Tuesday, November 12, 2019

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

4 Star

After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family...

Kathryn - 4 Star

Completely outside of my usual genre this was an interesting read and I'm glad I'm in a book club that will push my boundaries!   Firstly I don't often read stories that delve into the fantastical (apart from Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings) as I often spend half the novel getting my bearings on the new world and not focusing on the characters.  However this book didn't require too much brain reconfiguration at first so I was able to focus on people and plot.  It's a bit alarming that this tiny child finds himself being raised by a load of ghosts, but they are good ghost people and obviously care for their charge very much.  

I wish we had had more details on the living accommodations and the practicalities of how they actually fed an alive child when they were dead.. but likely that was just my inability to just accept things as they were.  The novel is a touch creepy, not because of the ghosts but because someone is clearly after this small child and there is a scene where he is chased by some foul creatures that made me feel very uneasy. 

Despite my misgivings and nitpicking about the practicalities I was quite touched by this story.  The kindness of strangers and the sense of community was very hopeful.

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