwards so you can see the parallel plots/characters etc. My only issue is that because The Graveyard Book was an episodic type novel (each chapter encapsulates an adventure) it was a bit easy to put down and not pick up again for awhile, but whenever I picked it up again, I wasn't bored. There is an overall story arc though that becomes more thrilling towards the end. ( )
  akbooks | Sep 12, 2019 |
Not my normal kind of book. But since it's an award winner, highly rated, and a book about a graveyard for all ages, I was intrigued. Push on through the first three or four chapters, which set the stage. It's a fantasy, an adventure and a parable all rolled into one! ( )
  steller0707 | Aug 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 1083 (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 (15 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
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(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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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.
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