31 January 2017

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman hardly needs any introduction to the reading public. This British author has received a swag of awards, including the Newbery Medal and Carnegie Medal for The Graveyard Book amongst a host of others. Neil Gaiman is an inspirational speaker, and phrases of his ('make mistakes' and 'make good art') have stuck with me throughout the years. His New Year wishes are inspirational and I admire his writing and creativity.

I give you this glowing introduction because I've finally read The Graveyard Book and didn't fall in love with it as much as I wanted to. Don't you hate it when that happens?

It's about a young boy who escapes his house the night his family is murdered and wanders up the street and into a graveyard. After much discussion, the ghosts in the graveyard agree to raise him as their own and so the life of Nobody Owens (Bod for short) begins.

This is a fantasy novel for children and the young at heart however the accompanying illustrations by Dave McKean left me wanting more. I enjoyed Bod's interactions with the graveyard residents; especially when the engraving on their headstone was repeated in the text after their name appears. For instance:

- Doctor Trefusis (1870-1936, May He Wake to Glory) from Page 96
- Thackeray Porringer (1720-1734, son of the above) from Page 174
- Portunia (They Sleep to Wake Again) on Page 186

I absolutely loved this! The setting in Highgate Cemetery (West) in London added to my enjoyment because this is a famous cemetery and entry today is via guided tour only. How cool is that?

Overall, this was a good read, but my adoration for the author didn't extend to a love for The Graveyard Book. I know I'm in the minority on this one, but that's okay.

My rating = ***

Carpe Librum!

More great news for fans of Neil Gaiman is that The Graveyard Book is going to be made into a film with Ron Howard as Director.

Would you like to comment?

  1. I didn't know it was being made into a movie. I listened to the audio and thought it was fab. Neil Gaiman did the recording, or at least one version of the recording I think.

  2. Thanks Marg, I bet he did a terrific job on the audiobook. Fingers crossed the movie isn't too far away, but plenty of book to movie adaptations to keep us busy for a while.

  3. I was so excited when I saw this review in my inbox and I'm so sad it didn't capture your heart like it did mine! I didn't know about the movie either and now I'm already impatient for it. I'm glad you enjoyed some parts of it though, it's such a sweet and intriguing story.

  4. I agree Amy, I'm sad too when I see a reader doesn't adore a book as much as I did, but at least you found out about the upcoming movie :-)


Thanks for your comment, Carpe Librum!