17 November, 2008

Book Review: The Graveyard Book

Nobody Owens is a normal boy, just like other little boys. He learns his letters and loves to read, but what separates Bod, as he's known to his friends and family, is that he lives within the confines of a cemetery. His parents and teachers are all ghosts, and his guardian is something even more strange and mysterious, but Bod doesn't know the difference. He's lived in the graveyard every since he was a toddling baby, which just goes to show that sometimes the things that go bump in the night are far less dangerous than that which walks in the light.

Master storyteller, Neil Gaiman, returns with yet another fantastical tale that will make you look at the every day ordinary world with wonder and surprise. The Graveyard Book begins with a dark and sinister man named Jack who has only just finished brutally murdering a small family. He's just about to finish off the family by killing the final member, a toddling baby boy, but the boy is nowhere to be found.

Taken in and protected by the ghosts in the graveyard just blocks from the scene of the crime, it is only within the walls of the cemetery that the baby can remain safe. Named Nobody by his adopted ghost parents, as Bod grows and learns the truth about the outside world and the danger that awaits him there, he becomes adept at walking the line between the living and the dead. More haunted by the details of his past than the ghosts that surround him, the outside world proves to be repeatedly dangerous in every instance Bod ventures out, which makes it remarkably difficult for him to make friends with anyone else alive.

Only from the mind of Neil Gaiman could such a realistic tale be spun from the threads of dreams. Each character in every scene from page one through page three-hundred and seven is delightful. Gaiman continually writes the kind of urban fairytales that make adults and youths alike daydream long after the final page has been read with a delighted sigh.

The Graveyard Book is absolutely as memorable as Coraline, Stardust and Mirrormask.

1 comment:

Morgan Mandel said...

That guy has some imagination!
It's amazing how writers can come up with such great ideas. Sounds like this could be a wonderful movie.

Morgan Mandel