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”.
A family is brutally murdered in a small town in England (it sounds familiar, but it doesn’t make it more boring for that reason!) Nobody Owens (Bod) grows up in the graveyard with old tombs, stories and the myths of former ancestors. He exists on the verge of life and death, all mixed up in one sweet mystery. “Regular” people as you and I don’t see him in the crowd; he will always only occur as a shadow. As he grows up, he knows that he eventually need to meet the man who killed his family, when he once was a baby. This is the element of uncertainty that always lures in the background through the entire story – as if you could feel it luring behind the old tombs in the graveyard.
“But Silas said nothing, and the question hung in the air as the man and the youth walked out of the bright pizza restaurant into the waiting darkness; and soon enough they were swallowed by the night”.
The writing style of Neil Gaiman’s literary universe is always unique, and this is very obvious in the story of Bod and his life in the Graveyard. This story is filled with contrasts; black and white, darkness and light, and most of all; evil and good – and the situations where it is difficult to tell the difference.
Bod will always be safe in the graveyard, but while he grows older, he is drawn to the unknown world outside of it. He feels the need of exploring it, even though he knows it isn’t safe there.
“The child stepped out of the house a little hesitantly. The fog wreathed around him like a long-lost friend”
It is easy for the reader to identify with Bod and his wish for life, and the fact that he longs for it so much – as if it wasn’t enough to be acknowledged of the fact but rather as if he needed to be physically able to grasp it within his hand.
“Face your life, its pain, its pleasure, leave no path untaken.”
My opinion on the book:
I found it different and therefore, very fascinating. I have always preferred to read children’s books that are not meant for children. Even though, the story is simple, there is so much more to it. Bod undergoes a series of dangers while growing up and he has to make sacrifices and let go of loved-ones. This book is very psychological and shows his quest for self-discovery.
Again, Neil Gaiman amazes me with his strange and beautiful stories – and especially the note about Tori Amos made me smile even more.
“The Graveyard Book” symbolize the belief of hope and that something uncertain awaits you.