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Neil Gaiman:The Graveyard Book

Discussion in 'Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Horror Books' started by direstraits, Oct 2, 2008.

  1. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Gaiman-heads will know this is his latest, and it's only just come out not too long ago. Anyway, I got a copy, and finished it in a day.

    Briefly, it's about a boy who lives and is brought up by ghosts in a graveyard. This book tells of his life in the graveyard, his teachers and companions, his enigmatic guardian, and readers will learn about the killer who murdered his family, and is now searching for him.

    It's a YA book, a lot of fun, compulsively readable. Quite different from his Sandman-inspired characters ripped from myths and folktales, which personally is quite a breath of fresh air for me where his work is concerned. The Graveyard Book is a much bigger book that his earlier YA book Coraline, and in my opinion, a better read (although I'll allow that Coraline probably has a tighter plot). If anything, the structure of this book reminds me very much of Neverwhere, which is Gaiman's first full novel about an alternate London running parallel to the actual present-day London.

    Not my best mini-review, this one, but sums up my impressions. Overall, go read it if you're looking for a fresh, quick read.

    Anyone else wanna chip in?

    ds
     
  2. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    I am definitely going to pick this one up.
     
  3. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    You've got the funniest avatar, sparky.
     
  4. scooter13

    scooter13 Member

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    I will be picking this up soon, too.

    I went to a book signing of Gaiman's a year and a half ago, and he read one of the chapters of this book in the form that it was at the time (still in the process of writing it). While reading it, he said he was looking for reactions from the audience to see how it went over. He, like his audience, was quite pleased with the results at the time. I walked away with great anticipation for it's release.
     
  5. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Gaiman is writing too many YA books for comfort. What the hell happened to full sized adult novels? I'm beginning to think he's taking it easy in his old age, what with this book's movie rights already wrapped up before even the freaking book has been published.

    I'm personally disliking this trend of authors of perfectly good books turning into YA.

    That's not to say I dislike The Graveyard Book, but Gaiman (replace this with your favourite author) doing YA is Gaiman (again, replace this with your favourite author) not doing a meatier, more complex, demanding and ultimately more satisfying book.

    ds
     
    Ell and Ronny like this.
  6. liv

    liv New Member

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    This book is definitely on my Christmas list. I LOVE Neil Gaiman.
     
  7. liv

    liv New Member

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  8. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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  9. abecedarian

    abecedarian Well-Known Member

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    I read The Graveyard Book Saturday. What a good read! It would definately make a great movie, if done right. My kids are forming lines waiting to read it next.
     
  10. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    I bought it, too... when Abercrombie's done, it will be next... *smile*
     
  11. MagnaMater

    MagnaMater kickbox

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    What did I say? Abercrombie didn't make it in my hand this morning: Picking over my bookshelf I started reading The Graveyard Book this morning, and couldn't stop until I finished it fifteen minutes ago... I'ts amazing, I just love it...:)
     
  12. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon kickbox

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    I'm half done with the book right now, but I really like what I've been reading. This will be my first book by Neil Gaiman.
     
  13. direstraits

    direstraits Well-Known Member

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    Hey Abece... if I'm not wrong, the rights for the movie has already been sold - before the book was released! Gaiman was talking about it (I think) in his blog leading up to the release.
     
  14. abecedarian

    abecedarian Well-Known Member

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    Oh good! Doesn't surprise me though...;)
     
  15. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    I really enjoyed this. Being a YA novel it's more Coraline than Sandman or American Gods, but Gaiman's YA novels are anything but infantile and there's a lot to like here.

    A baby is the only survivor when his entire family is murdered by a mysterious assassin. The toddler somehow winds up in a graveyard, where he's adopted by the locals (ghosts, a vampire, various spirits), named "Nobody" (Bod for short) and raised by them as one of their own. At first, it's all rather sweet and harmless. But as he grows older, both his past and his future - he's a human boy, after all - start pulling him in a different direction from his family. They're dead, after all, and he has to learn what it means to live.

    The obvious influence is Kipling's Jungle Book - it's so obvious that Gaiman even admits it - and since we know that story and others like it, the plot gets a bit predictable; but even then, Gaiman keeps my interest. Like Coraline it's a darker story than most writers would want to put a child in, which I like, but above all it's the world Gaiman creates around his characters. There's roots here, subtly reaching both into other stories and into the past, grounding the story in - or rather, just beside - the real world that we all live in and making the characters real with it. Gaiman borrows from others, but he borrows because he knows how the originals work and how he can make it work for him. Much like the central character, Nobody, learns to do; a name both fitting (no history, no human connections, no knowledge of how the world works) and increasingly ill-fitting as he learns and grows and pieces together his world.

    And the answer, of course, is Nobody.

    :star4:
     
  16. Fantasy Moon

    Fantasy Moon kickbox

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    I would have liked to see more of the activities of the Honour Guard, but that was really my only complaint with it. Otherwise I really enjoyed it. I don't think that Silas was referred to as a vampire once in the entire book... Interesting.
     
  17. Peder

    Peder Well-Known Member

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    Hi DS, Thanks for starting the avalanche of approval.
    Neverwhere was fabulous. So now I'll add Coraline and The Graveyard Bookright alongside it. Yays!
     
  18. beer good

    beer good Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Which I really like; the narrative is mostly limited to what Bod himself knows and can find out, and since nobody ever tells him about vampires, the word doesn't come up. Gaiman himself commented:
     
  19. Miss Chicken

    Miss Chicken New Member

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    I haven't read this thread as I am concerned that it might contained spoilers. I have The Graveyard Book on my Amazon Wish list..

    I haven't read any books by Neil Gaiman but I have recently bought a second-hand copy of American Gods. Which of these two books would be my best intorduction to the author?
     
  20. sparkchaser

    sparkchaser Administrator and Stuntman Staff Member

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    It depends. The Graveyard Book is a children's book and American Gods is more for adults. My vote goes for American Gods.
     

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