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Graveyard Book Paperback – August 1, 2010
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“Like a bite of dark Halloween chocolate, this novel proves rich, bittersweet and very satisfying.” (Washington Post)
“Wistful, witty, wise―and creepy. This needs to be read by anyone who is or has ever been a child.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))
“This is an utterly captivating tale that is cleverly told through an entertaining cast of ghostly characters. There is plenty of darkness, but the novel’s ultimate message is strong and life affirming….this is a rich story with broad appeal. ” (Booklist (starred review))
“Lucid, evocative prose and dark fairy-tale motifs imbue the story with a dreamlike quality. …this ghost-story-cum-coming-of-age-novel as readable as it is accomplished.” (Horn Book (starred review))
“This is, quite frankly, the best book Neil Gaiman has ever written. How he has managed to combine fascinating, friendly, frightening and fearsome in one fantasy I shall never know, but he has pulled it off magnificently - perfect for Halloween and any other time of the year.” (Diana Wynne Jones, author of The Chronicles of Chrestomanci)
“I wish my younger self could have had the opportunity to read and re-read this wonderful book, and my older self wishes that I had written it.” (Garth Nix, author of The Abhorsen Trilogy)
“It takes a graveyard to raise a child. My favorite thing about this book was watching Bod grow up in his fine crumbly graveyard with his dead and living friends. The Graveyard Book is another surprising and terrific book from Neil Gaiman.” (Audrey Niffenegger, author of The Time Traveler's Wife)
“After finishing The Graveyard Book, I had only one thought ― I hope there’s more. I want to see more of the adventures of Nobody Owens, and there is no higher praise for a book.” (Laurell K. Hamilton, author of the Anita Blake: Vampire Hunter novels)
“The Graveyard Book is endlessly inventive, masterfully told and, like Bod himself, too clever to fit into only one place. This is a book for everyone. You will love it to death.” (Holly Black, co–creator of The Spiderwick Chronicles)
“The Graveyard Book manages the remarkable feat of playing delightful jazz riffs on Kipling’s classic Jungle Books. One might call this book a small jewel, but in fact it’s much bigger within than it looks from the outside.” (Peter S. Beagle, author of The Last Unicorn)
The Graveyard Book is everything everyone loves about Neil Gaiman, only multiplied many times over, a novel that showcases his effortless feel for narrative, his flawless instincts for suspense, and above all, his dark, almost silky sense of humor. (Joe Hill, author of Heart–Shaped Box)
From the Back Cover
The 10th anniversary edition of The Graveyard Book includes a foreword by Margaret Atwood as well as sketches from the illustrator, handwritten drafts, and Neil Gaiman’s Newbery acceptance speech.
IT TAKES A GRAVEYARD TO RAISE A CHILD.
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn’t live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod’s family.
The Graveyard Book, a modern classic, is the only work ever to win both the Newbery (US) and Carnegie (UK) medals.
- Publisher : HarperCollins Publishers; 1st edition (August 1, 2010)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 320 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0060530944
- ISBN-13 : 978-0060530945
- Reading age : 10 - 12 years
- Lexile measure : 820L
- Grade level : 5 - 6
- Item Weight : 12.5 ounces
- Dimensions : 5 x 1 x 7.5 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,645 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
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Gaiman is an extraordinary, a gifted wordsmith. His sentences are beautiful - really, read them aloud. He is a master of tone and of place. He is an efficient writer, and there are not many of them around, at least in F&SF. But...
But he is a poor story teller. His fascinating characters shuffle around, and they learn a technique or two, and they experience, and they try to learn some more. But they never have significant interactions that create conflict and resolution, and thus a sense of satisfaction at the end of his tales. And they NEED that because everything about his work is mythic, fundamental, playful in the depths of us all. There are lessons you have to teach us, Gaiman, and there are lessons we have to learn from you. You must not remain aloof from the drama of humanness, buddy.
And so here, in "The Graveyard Book," we have the sudden realization from Gaiman somewhere around the two-thirds mark that, maybe, he'd better get moving and try to find some ending so he can call it a day and have a beer. He has to bring back a character from early on just for the occasion. Evil grows a little gray hair and masquerades as a lover of roasted potatoes (which, I suppose, is the kind of thing we might fear most about true evil - its true banality; except in a mythic construction, darn it!)
And so the reader is, ultimately, left slack-jawed. What just happened? A bad guy broke his ankle? That is Justice, capital J? Don't set us up for sequels ("Um. Silas. If you're ever in trouble, call me. I'll come and help.") if you haven't fully established heroic perseverance from the gitgo.
So, yes, read this book because Gaiman writes as one should write. He just hasn't discovered how to create - yet.... And when he does, it will be, well, very special.
Gaiman spins the tale of Nobody Owens, a child who escaped the mysterious murder of his birth family and is taken in by none other than the ghosts at the local graveyard. Under the watchful eye of his new, ghostly parents and an otherworldly guardian named Silas, tiny "Bod," as he comes to be known, makes the land within the graveyard his own.
But as he grows, questions arise: why isn't Bod allowed to leave the graveyard? Will the one human girl he met as a small child ever return to visit? Who is searching for this innocent boy, and why does Silas leave him, for weeks at a time, under the watchful eye of taciturn Miss Lupescu? Who - or WHAT - lives deep within the bowels of darkest, most forbidding hillside at the edge of the graveyard?
The complicated answers to all of this and much more Gaiman weaves together into a beautiful, terrifying blanket, and in so doing, he shows his readers that it is only the most porous (and important) of curtains that separates life and death, that magic still exists, and that love cannot be limited by any boundaries, no matter how impenetrable they may seem. Truly, a book for all ages. An instant classic.
Top reviews from other countries
The graveyard is inhabited by ghostly residents including a couple, Mr and Mrs Owens, who find the baby. They then see the ghost of a woman who has recently been killed and is begging them to protect her child from the man who killed her. They agree to do so. When Jack arrives at the graveyard there is no sign of the baby, only a strange man who convinces him that he was mistaken about seeing the child.
The Graveyard book tells the story of how a young boy comes to be raised by ghosts, and a guardian, Silas, who is neither dead nor alive (although it is not clarified his characteristics suggest he is a reformed vampire). They name the boy Nobody Owens and everyone calls him Bod. Bod is very inquisitive (which is just as well as this saved his life in the first place), and as such he gets himself into all sorts of trouble. It is made clear to him that he needs to stay inside the graveyard to be safe from the dangers outside. Does he obey and remain inside the graveyard? Of course not.
All the while the man Jack continues to search for him in order to finish the job he was contracted to do. It is a mystery as to why Bod's family were murdered and why it would seem someone is out to get Bod as well. Silas goes away a lot and it transpires that he is trying to get to the bottom of the mystery.
This is a wonderful read for children of an appropriate age. Although the premise sounds scary, the plot is not (okay maybe just a little). What I got from it was more about the importance of family and friendship and the lengths one will go to to protect the ones they love.
It is extremely well-written and I would highly recommend it for encouraging a non-reading child to do just that (get reading that is).
What is truly wonderful about Gaiman is his versatility. He writes for all ages, and I happen to be of the opinion that his writing for children is far better than his writing for adults. I bought his picture books for my children, who adore them, particularly, The Wolves in the Walls. His novel Coraline is far darker and edgier than the anodyne film that was finally made of it, and this book, The Graveyard Book is the best thing I have read of his by far.
Nobody Owens is a young boy who, after the brutal murder of his family, ends up being cared for by an entire community of ghosts and supernatural beings in an abandoned graveyard. The book charts Bod's growth into young adulthood, the peculiar problems presented by being raised by the dead, and his quest to avenge his parents untimely death.
This is dark, clever, funny, sad and humane. It is written with a deftness of touch that belies its serious nature, and like the characters within the pages, it haunts you long after you have read it. It made me laugh, it made me cry. It is a truly spectacular book that I would not hesitate to recommend to adults and children alike.
The story follows a baby that makes his way to a graveyard as his family are being murdered. The ghosts of the graveyard take him in and look after him, with the mysterious character Silas as his guardian. The ghosts are wonderful characters, trapped in the time that they died and so trying to teach him according to several different ages. Silas explains that the dead have lived their lives and are now static, whereas Bod (short for 'Nobody') has enormous potential, so will one day have to leave and go into the world.
The story follows the danger he still faces as he attempts to join the 'real' world while not taking part in it and of the hunt that still seeks him out, having missed him as a toddler.
Believeable characters in an unbelieveable world. A wonderful read.
Somebody sneaks into a house in the middle of the night, intending to murder the family that lives there. He is successful in killing three, but the fourth, a little baby boy, manages to escape. A series of coincidences leads him to an abandoned graveyard where he is adopted Mr and Mrs Owens, a childless married couple, who also happen to be ghosts. This little boy is Nobody Owens.
The tale of Bod's life in the graveyard is sometimes hilarious, sometimes very sad, sometimes full of suspense and action, but it is always clever, sharp and full of original observations. Gaiman's dry humour is perfect light relief in this gothic tale, and Bod's bitter-sweet story is natural and easy to believe. A perfect little tale for young adults of all ages.
The funny and beautiful illustrations by Chris Riddell are an extra bonus that really brought the story to life.