book review

Book Review: The Graveyard Book - by Neil Gaiman

7:47 PM

Summary from goodreads:
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 . . . 

Rating: 3.8/5
The Graveyard Book, written by Neil Gaiman, is a fantastic and simply written novel appropriate for all ages. Although the book lacked the presence of round characters, it had a plot and writing style that kept the audience interested and its unique execution of the story is an effort deserving of praise. 

First and foremost, it should be noted that this particular book may not be fully appreciated the first time it's read. The reason for this because the presentation, so to speak, can be considerably confusing. The Graveyard Book starts out as an ordinary novel. The characters are introduced and the conflict is exposed. Not too far into the story, however, the story shifts from the main plot and has entire chapters dedicated to short stories that seem irrelevant and unnecessary. But as the reader keeps reading, one realizes that the short stories are intertwined with the main plot, making several reappearances and occasionally serving as informative excerpts regarding the characterization of certain personalities. 

With that being said, although the characters were likable, they were, for the most part, both flat and static. The main character, Bod, did not develop throughout the story considering the amount of change and risks he had to physically undergo. He went from infancy to toddlerhood and then onto adolescence but his overall personality remained stagnant. The same goes for the minor characters as well, although the side characters arguably had more dimension and depth to their personalities. 

As for the writing style, it was simply easy to read. It was not necessarily thought provoking, but it kept the readers interested. As a result, perhaps purposefully so, The Graveyard Book has a wide range of audience. Younger age groups would be able to read this book with awe and anticipation of such a unique and extraordinary plot while older age groups are able to read the book with ease and content. This is not the only result, however. The simplicity of the writing made the  the imagery and the feelings so raw. It was as if the reader were being transported to a graveyard and was watching Bod from the sidelines. It made the emotions real enough to be transferred onto the reader as well. 

As a whole, The Graveyard Book deserves the praise it has received and the awards it's won. I would easily recommend this to anyone who is looking for an easy to read yet suspenseful novel. 


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