Beyond Books

The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman

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. . . (

I started this book and thought, “Hmm, meh, I don’t think this is my cup of tea”. Then, I had some tea because I distracted myself with the thought of tea and I really wanted some. I am easy to distract like that. I can think of a food product and suddenly my mouth waters and I NEED IT RIGHT NOW! My husband laughs at me a lot.

But I digress (I distract easily, food or no food, to be honest). I got about half way into the book and I was wondering if I wanted to continue the story and then it got interesting and I got curious and then I was really curious and then I NEEDED TO KNOW WHAT WAS GOING TO HAPPEN!! This need was just as dire as my random food distractions. I am a person of extremes.

Who and what is the man Jack? Why did he kill Bod’s family? Why? Why? Why!?!?

And then my curiosity was sated and the book made me cry.

It made me bloody cry. I hate when books make me cry. Argh. I feel like a fool as I sit there sniffling away and my husband gets all concerned and wants to know know what’s wrong and I’m all, “Neil Gaiman made me cry!”

It took me some time to warm up to this book and the characters. I liked Silas and Liza Hempstock but I am not so sure what I think of the others, including Bod. I like that he always tried to do the right thing, and even though he grew up in an unconventional setting he still was able to figure out right from wrong.

I sort of find myself wondering what happens after this? Where does Bod go from here? Will he be ok? I don’t want a sequel, I’m just realizing that I think about the book a lot more now that I have finished it than when I was reading it.

In the end, I am happy that I read this book because I like it more after having read it as I think about what I read. It’s a twisty sort of ghost story that isn’t a ghost story, just a story about ghosts and a boy named Bod. There was something very sweet about how the Graveyard came together to save this little boy. It’s certainly a very interesting idea!

Thanks to Harper Collins Canada for the review opportunity, I am sorry I got to it so late!


  • ibeeeg

    I am glad that you wound up liking this story. I liked it a whole bunch, but yeah, I do recall having to warm up to the read but once I did I needed to know like you. I listened to the audiobook, and Neil Gaiman narrated. He did one fabulous job which I think really added to my Graveyard experience. Like you, I wonder about what happens next??? but yet, a sequel…not certain that I would want even though I am very curious.

    By the way, I like your blog look…fun.

  • ibeeeg

    Oops…forgot to say, I cried as well, and I pretty much feel the same way as you do when I cry because of a book, and most especially if I am crying and my husband is right next to me…awake.

    • Cat

      Thanks for the comments! 🙂 I have never read a Neil Gaiman book before and I have not been able to get into the Sandman graphic novels that my husband likes so much. I was worried that I wouldn’t warm up to the book at all, so I was happy when it made me emotional in the end!

  • BrookeReviews

    TWIN! We really are twins! I was JUST distracting myself from homework by writing a review for THIS VERY BOOK! 😀 I should just direct people to your blog, because I pretty much felt the same way.

    • Cat

      I am behind on my google reader so I don’t know if I missed your review yet but I cannot wait to ready it! I was late in posting my review, too. Work got in my way. 😉

  • Liviania

    I love this books! I love that Gaiman never states what Silas et al. are, but let the reader figure it out. I like that he assumes the reader has some familiarity with genre rather than overexplaining.

    • Cat

      I was trying to figure out what Silas was all through the book! At first I thought he was a ghoul but then Bod met ghouls and they were nothing like him. So… I don’t know. Vampire?

  • PolishOutlander

    Oh I’m so glad you liked it. It definitely is a hard one to warm up to. But I must admit, I much prefer, and love, Coraline. And the movie and graphic novel sort of sealed it for me. I must say, you are quite on the reading roll! 🙂

    • Cat

      I keep meaning to pick up Coraline (the graphic novel) and I have wanted to see the movie for so long but never got a chance. Now we don’t rent things anymore. ;P

  • darla d

    Ha! I had to laugh about your tea comment, particularly as I’m sitting here freezing, and when I read that it wasn’t your cup of tea, I thought I should go make myself one. Anyway, I’m glad that you enjoyed this. I cried, too. Which made it a little tough to read it to my kids at that point. They think I’m funny that certain things make me choke up. Although my older one and I both bawled our way through the end of Toy Story 3 – she got it. While my younger daughter and husband just sort of rolled their eyes. 🙄

  • Alex Baugh

    😀 I had to laugh at the beginning of your post – I can be the same way.

    I love Neil Gaiman, but had a hard time getting into this book too, and loved it when I finished. And if I hadn’t already read The Graveyard Book, your post would have made me want to. Oh, wait – I can reread it. Thanks.

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