Thursday, October 30, 2008
Neil Gaiman, illustrated by Dave Mckean
Raise your hand if you cried at the end of this book.
The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody (aka Bod) Owens, a young boy who lives in a graveyard. This is a fantastic little book…it’s got spookiness, and creepy characters, and humor, and horror (the ghouls scared the crap out of me), and love, and mystery and all sorts of weirdly imaginative details that can only come from Neil Gaiman. And it’s got illustrations. I love illustrations.
But I don’t want to give the story away. So here are just a few things that I love about the book (besides the illustrations):
- There is a ghoul by the name of the 33rd President of the United States. I’m still wondering why Gaiman went with #33. Why not #37? Or #41? Or even #16, who certainly looked the part?
- Silas, who is never directly identified for what he is (was?).
- Jack. I thought the explanation of Jack was brilliant. Maybe it’s because my name is Jill and I never appreciated having to go up the hill with him, but I love where Gaiman went with Jack.
- Bod’s education. The graveyard pitches in to raise and teach Bod. It’s touching. And funny.
I could go on, but this is a book that you should experience for yourself. Besides, it’s the perfect time of the year to read this.
And about that ending…
I cried because Bod is leaving his childhood and all the ghosts behind (I can’t help it…it was all so sad, knowing he would never see the ghosts again!). Even though he’s off on new adventures, to explore a world previously closed to him, and you just know Bod will have a wonderful life, his parents and friends from the graveyard have disappeared to him. It was all so bittersweet, and so I sniffled and wiped my eyes at the end. Then I wondered how Gaiman does what he does. Truly, I envy the man his imagination.
Bloggers that wrote kick-ass reviews of this book: