Review: The Graveyard Book

Rating: 5 Stars

The Graveyard Book follows the adventures of “Bod” Nobody Owens, as he tries to lead a normal life, like all boys his age. Except, Bod lives in a graveyard, with his ghost parents, mad teachers, and a guardian who is neither alive nor dead. Bod is happy with his life; he is free to roam around the graveyard, discovering new things every day, playing with friends who never grow old, and having a good time in general.

This contentment with life doesn’t stop Bod from wanting to venture outside the gates of the graveyard and experience the real world. But he is not allowed to do that. The outside world is where the man Jack lives. The man Jack, who killed Bod’s real family, and who is searching for Bod to finish his task once and for all.

It seems to me that every book that I read by Neil Gaiman is better than the last, though Neverwhere has been a favourite since I first read it. The Graveyard Book seems to have taken over that place in my heart.

As always, the main character is so likable that you want to go on adventures with him and help him find his way in the world. All the other characters, from Bod’s adoptive parents, to Miss Lupescu, to Liza Hempstock (yes, there’s a Hempstock in every Gaiman book!) to all the other residents of the graveyard, are so well written that you cannot help but be amused by their antics. It is, however, Bod’s guardian, Silas, who stands out like a typical strong, silent hero from romantic movies. There is nothing romantic about Silas, except that he agreed to be the guardian of a small boy who had nowhere to go. Yet, his love for Bod is evident in everything he says and does. He is perhaps my favourite character from this awesome book.

The strength of Neil Gaiman is his ability to paint such vivid pictures with his words that it all materializes in front of your eyes. The Indigo Man, the Sleer, the ghouls, all come alive in the mind’s eye. The Lady on the Grey also makes a couple of appearances, and the Danse Macabre becomes almost real. As is evident, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.

As soon as I finished, I gave it to my 11-year-old, and he loved it too. So, this is one book that everyone in the family can read if they like fantasy and dark humor.

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