Remember when I was complaining about vampire and werewolf fatigue? Well, the little buggers are everywhere and caught me unaware in The Graveyard Book. Still, I don’t regret it. Unlike other supernatural novels I’ve read recently, and even thought this is somewhere between children’s and YA, it had some seriously creepy moments. The scene of Bod is in his cradle listening to Jack going through the house gave me goose-bumps.
I’m probably one of the only fantasy fans out there who has never read The Graveyard Book, so I’ll just say that it’s about a 2-year-old orphan boy who’s adopted by the ghosts and other creatures of an old graveyard. The story has just the right amount of the eerie, the funny, the touching and the adventurous. To pack so much is such a small book and at the same time make it so unpretentious (almost modest) says a lot about Gaiman’s abilities.
It also achieves that most elusive goal of being a children’s book with a moral that’s not force-fed down our throats.
It’s not exactly a coming of age book, but every chapter works like an episode of Bod’s life that will mold him into what he’ll become. It left me with the same bitter-sweet feeling I get with stories about kids making their way into the world and parents coming to terms with it, hoping the tools they gave them will be enough.
Dear Mr. Gaiman, can we have a book just about Bod’s guardian, Silas?
This was only my second Gaiman, and the first one written by him alone. What should I go for next? American Gods? Anansi Boys?