The Graveyard Book

A book for all seasons
by Neil Gaiman | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 9780062081551 Global Overview for this book
Registered by wingGoryDetailswing of Nashua, New Hampshire USA on 10/21/2019
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1 journaler for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by wingGoryDetailswing from Nashua, New Hampshire USA on Monday, October 21, 2019
I found this softcover in this Little Free Library in Salem, NH while dropping off some books of my own, and nabbed it for another release copy.

I found this fair-condition softcover at the Salvation Army thrift shop in Nashua, glad to have another release copy. [This edition includes handsome illustrations by Dave McKean, and bonus material from Gaiman.]

The comments on the dust-jacket compare this to Kipling's Jungle Book, with a dark twist; turns out the comparison is quite apt, and in some cases is a direct re-telling of Kipling's tales, with Bod as Mowgli, Silas as Bagheera, and many other obvious similarities. I was delighted! (The chapter "The Witch's Headstone" compares very well with Kipling's "The King's Ankus"; I'll leave other comparisons for the reader to discover.)

The story itself is a good deal darker, what with the main enemies being malevolent humans rather than a tiger that simply needs to eat. In fact, the story opens with "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife," telling you right away that this is a sinister story. (While avoiding explicit details, the book makes the fates of Bod's family quite clear. {shudder})

Once toddler Bod makes his way to the graveyard and into the protection of ghost-couple Mr. and Mrs. Owens, not to mention the impassive yet commanding Silas, his life takes on a certain whimsy - colored grey with graveyard dust, but rather fun for a child. He grows, and learns such talents as are useful for ghosts, like Fading, as well as those useful for mortals - in a charming scene, he learns his alphabet from gravestones. And he learns why some parts of the graveyard are more dangerous than others, sometimes the hard way...

The chapter "Hounds of God" features Bod discovering one of the more risky parts of the graveyard and very nearly getting in over his head; he's aided by another of the fascinating characters, and the plot is an homage to Kipling's "Kaa's Hunting" with a delightful nod to Lovecraft as well.

All of his adventures pale in contrast to the danger he runs when the man who killed his family gets wind of his location. The story gathers momentum and suspense as we find out where that man came from and what his organization is like - and as we fret over how Bod can possibly escape him. Lots of great scenes there, some of them heartwrenching, with a satisfying, yet bittersweet conclusion.

[There's a TV Tropes page on the novel, with some interesting tidbits. And I see there's a film adaptation under development, though no word of a definite release date.]

Journal Entry 2 by wingGoryDetailswing at Little Free Library, Bedford St in Concord, Massachusetts USA on Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Released 1 mo ago (10/23/2019 UTC) at Little Free Library, Bedford St in Concord, Massachusetts USA


I left this book in the Little Free Library (just across the street from the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery) on this drizzly afternoon; hope someone enjoys it!

[See other recent releases in MA here.]

*** Released for the 2019 October Spooktacular release challenge. ***

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