Thursday, September 24, 2009
The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
"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."
My mom found this in the library and wow, it opens with a bang. The first lines are:
"There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife. The knife had done almost everything it was brought to that house to do, and both the blade and the handle were wet."
How can you say no to a beginning like that? I snapped it up pronto.
After its epic fast-paced beginning, things slow as we watch baby Bod grow up. Fear not. The book keeps a steady pace as growing up and being rasied by things that go bump in the night is not without its challenges.
The chapters end up being short adventures Bod has over the years - perfectly summing up what abilities and knowledge he has gained. I was a little worried these little side adventures were going to be a waste of time but everything ties in at the end. I like how the things that seem meaningless to at the time help tremendously in the future (the building blocks of life sort of thing).
Wonderfully written, I'd recommend this book with the caveat that the ending is a tear-jerker... so arm yourself with tissues.