Review of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

Review of The Graveyard Book by Neil GaimanThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman
Also by this author: Coraline, Fortunately, the Milk
Published by HarperCollins on 2008-09-30
Genres: Fantasy, Fantasy & Magic, Fiction, Horror & Ghost Stories, Young Adult
Pages: 320
Format: Hardcover
Source: Library
Buy on Amazon

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-an ancient Indigo Man beneath the hill, a gateway to a desert leading to an abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible menace of the Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family. . . . Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times bestselling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, the graveyard book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

If I had to sum up my feelings on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman in a short phrase, I would say, “Future children’s classic.” Seriously, ya’ll this book deserves to be shelved beside The Phantom Tollbooth by Norman Juster and The Neverending Story by Micheal Ende. I loved this book, and I can see how it would really resonate with children. The Graveyard Book was a simple book, simple in that each and every part of the book was integral. I was reading other reviews to search for the answer to a question I had about this book, and came across the comparisons of it to The Jungle Book by Ruyard Kipling. Well, my only exposure to Kipling was the god-awful white man’s burden poem, since clearly we must civilize people of color, ugh, but I digress.

I really loved the characterization within this book. Each character is different and brings something special to the table. I loved seeing the development of the main character Bod, from toddler to adult. Bod is awesome, plus he’s a reader so I automatically really like him! There’s also Silas who is Bod’s guardian. My heart definitely breaks for Silas, he’s such an intriguing character, I wish Gaiman had given us more Silas, but I can see why he didn’t, as Silas is supposed to be a bit mysterious. Then there was the villain, the man holding the knife in the dark. Holy hell. This man is scary! Now, don’t give me bullshit about children not being able to handle baddies, if they can watch Nightmare on Elm St. at the precious age of 8, they can handle this book. I think children are smarter than we give them credit for. Anyways, the man with the knife, he makes a few appearances, one which I think solidifies the scary.

Another wonderful part of this book was the structure. Each chapter took place during a different year of Bod’s life, rather than recapping the year, the chapters are anecdotes. I really think this book is reading just for the Danse Macabre chapter, it’s book gold, I tell you, book gold. I also really enjoyed when Bod was talking to the dead poet. It was literally LOL. Yes, I did just type LOL. Problem? I also felt the drawings definitely added to the story, while they may not have reflected the words, they were fascinating. Gaiman’s writing style was pitch perfect, I felt that not a word was out of place, and the events definitely advanced the plot. This is weird, but I don’t even know what to read next because I was so blown away by this book. It makes me sad that I have to give it back to the library because I form attachments to the original copy of a book I read. Not sure if that makes any sense.

While reading this book, I recommend you drink a refreshing glass of apple cider. First off, fall and apple cider belong hand-in-hand. You can’t have fall without apple cider or pumpkins or leaves, at least not here in New England/NY/whatever you prefer my geography to be. As this book dealt with a graveyard it made me think of fall and Halloween, and I have to this is a quintessential fall book. Now, go and read this book.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. Great review! I know what you mean about forming attachments to the books you read! I feel like we've been on a journey together(: Ha ha, anyway I've heard a lot of awesome things about this book- I'll definitely have to check it out!

  2. Thanks for the review! 🙂 I'm waiting for a copy of this book from my library, hehe. You just made me more excited to read it!

  3. Michelle (Red Headed Book Child) says

    I LOVE Neil Gaiman but I have not read this one yet. I know, what's wrong with me? So many people in my life have and say it's amazing, just like you.

    Maybe I will add it to my R.I.P spooky challenge.

    Great review. And yes, I was one of those silly 8 year olds who watched Nightmare on Elm Street. 🙁
    I wasn't scared of Freddy. I was always scared of the darn ice cream truck. 🙁

    Michelle (Red Headed Book Child)

  4. Thats great and love the apple cider with the book…. thats fun.

  5. justicejenniferreads says

    Sounds like a really interesting book. I'm adding it to my TBR pile. I hope I'll get to read it before Halloween so I can savor the scary parts and drink it with some warm apple cider or something equally festive.