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Book Review of The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children's Books
Book Type: Hardcover
tiffanyak avatar reviewed on + 215 more book reviews

They call this a children's book, but as an adult I can honestly say I quite enjoyed it, and was a bit freaked out by it to tell the truth. There were some scenes (especially the opening chapter) which lead me to seriously question whether this book is appropriate for children at all. It scared me a little, and I'm by no means a little kid. That being said, it's a well-written, well-executed, and very creative story that keeps you guessing to the very end. I had fun reading it, and strongly recommend it to anyone.

What's it actually about, you ask? Well, without spoiling anything major, it's essentially the story of Nobody Owens (known as Bod) and his childhood. While a toddler, Bod's whole family is killed by a mysterious man known only as Jack. But Bod manages to get away, and finds shelter in a graveyard. The inhabitants of the graveyard decide to raise him. And so, the graveyard is where Bod grows up. Raised and taught by ghosts, with ghosts as his only friends. Throw in a protective vampire and werewolf, some ghouls, and all manner of other unusual individuals, and you get quite an adventure.

The early chapters of the book are essentially single 'episodes' in Bod's life. But then you get a more continuous story in the later chapters, making for a bit of an unusual format to an unusual story. But, it works rather well in this book, and actually seems rather appropriate. Neil Gaiman weaves a brilliant and entertaining tale which he has said was meant to be The Jungle Book set in a graveyard. You wouldn't think it'd work, but it does. This is one of the few complex 'children's stories' out there today. I particularly enjoyed the way that very little was simply given away. Gaiman would eventually tell the reader (for the most part) what was going on, and who everybody was, but you'd usually have plenty of time for guessing ahead of time, and some parts will still leave you guessing long after you finish reading. I found that to be the most fun part of the book.

Overall, I found this book to be one of my 'hidden treasures'. One of those books you pick up because it looks interesting, not expecting too much, only to find yourself pleasantly surprised. If you get a chance, check it out. My total rating: 4/5 stars.