The Graveyard Book – Neil Gaiman

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The Graveyard Book tells the story of a young boy called Nobody Owens who is raised and educated by ghosts following a certain irreversible event. Bod arrives in the graveyard as a baby and the reader gets to follow his life as he grows up and faces different trials of the dead and the living.

This book is capturing and interesting, exploring the world of the dead and the graveyard. A usually spooky or unnerving place where the dead rests, Bod is met with compassion, love and safety reinforcing the idea that the dead should not be feared but rather the living. The story delves into other worldly experiences and the roles of not just ghosts but other spiritual beings that have only appeared with the frightening images of Halloween such as witches and ghouls. Gaiman changes the images of these characters for the reader as a living boy stumbles into their world in need of care, turning the normally terrifying individuals into likeable and intriguing characters.

I particularly enjoyed the different ghosts and their backgrounds. Each came from a different era or century and Gaiman captures their quirks and colloquial mannerisms. Not only did the personalities of the past flow through the ghosts but hearing how they died gave an insight into the minds and beliefs of the century they belonged to, sometimes reminding me of history lessons back at school.

Overall I found The Graveyard Book to be a fun and individualistic read that couldn’t be compared to anything I have picked up before. It could be read by any age and deserves to own a place even in children’s literature, young adult and adult fiction. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a light but fun read, in search of something different with hints of darkness. It is brilliantly constructed and presented along with the writing style of Neil Gaiman that just causes the plot to flow and make the reading experience enjoyable.

On goodreads I gave The Graveyard Book a 4 out of 5 stars and would highly recommend it. It has persuaded me to add a few more Neil Gaiman books to my collection because from what I have found out so far, he writes novels that all possess the same individual characteristics as this one which encourages me even more. Therefore any Neil Gaiman recommendations would be much appreciated!

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