The Graveyard Book – Week One


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Illustrated by Dave McKean

HarperCollins, New York, 2008

From my shelves.  I am reading this book along with others in celebration of R.I.P. VII.   Carl V  suggested that we read The Graveyard Book in three sections, and post our thoughts on consecutive Sundays.  The first section covers Chapters One through Three.

This book has an extremely creepy opening.  The Man Jack goes about his business in a completely ordinary way and the horror builds so quietly from paragraph to paragraph that it is like a dream.  How can a story be frightening and calming at the same time?

A toddler finds his way to a graveyard and is taken in by a community unlike any other I have ever met.  There is so much love here.   I find warmth and comfort among the grave stones, in a place where those feelings are totally unexpected.  The toddler, Nobody Owens, has found a home.

How do the dead take care of the living?  Luckily, there is one who lives in-between and he sees to Bod’s earthly and intellectual needs.  Bod makes a friend, learns his lessons and has adventures.  When his protector, Silas, is forced to take  a journey Bod meets a new teacher.   She is strict in her discipline and who holds a great secret.

It is hard to write about this book without giving much of the story away.  It is layered with horror, mystery, romance and mythology.  I am so glad to be rereading it, going deeper.


Filed under DarkFantasy, Horror, R.I.P. VII, Read-Along, Thoughts, Young Adult

8 responses to “The Graveyard Book – Week One

  1. I very much want to read this. What age range do you think this would work for?

  2. I love what you wrote about the community in the graveyard. Beautiful–and I agree, it’s such a warm and caring place…in a graveyard! I love that inversion of expectations.

  3. The feeling of warmth and comfort among the grave stones, only struck me when you mentioned it. But it’s absolutely true. The ghost are not scary at a.

  4. I know it’s probably not too late but I’m sad I didn’t see this readalong sooner! I feel buried by books I must read SOON so I will have to catch ya’ll later.

  5. I’m behind in my listening for this read-a-long, but have read just far enough to agree with what you’ve said about the delightfully creepy beginning. (And the audiobook has this quirky little soundtrack that is delightful too!) It’s such fun.

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