Don't you just love a great story well told?
Gaiman's strength as a writer is coming up with completely unique settings or to be more blunt, plain ol' weird settings.
Am I the only one here who finds Gaiman stories just too strange for words? I'll give him an "O" for originality but otherwise between the terror and the sweetness is precious little space to put yourself in the shoes of the character since the situation is so far removed from reality. Odd, I often find many negative reviews of what are good books and many people highly recommend this author of a book about a child in given the "freedom of the graveyard." There is good comedy, suspense, and clever writing but Gaiman's settings make many of the most far out science fiction or fantasy book settings seem realistic. It is a cute little story but certainly not for young kids. (A ghoul gate, evil serpent guardians, murders.) I'd never read this to a small child.
Having read all so many rave reviews I suppose I set my expectations to high (since some really good writing gets panned by reader reviews) He isn't a BAD writer, but a reader should be able to imagine and explain (at least a bit) but his thing for very odd settings is not entertaining. Finally a major character's actions and abilities are never really explained. It's obvious that particular character was more like a necessary plot device. I don't mean to be the "party-pooper" but I see an emperor with no clothes and while this WASN'T a BAD book I can, in no WAY see it getting FIVE whole STARS in even one review. (I don't mean to offend Gaiman lovers though, there's just no accounting for tastes) Still, so many books GREAT BOOKS that get SO LITTLE public response that one can't help wonder if Gaiman has an entire team of friends, family and neighbors writing nice things about his book to boost his stats.
I absolutely loved this book! The story is wonderful and Neil Gaiman is a great narrator, I loved his accent. Listened to this twice in a row, couldn't get enough. You won't be disappointed.
Really enjoyed this book. It moved along at a good pace, kept my attention. The characters were so varied and interesting to watch their interaction.
I am a fan of Gaimans work and this did not disapoint. Hearing an author read their own work is a joy to me and Gaiman is one of the best at it. It is a bit adult for the younger edge of the young adult fiction but nicely dark for 12 and over set.
When I was a kid, there were a few books that shone a new light on the world for me, made it seem that anything was possible, made me want to tell stories of my own. For kids growing up now, this will be one of those books. An adult reader won't be disappointed either. This may be Gaiman's best so far.
The recording was excellent -- Gaiman is always the best reader of his own work -- but for one small flaw: the music between chapters remained a bit too loud as the voice resumed, so that the words are hard to make out for about the first minute of each chapter.
It may be listed as a kid's book, but it was a thoroughly enjoyable listen as an adult. Well thought out and written, the story revealed itself at an excellent pace. And, Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job telling the story. He's great to listen to - good pacing, good voices, not over the top or bland.
The beginning was far to dark and scary for my 4 younger children (ages 2-9) but the rest of the book was too bland for my 12 year old or myself. It was like Dean Koontz wrote a few sections in a Casper the Friendly Ghost book. I think it would have been a fine children's story if it omitted the details about the murders in the beginning. Do kids really need to visualize where the bodies were? And the section about the indigo man was pretty dark for middle readers, IMHO.
I have mixed feelings about Neil Gaiman's children/young adult fiction, but "Graveyard" was a winner. "Coraline" was charming and creepy, but I found "Stardust's" sex scenes plain inappropriate, especially for that genre. (Gaiman's occasional sliding into graphic coarseness is the reason why I avoid his adult fiction altogether.) He is a skilful storyteller, though, and I took a chance on "The Graveyard Book." I was very pleased by both the smoothness of the plot, the enjoyable characterization, and some well paced surprises (one of which at least did take me completely by surprise). And it was genuinely older kid/young adult friendly with no inappropriate scenes in my opinion; the scary bits were handled with tact and discreet detail hinted but not spelled out whenever something violent or scary was occuring. Gaiman's own reading style is one I find delightful and so "Graveyard" is a risk that paid off in full for me.