Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I Read This: The Graveyard Book


Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family . . . 

(From Goodreads)
*     *     * 

A boy. Raised in a graveyard. By ghosts.

Do I really have to say anything more? I'm a sucker for a good ghost story, and will admit some have been hard to come by recently. This one, by Neil Gaiman ... how did I miss it? The originality, candidness, and seamless omniscient narrative engrossed me from start to finish. Gaiman really is the master of the modern fairytale, but I do think this supernatural adventure is his best work yet (still have some to read). Looking for a great example of an opening line? How about this one:

There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.

Simple, yet it set the tone for the rest of the work. So, yeah. It was very excellent read, with The Man Jack, an engaging villain, and lessons to be learned from a host of long dead ghosts. I just have to decide where to fit it in my top five favorite ghost stories of all time.

I'll save you the trouble of finding it here.

I'm David, and AAAH! Ghost in the Graveyard!

24 comments:

  1. Haven't read it, but that last image is cool!

    ReplyDelete
  2. LOVE this book. It has the best opening line AND opening scene of any book I've ever read. Glad you liked it too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. That is a TERRIFIC book. I've also read Stardust and Coraline and really enjoyed those.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this book. It's just incredible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I enjoyed it too. I will probably read it again sometime this year. :)

    ReplyDelete
  6. How funny. I hadn't heard of this book until it became the book of the month for June over at Jo's Book Nook at The Leaky Lounge. Intriguing story. I'll have to see it they have it in audio.

    ReplyDelete
  7. OH I love a good ghost story and I haven't read a good one in a while. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love The Graveyard Book and Gaiman too! I've read quite a few of his works. The man is a genius who can write for any age group. He has a picture book coming out next year (I believe) and just finished an adult book. Can you tell I'm a fangirl?

    ReplyDelete
  9. I got an ARC of The Graveyard Book at BEA four years ago or so and fell in love with it. Then I stupidly lent it to someone and never got it back. :( It's one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I read it when it first came out, and fell in love with it. A supernatural THE JUNGLE BOOK. And yes, that first line is great, isn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  11. One of my all-time favorites, David! NG is the modern master of simple stories that mean BIG things. As Roland above eluded to, I think Kipling is the classic master.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Definitely one of my favorites!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I'm not really into ghost stories but I LOVED this. Great choice to review.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I've been wanting to read something by him, but wasn't sure which one to start with. The book sounds right up my alley, so I guess I'll start here. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  15. ooh! Sounds fascinating! This would be a fun read. I haven't read anything like it FOREVER! Glad you shared David! :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. That is an awesome opening line!

    ReplyDelete
  17. I have this on my bookshelf, and have been looking forward to reading it for a long time.

    ........dhole

    ReplyDelete
  18. I keep picking this up and putting it down at the library...next time I will actually check it out! Thanks :)

    ReplyDelete
  19. I live near a graveyard...looks like I'll have to check it out more:)

    ReplyDelete
  20. What a cool excerpt. I love scary stories too, especially ones with ghosts.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I can't even watch the Wizard of Oz because I have such amazing nightmares afterwards. This looks like an interesting book, though, if I could handle it...I would read it.

    ReplyDelete
  22. My roommate recommended this book and I was so glad because I loved it! One of my favorites from Neil Gaiman.

    ReplyDelete
  23. Ooh, I'm starting this tonight!

    ReplyDelete