I enjoyed listening to Neil Gaiman read his own novel. Sometimes having the author narrate his or her own work is the kiss of death for a book, but Mr. Gaiman is a lively and talented reader. This book is aimed at a slightly younger audience (although it is surprisingly morbid in parts) so it's not a particularly complex story, but it is well-paced, with an interesting overall concept (orphaned mortal child is raised by spirits in a graveyard). I'd recommend it for anyone who isn't too easily put off by mildly gory/scary bits and is looking for an entertaining, quick listen.
This book was amazing! Neil Gaiman is an excellent writer and narrator. He can make each voice original to each character, and the story itself is completely mesmerizing! One you start listening you'll be hook. But it can be a bit strange and somewhat dark in places. Best keep it for kids no younger than five. But otherwise it is a must read!! If you loved Coraline then you'll love this too!!!
I love this book! It was fantastically written and very imaginative. I reccomend it for young adults and adults who enjoy reading such as Harry Potter. I can not rave enough about it.
My kids age 8, 10, and 12, wife (not giving age), and I all enjoyed The Graveyard Book. Perfect for listening together on our long drive, except that we spent a few minutes in the driveway each time we reached our destination, unable to stop listening. Gaiman's deft presentation kept all ages on the edge of our seats without being too intense for even the youngest listeners.
When I saw that this book was narrated by the author I almost didn't bother to listen to it. I've heard too often the horrible results of authors who think, "Because I wrote it, I can read it." This is not the case with Mr. Gaiman. He was as good a narrator as I've ever heard and better than many.
The subject material was superbly handled. There were so many places the author could have gotten off balance and spoiled the result, but he kept is all perfectly balanced. We had ghosts, and werewolves, and vampires, and ghouls, and humans and yet there were no excesses. There was nothing "fantastic" about any of them. Never was I attracted to a character (and I was attracted to all the characters) because of what he was, but because of who he was. The ending could have been so easily butchered, as so many are, but ending balanced the sad with the hopeful. What a wonderful book.
Of all of the Gaiman I have read, this was the least captivating. Not a bad story, but lacking the imagination and depth of characters and plot i have come to appreciate. Granted this was apparently written for a younger audience, it still felt academic in comparison to works like Neverwhere and Stardust. I listened to this 10 min after finishing American Gods, a masterwork of the author, and could not get over the shallow characters or tepid plot. Maybe im growing up, but I would argue this is the least successful work to date (avail here).
This book was fun for so many reasons. As weird as it may seem, the music interludes were super cool tying the different sections together.
Gaiman of course is a master writer, and it turns out a great narrator as well. The book is full of classic horror character types, some cast in a different light. Sections that take Bod to another dimension really give a feeling of great expanses in space and time. I found myself through the whole book feeling outside of time, meaning the exact setting of the story seems to be shrouded in obscurity (for a great effect), adding to the timeless nature of the dead.
I've read and listened to many of Gaiman's novels both for adults and children and I have to rank "The Graveyard Book" amongst my favorites. First, the episodic style of the novel makes each chapter, save the last two, little vignettes in and of themselves. The listener is vaulted into a complete world that they discover along side of protagonist, Nobody Owens. And just as a child does not question the habits of their parent at first, we do not question that Bod wears a grey sheet, or can move through solid objects. And just as a child learns to question and challenge their parents, we begin to question Bods origins as he does. But I think the reason I most like this book is because Bod does not always get what he wants: a lesson not often learned by children these days.
Neil Gaiman's reading of his own novel is well acted; he makes clear choices for each of his character's voices. The story is as dark and imaginative as ever. If you liked Coraline or Neverwhere, both coming of age stories; both about how powerful children really can be, you will love this book!