Monday, February 02, 2009
The Graveyard Book is the most recent addition to Neil Gaiman's growing library of titles and projects. The novel was recently announced as a Newbery Medal winner. Gaiman's storytelling coupled with Dave McKean's art creates a truly compelling novel.
The Graveyard Book is modeled on Rudyard Kipling's classic stories known as the Jungle Book. The novel opens with the murder of three members of a small family. The youngest, a mere toddler boy, accidentally escapes. While being hunted by the murder, the boy is taken in by the residents of an old graveyard, who shelter, protect, and raise the child.
The book is comprised of short chapters that each present a distinct moment in that child's, called Nobody "Bod" Owens, life and adventures in the graveyard. The stories are touching, tense, humorous, and infinitely entertaining. The graveyards' inhabitants, ghosts, Bod's mysterious guardian Silas, and other beings existing on the boundaries of reality, along with Bod himself, create an interesting tapestry for Gaiman's character development and slow unveiling of the mystery of Bod's life.
The story roughly covers Bod's life from 18 months old to when he is considered an adult by the residents of the graveyard. The story is a balance of what a person can learn about life from those in a graveyard, and the constant threat of danger that lurks beyond the graveyard wall. There is action, there is intrigue, and there is even resolution.
The Graveyard Book is a fun read. It is a compelling and entertaining read. I think that Gaiman has created the perfect blend of his somewhat darker vision, his macabre sense of humor, and a truly touching story. I have no doubts that this novel can be read and enjoyed by young and older alike. Oh, and if a first page was ever to capture your entire attention, the is the book where it will happen.
The Graveyard Book is simply one of the best and most enjoyable books that I have read recently, or for some time
Posted by Jacob at 11:41 AM