Jan 252010

The Graveyard Book is the first Neil Gaiman book I have ‘read’ and it was interesting to have it read to me by the author. My oldest son, who is 24, recommended the author and so I put in a request for a couple of Gaiman’s books from the local library. The story entrapped me from the beginning.

Summary Summary

A baby, barely able to walk, wanders out of the house while his family was being murdered. He wanders into a graveyard where he will grow up under the care of ghosts and other creatures of the graveyard until he is old enough to leave. The book is a collection of stories of his adventures while in the graveyard.


The story is written is such a way that each chapter is almost a stand-alone story, each building ever so slightly on the chapter before. My main complaints was that each chapter seemed to begin with details that would be required a few pages later, almost like downloading data in the Matrix movies. Still, each chapter told a good story and I could see reading these stories to children over successive nights.

As a children’s book, the subject is dark enough and enough violence that I would only recommend it to kids at least 12 years old. My ‘prudishness’ may be a product of the Disney-fied versions of children’s stories that I grew up with, but the macabre has always been a part of children’s literature since forever. Why? I leave that to the sociologists I think children, as they grow up, need to be able to learn how to deal with bad things that happen, to learn that things are not always sugar coated and stories are a safe way to do that.

Overall this was a fun read and I look forward to reading more of Gaiman’s books.


poor | mediocre | okay | GOOD | excellent

Format: Audiobook

Source: Mid-Columbia Library

Started: 01/13/2010 – Finished: 01/24/2010

  3 Responses to “Review: “The Graveyard Book” by Neil Gaiman”

  1. Really glad you enjoyed this book. Gaiman is definitely one of my favorite authors from the last decade.

    Though I do think 12 is a bit old for a minimum age to read the book. I’d honestly put it at 9-10. Buuuut then again, I was reading Brust’s Vlad books at 11 (Maybe I shouldn’t tell you that).

    “I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,” he said, and then he paused and he thought. “I want everything.”

    MAN. That line gets me every time. Haha

  2. I would not put an minimum age that a child could read it, just at what age I might recommend it to someone else’s child.

    Thanks for the recommendation and look forward to reading a few more.

  3. […] have read Gaimans “The Graveyard Book” but not any of his adult novels. Geoff had recommended “American Gods” to me. So […]

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