The Graveyard Book: Full-Cast Production Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Audio CD, Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
Audie Award, Distinguished Achievement in Production, 2015
A full-cast audio edition of a perennial favorite - The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which has sold over one million copies. Special content in this edition includes the story behind The Graveyard Book, written and performed by Neil Gaiman.
The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal (the only novel to ever win both awards), the Hugo Award for Best Novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult Book, and Audiobook of the Year. This full-cast audio edition is performed by Neil Gaiman, Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Emilia Fox, Reece Shearsmith, Lenny Henry, Elizabeth Bennett, Allan Corduner, Sean Baker, Tim Dann, Adjoa Andoh, Jenny Gannon, Dan Weyman, and Daniel Brocklebank.
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….
Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book by beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman is sure to enthrall listeners of all ages.
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|Listening Length||8 hours and 24 minutes|
|Narrator||Neil Gaiman, Derek Jacobi, Robert Madge, Clare Corbett, Miriam Margolyes, Andrew Scott, Julian Rhind-Tutt|
|Audible.com Release Date||September 30, 2014|
|Best Sellers Rank|| #4 in Teen & Young Adult Art |
#24 in Teen & Young Adult Horror
#40 in Teen & Young Adult Paranormal & Urban Fantasy
Reviewed in the United States on December 12, 2018
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The sense of dread that runs through this story is credibly evoked through the nuances in Gaiman's tone of voice. Certain scenes are memorable, especially the chapter where Bod gets kidnapped by ghouls and is taken into the underworld where the ghouls live. Gaiman's reading evokes a high sense of tension and menace and leaves the reader in a state of eager anticipation as to what occurs next, and wondering if Bod makes it out in one piece. The pivotal setting for this story is the graveyard, and in both Gaiman's reading (and writing), the graveyard is not just a place of eternal rest for the long departed, but also a safe refuge and home for Bod, and a place of schooling where Bod learns his letters, reading, and also skills that prepare him to face his adversaries.
The theme is in essence a coming of age story which most adolescents will relate to. Bod is an endearing character because he is innocent yet is quickly schooled in the ways of the world, and finds himself having to grow up quite quickly given his special circumstances. Bod is also a character with much courage and sense of morality, and is a character that will inspire admiration and elicit empathy. His sense of alienation and feeling abandoned at certain points in the story will also strike a chord with many listeners/readers. This story not only holds appeal for children and young adults, but also adults since the theme of learning to let go is also portrayed here. The adults in Bod's life, i.e. Mr. and Mrs. Owens, his guardian Silas, etc. all learn to let Bod go, knowing that his ultimate home is amongst the living.
The Graveyard Book is a blend of the supernatural and fantasy and is inhabited by not only ghosts and humans, but other supernatural creatures such as a werewolf, ancient entities, ghouls, a witch-ghost, and also alludes to the presence of a vampire. The story flows well despite the introduction of all these different entities, and makes this an engaging and interesting story.
Any book that opens with the murder of three people is sure to entice any reader who is into things a little macabre. The Graveyard Book is no exception to this concept. For that matter, anyone familiar with some of Gaiman’s other works for younger audiences (Coraline, Stardust) shouldn’t be surprised at the darker material contained within.
An interesting connection that I didn’t make until I was listening to the author himself read an essay he wrote as a backmatter piece for the audiobook version I listened to is that, at its core, The Graveyard Book is a reimagining of Kipling’s The Jungle Book. Only instead of being raised by wild animals, our protagonist is raised by the denizens of a graveyard, his adoptive parents being ghosts (instead of wolves) and his main instructor/guardian being a vampire (instead of a panther).
Even though the concept is borrowed from a previous work, the result is a completely unique story. One of the things that I loved the most was how Gaiman was able to get into Bod’s mind and motivations at various stages in live, ranging from infant to teenager. It truly felt as though we were able to get into his head and learn and grow along with Bod. Part of the reason this worked so well was that each chapter felt like a closed unique short story in and of itself. As each chapter/story is told at a different age for Bod, it really felt like the story was written more in an episodic nature, with an overarching storyline threading them together but a complete story within each chapter.
I really want to know more about Silas and Miss Lupesco and the Honor Guard that is only touched upon throughout the story. I could imagine a wonderful Gaimain-penned version of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen starring these characters (or, hey, maybe Gaiman should run Universal’s new attempt at a Monster Universe series of films [one could hope]). Either way, I loved every aspect of this book and really hope Gaiman has more in the tank for this world in the future.
Well, the book literally starts with a triple murder. That being said, the dark nature of the book as set from the beginning is tempered repeatedly by the innocence of Bod learning of all the supernatural aspects of the graveyard and its inhabitants through the eyes of a growing child.
As I said above, Gaiman is known for “darker” material even with his books for young audiences. There are no bad words (only alluded to), extreme gore (again, death is an obvious common thread but not extreme violence), or sexual concerns at all. It’s all-ages appropriate within the context of the necessarily macabre nature of the setting and its characters.
5/5 Giant Cartoon Mallets from Toonopolis, The Blog's Books For Boys Review
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The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is the story of a young orphan who is adopted by the ghosts of a graveyard. The story, divided into 8 chapters of the boy’s life tells us of the adventures he has in his growing up years and of a past that holds key to his future.
The man Jack failed. The boy escaped. And escaped such that he left no trace behind him. How could that have happened? How could a year old toddler escape a fully grown man, nah, assassin? Fate. And the little boy’s fate took him to the arms of a waiting mother, not the one who birthed him, but one who was dead for centuries now.
Nobody Owens was just a baby when Mrs. and Mr. Owens of the graveyard adopted him. Silas, the mysterious non-living, non-dead agreed to become his guardian and to protect him until the right time. And the rest of the ghosts of the graveyard too pitched in from time to time to save and make the little hero’s life as normal as they could. Bod, grows up in the graveyard, learning history and tricks from its inhabitants, navigating the graves like second nature, escapes becoming a ghoul and never wandering out until he starts to get intrigued by the world outside. His problems, then arise. Having escaped a murder attempt that wiped out his entire family, Bod finds himself amidst a situation where he might directly land into the hands of the killer. Luckily, his presence of mind and his witch friend manage to pull him out of harm. Bod’s urge to learn and attend formal school leads him to a pair of bullies, who spell more trouble than either Bod or Silas would have wanted. Once again, he and Silas manage to avoid the unwanted. But when Bod’s only living childhood friend returns after almost a decade, Bod’s need to interact with the living and to know about his past unearths.
What will this re-establishment of friendship lead to? The freedom that Bod now dreams of or the end that he escaped as a baby?
So, I wouldn’t comment on the author’s writing here, which I must say am in love with. After J.K.Rowling, Neil is my comfort author now. Not only because I enjoyed his writing, but because I enjoyed his story so much that I read it in flat 2 days given that I have an extremely active toddler to look after. The story is simple. The emotions, complex. Was it comical? Was it serious? Was it happy or sad? It is difficult to pinpoint the exact nature of the story. I was sorry for Bod when he gets orphaned and happy when he is adopted. It was funny to see his way of life in the graveyard and sad to see him yearning for some living company. I was proud of him when he does what is right even when it meant risking his life and for the young man he becomes.
Bod’s relationships despite being in negligible contact with the living are truer than anyone living. His camaraderie with his guardian is special. His being in awe of Silas as a child, being angry when not allowed what he wants and life-altering discussions as a teenager mark his growth and that of their relationship. Though Bod’s relationships with others are not as explored as that with Silas, they still speak a lot in whatever space they are confined. There were loopholes, yes. And it was illogical at times. The reason for the murder of Bod’s family remains shrouded. The explanation provided seemed half cooked. The man Jack is still a mystery to me. So were most of the characters apart from Silas and Bod himself. Theirs was an in-depth character building, strong foundations, and walls. It would have been better had the others were given their due space.
This story is for both adults and children. Keeping the roots embedded and the wings flying high is what it is. The majority of adults in the story are sensible, and children are inquisitive. With a keen eye, Gaiman balances Bod’s curiosity with Silas’s maturity, the eccentric adventures that Bod has in the graveyard with his experiences in the outside world and the magical lore with ground realities. It was all so lucid and easy to miss that you only realize its true worth when you flip the last page.
As much as I enjoyed reading this, I know my daughter, when she is old enough to understand will enjoy it too. It was a ride worth taking with Bod. Learning to live, from the dead.