The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
One night, a baby boy climbs out of his crib, down the stairs, and through the front door that has been left open, right into an old graveyard. Good thing, too, because an evil man named Jack had just finished killing his parents and older sister and was on his way to kill the baby as well. The man Jack follows the boy to the graveyard but, once there, the child is adopted by a ghost couple and the murderer is escorted out of the graveyard and away from the boy by a mysterious figure named Silas.
Named Nobody Owens, Bod for short, by the denizens of the graveyard, the boy spends his childhood playing among tombstones with ghosts as companions, warned never to leave the graveyard, as the man Jack is still out to kill him.
Man, this book is kind of scary for kids! Of course, as Neil himself has said, there has always been a dark side to children’s stories (think original fairy tales). The first half of the story was entertaining, but seemed to me to be sort of meandering, largely unconnected stories about Bod’s life growing up in the graveyard. Sure, there were some exciting adventures he had, but I didn’t see how they could be cohesive.
I shouldn’t have doubted Neil Gaiman. All of the pieces that seemed disparate came together at the climax of the story. This turned out to be a very enjoyable story, and listening to the audiobook with Gaiman narrating was great. I definitely wouldn’t give this to young kids to listen to, though.
Check out Neil on the Colbert Report talking about “The Graveyard Book”:
|The Colbert Report||Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c|