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A great story for Halloween

02 Oct

One grave in every graveyard belongs to the ghouls. Wander any graveyard long enough and you will find it — waterstained and bulging, with cracked or broken stone, scraggly grass or rank weeds around it, and a feeling, when you reach it, of abandonment.  It may be colder than the other gravestones, too, and the name is all too often impossible to read. If there is a statue on the grave it will be headless or so scabbed with fungus and lichens as to look like a fungus itself. If one grave in a graveyard looks like a target for petty vandals, that is the ghoul-gate. If the grave makes you want to be somewhere else, that is the ghoul-gate.

There was one in Bod’s graveyard.

There is one in every graveyard.

[From page 61 of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman]

the graveyard book coverThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Copyright 2008, HarperCollins

307 pages, fantasy

Nobody Owens (Bod for short), may appear to be a perfectly average boy, but he has lived in an abandoned graveyard for as long as he can remember, looked after and educated by ghosts and other beings of the dead. He soon gets a thirst for adventure and wants to leave the graveyard, though if he does, he will be in great danger — in danger of the same force that killed his former family.

The Graveyard Book chronicles Bod’s adventures in a way that seems nearly like a collection of short stories, each chapter a new story, in a way. Neil Gaiman is a master of suspense, and his dark humor weaves through every chapter.  This book really sets the mood for Halloween, with plenty of ghosts and ghouls and such. The story itself left me hypnotized, and the day after I finished the book I found myself wandering the local cemetery in search of the “ghoul-gate”. Say I have an overreactive imagination, but I believe I found it.

The book was stuffed full of illustrations by Dave McKean, and while McKean did a good job at  capturing the essence of Gaiman’s writing, the constant pictures interrupting text annoyed me. I prefer to imagine things myself. Also, the involvement of the mundane, just as the book gets rolling, was a bit discouraging to me, as I was hoping for a totally phantasmagoric, Edgar Allan Poe-esque tale. Overall, a really good story, worthy of the Newbery award it received.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Visit Neil Gaiman’s website at http://www.mousecircus.com .

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5 Comments

Posted by on October 2, 2009 in Book Reviews

 

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5 responses to “A great story for Halloween

  1. Sharry

    October 3, 2009 at 12:05 AM

    Oh dear! You’re totally reading faster than me…. I’m still on The Demon’s Lexicon! Too many papers to write! I’ll definitely be back once I’ve read it. “One grave in every graveyard belongs to the ghouls. Wander any graveyard long enough and you will find it — waterstained and bulging, with cracked or broken stone, scraggly grass or rank weeds around it, and a feeling, when you reach it, of abandonment.” <— I like this description!!

     
  2. Emalee P.

    October 3, 2009 at 8:27 PM

    Hey Allegra! Didn’t you say last year that you were going to be homeschooled? How is it??? Do you still have to take the MCAS? That’d be great if you didn’t lol That book also sounds really good
    -Emalee ♫

     
  3. Dominique

    October 4, 2009 at 5:06 PM

    Hi Allegra!
    How are you?
    This book sounds really good, hopefully I will read it sometime soon.
    I just read a book by Jessica Day George, Princess of the Midnight Ball, and it was pretty good.
    My sister was cleaning her room and found some of your letters (remember how we’d correspond through letters?). That was fun.
    -Dominique

     
  4. Care

    October 7, 2009 at 11:34 AM

    I have this on my wishlist! I really think I’m going to love it – if I could just get to it.

     
  5. DenzelWTok

    November 2, 2009 at 2:41 AM

    Good night, Hey! How are you? Happy late Halowen! 😀

     

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