Thursday, December 15, 2011

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

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 . . .

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. (Goodreads)

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My Thought
The Graveyard Book brought me to Nobody Owens. Yeah, he got a weird name. But no need to wonder why. Graveyard was the place where he grew up and lived since he was toddler. Nobody Owens, Bod, was also raised by the dead. He even had Silas, a guardian. Bod almost had no friend but them. Since he was young, he has been warned for many things, from the ghouls till the world outside. Bod was fined with all the rules. Afterwards, the curiosity inside him was getting bigger. There was nothing that could stop him even his guardian. He would only quit till he got the answer why. Bod did not understand that her foster parents, guardian, and teachers were trying to protect him. He just did not get it till he faced the man Jack, the fiercest man ever.

I was excited and worried in a same time when The Graveyard Book was in my hand. First, I had been waiting this book for so long. Second, I have never read Neil Gaiman's book in English. Some of his books that I have in my shelves had been translated. Reading some of them (The Anansi Boys and Stardust) made me think that Gaiman has his own writing style that was not easy to understand. I was not sure if I could get what he wrote. You have no idea, how relief I was when I found out that all the words were not that confusing as I thought before.

Bod, the main character in this book, would never become my favorite, if the other characters were not there. Let's say Silas, Mr and Mrs Owen, Elizabeth Hempstock, Scarlett, even the villain, the man Jack. All of them have their own way to make Bod become special. From all them, I loved the connection between Bod and Silas. I saw father and son relationship there. The chapter which involved Bod and Elizabeth Hempstock, the witch, was also a part that I adored. This chapter was also published in anthology Wizards: Magical Tales From the Masters of Modern Fantasy. Scarlett, she was also nice. She impressed me. I felt so bad when I found out what happened between Bod and her. I wish something better happened between them.

Every chapter has its own magnet. The development of the story and characters were also written very well. It was nice to see how Bod grew older.  There were mixed up feelings and it started even when I was in first chapter. The ending made me feel little bit lost and sad.  I wish Neil would write another ending for Bod.

The Graveyard Book makes me want to read more of Neil's works. I think I am going to read this book again next year.

Cover and Illustration
I love all the illustration inside. I spent more time to stare and look at them before I turn to the next page.  It is as good as what he put in Coraline. I wish all of Neil Gaiman's books were completed with Dave McKean's scratches. But it seems that they are only for children's books.

4/5

Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean
Reading level: Ages 10 and up
Paperback: 336 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins; Reprint edition (September 28, 2010)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0060530944
ISBN-13: 978-0060530945
Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.3 x 1 inches