Reading anything by Neil Gaiman is always a really special experience, but it really doesn’t compare with listening to Neil Gaiman read Neil Gaiman. Although I have a physical copy of this book, I decided to listen to the audiobook of this because Neil Gaiman often reads his books himself, and he does it really well.
What it’s about: This is the story of a boy who is raised by the residents of a graveyard (as in the dead ones, not like an old gravedigger named Joe. The ghosts) after his family is brutally murdered.
What I thought: Loved it. Loved it. Loved it a lot.
I don’t read a huge amount of middle grade books because I usually find that they tend to beat you over the head with obvious conclusions (which is fine when they are being read by their intended audience who may need that, but I tend to find it annoying). But I do occasionally dip my toe in the middle grade pool for books I think will be worth it (or for books I’m thinking of buying my niece). And this book definitely was worth it.
Neil Gaiman has this ridiculous ability (Much like Zafon) to just write each word absolutely perfectly. There isn’t a single word out of place in this book. Every sentence is beautifully constructed. Neil Gaiman is simply a master of writing.
This book just had so many wonderful characters and elements and bits of lore. I almost wet myself with excitement when I heard the name Hempstock again. My only criticism of this book is that I just wanted more. I wanted more back story (despite understanding why it wasn’t there in this type of book).
This book has a really simple plot and very little of the book is devoted to main plot, but it more character driven. Mainly around the main character, Nobody Owens. I would have liked to learn more about the other characters. They were all so shrouded in mystery, that it seemed a little incomplete. I’m still dying for a full history of the Hemstocks, Gaiman! But apart from that, this was a really great book and I think I need to tackle Coraline soon, which I will probably do via audiobook as well.
I rate The Graveyard Book 4/5 stars.
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