It’s been a long time since I really devoured a book, but I read Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book in two days, well actually in two late nights where I just couldn’t put it down and go to sleep.
I heard Gaiman read from this book a couple of years ago, and while I didn’t love Stardust or Anasi Boys, the premise of this novel got my attention.
The basic idea is that a man named Jack goes into a house to kill an entire family, but through a stroke of fate, the toddler waddles off into the nearby graveyard where the ghosts there agree to protect him. The boy – named Nobody “Bod” Owens – grows up in the graveyard and learns many of the “tricks” of the ghost trade, including haunting. All the while, his guardian tries to keep him same from Jack, who is still trying to kill him.
Perhaps it was the simplicity of the story, perhaps my lingering fascination with all things ghosty (despite Ghost Adventures ability to make ghosts campy, and not in a fun way), perhaps it’s that I just really loved Bod – but I greatly enjoyed this book. I found the pacing to be effective, the characters endearing, and the suspense gripping but not infuriating.
My one criticism is that while the book says outright that Bod is a threat to Jack and his secret society, it never became clear to me why that was. In many ways, the end of the book felt like it was simply setting up for the sequel (which Gaiman has said will be forthcoming) . . . so I was a bid disappointed in the conclusion.
Still, I really enjoyed it, and I recommend you read it – especially if you’re a Gaiman fan (although if you are, you probably already read this book). It won the Newbery Medal for a reason.
To that end, I’m giving away from my copy to a random person who comments and says they want it. One entry per comment and one extra for every time you share the giveaway via Twitter, FB, your blog, etc. (Just let me know in the comments how you shared.) I’ll announce the winner on Friday, the 4th.