The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman

I actually read this a while ago, but I never got around to posting about it.

2213661The Graveyard Book is a young adult book that I actually enjoyed. It had the edge of the Grimm Brothers along with a wonderfully imaginative plot. The book centers on Nobody Owens, whose parents were murdered and was raised by ghosts in a nearby cemetery. To be honest, when I read the reviews of the book, I wasn’t sure how the premise would work. You’d think after reading all of Gaiman’s novels, I would have learned to trust him, but it was fantastic.

The book follows Nobody (or Bod, as he’s known around the cemetery) as he grows up, learns reading from the grave stones, and takes lessons from long dead school masters and a werewolf. The book meanders along until Bod makes the choice to go after the man who killed his family. The ending is brilliant and utterly suspenseful, as Bod confronts not just the assassin, but a whole team of assassins. Did I mention that Bod is only about twelve at this point? Like Gaiman’s Coraline, this is a kid’s book that works for all grown ups, too.

Gaiman is one of the few writers I’ve come across that doesn’t telegraph what he’s doing. Like Tim Powers, Gaiman lets the details unfold slowly as the characters learn them. Since Gaiman uses creatures like werewolves, ghouls, and ghosts in new and non-traditional ways, The Graveyard Book is wonderfully original. I very much enjoyed reading it. It’s the kind of book that you just sink into and let it take you were Gaiman wants to take you.

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