The Graveyard Book

Neil Gaiman
The Graveyard Book Cover

The Graveyard Book


Reading Neil Gaiman's YA novel The Graveyard Book was like listening to a story told by a Polish grandmother, specifically my own Grandma. I grew up listening to tales of how the pussy willow got its name, and about Janosik, who was the polish "Robin Hood." I would sit in her kitchen watching her roll out pierogi and listen to her stories and songs. Reading The Graveyard Book transported me back to that kitchen. Nobody Owens could have been a character from any folklore tale. That is what immediately drew me to this novel.

This was an extremely quick read. I tore through the first 120 pages in a couple of hours. And what a charming tale! Nobody is an absolutely likable and more importantly, a realistic character. In a scant 300 pages we watch him grow from a precious toddler, into a moody teen. That his parents are ghosts and other "monsters" is of little consequence. My one complaint might be that the "Jacks of All Trades" was never fleshed out, and so I did not see them as the sinister evil organization they were meant to be. The same could not be said for "Man Jack." He was well fleshed out even though little was seen of him throughout the novel.

To me The Graveyard Book felt like a set-up for a series. I will be interested to see if Mr. Gaiman follows through with more from Nobody Owen's and this adorable and charming modern day folk tale.