The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book Book Cover The Graveyard Book
Neil Gaiman
Juvenile Fiction
Harper Collins
September 30, 2008
Own library

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-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. . . . Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Ok – let’s start at the beginning – I am a fan of Neil Gaiman, read quite a lot of his books, but had not come across The Graveyard Book.  I’ve not (yet) read any of his Sandman graphic novels which he is well know for however I have read the majority of his other books.  I read this one about a year ago and my reaction at the time was “Wow – excellent”. I did find the claim on the front cover “The best book Neil Gaiman has ever written” unlikely and simply the usually publishers guff. I was probably wrong. Is it his best? Not certain about that but is it one of his best? Definitely.

It is simply a story about a baby who lives in a graveyard and is looked after by people there… While this may sound a little odd to many people this really is a talent of Neil Gaiman’s – take a very normal reality and give it a twist (some twists are far bigger than others).  In practice the baby is orphaned as he has narrowly missed out on being murder with the rest of his family.  As with The Ocean at the End of the Lane it exists in that borderline of reality and something a little different. If you liked “Ocean” (or indeed most of Gaiman’s other fantasy books) I’d be very surprised it you didn’t like this (& the reverse applies I’m sure) – it is an outstanding read of its genre – loved it.  My review of Ocean will be along soon & I’ll link it to/from this page anyway.