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.