Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Graveyard Book (Neil Gaiman)

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
I feel like Neil Gaiman is one of those authors I should have been reading for years.  I've had American Gods on my wishlist for a long time, and of course I've heard of The Ocean at the End of the Lane plenty of times, somehow I just never found myself reading any of his stuff.

I liked the writing style, although most likely because this is a young adult novel, it felt a little simplistic for me. However, there was plenty of dark humor to satisfy me.

The premise is an odd one (which is why I was attracted to this book in the first place): a baby is raised in a graveyard by ghosts and other ghoulish creatures. And while that might sound improbable, I have to say Gaiman really made it work. The graveyard is old, and filled with many souls- teachers to help Bod learn, wise men to help him learn to think, poets to teach him about love  and emotions, and adventurers to tell him all about the world outside their gates. Things get truly interesting when Bod gets a little older and decides he wants to go to school in the real world and learn how to be part of society.

Your first question is probably, wasn't somebody looking for their baby? Like, did they just assume that some good natured ghosts and possibly Death herself would decide that the baby should grow up there? Well, the short answer is no. The longer answer (which honestly, is kinda the whole point of the book so I'm not gonna like, give you a Cliffs Notes thing here, read it damnit.) is that his parents were killed under mysterious circumstances at the beginning of the book, and those mysterious circumstances become a complication when Bod insists on joining society.

It was fun watching a kid grow up in a graveyard- the quirks and questions that come up because of it are intriguing. There is even an existential moment where he begins to wonder if he is really just an imaginary friend (which honestly, who among us didn't have that freak out at some point?  YOU CAN SEE ME RIGHT??)

All in all, I recommend the book as a fast weekend read, or a palette cleanser after a long and heavy novel. I can't wait to read some of his adult fiction and see how it compares.

Drum roll please.......

The Book

The Writing


No comments:

Post a Comment