I listen to audiobooks on my morning run, so stories I like are ones that are entertaining enough to make me want to get out of bed at 6am.
I picked this up during one of Audible's "at the moment" sales - the ones that show up randomly when you sign in and at first, once I'd purchased it and realized it was a children's book I almost didn't listen to it.
But I'm so glad I did. So well written with wonderful characters and great descriptive settings. An entirely original idea, and every time I stopped listening, I couldn't wait to get back to the story to hear what happened next. Bod, the main character was entertaining, believable, with a great voice, as was his guardian Silas. There was no overblown sentimentality here, no underdevelopment either, just good storytelling.
Gaiman himself as the narrator was wonderful to listen to. His pacing, his tone were both wonderful and I found myself getting lost in the story and his voice.
Even if children's books aren't your preference, I highly recommend this one, it will leave you with warm fuzzies.
The Graveyard Book (Audiobook) tells the story of a small boy who is spirited away by a handful of graveyard-inhabiting ghosts on the night of his family's murder, and his ensuing experiences growing up in these unorthodox circumstances.
Like many of Gaiman's works (Stardust & American Gods to name a couple) the narrative comprises a wonderful blend of real world relationships and fantastical themes. Many of the interactions between the boy and the other denizens of the novel (living or dead) effectively illustrate connections that any child will make growing up. The boy's posthumous guardians act and feel like true family members for him, rather than the cliched collection of evil ravening ghouls that we might have come to expect from a children's novel set in a Graveyard (although I should mention that the book does have ravening ghouls in it too!).Your typical Goosebumps (TM) novel this isn't, folks.
The audio is wonderfully performed/voiced by Gaiman, who has proven in this & other recitations that he is not simply a great writer, but a decent reader too. I particularly enjoyed the rough voices of the afore-mentioned ghouls, who sound to me like they just stepped off the docks of an old town somewhere in England.. although probably a very genteel town, the book being fairly suitable for younger listeners, despite the grim opening scenes.
If I have any nit-picking to do about this book it would be that there is always a certain vagueness about the fantastical elements within Gaiman's stories. This is of course to be expected to some extent, as the fantastical will, and probably should always be at least slightly inexplicable, but I found myself on several occasions hungering for more information on the why or how of things. Why are the ghosts waiting around in the graveyard? How is it that they are so different from the ghouls? Many questions like these are never explicitly answered within the book, but I expect the book would probably be twice as long if it did enter into these details.
For those of you looking for the short version of this review: The Graveyard Book is a well-told story of some of the trials, tribulations, and triumphs that any kid might experience growing up, effectively wrapped in an enthralling package of fantastical adventures that will keep any listener's ears following it through to the finish, almost regardless of the age of said ears. Highly recommended.
This is the book that made me renew my membership with Audible!
It's a slightly dark tale of a baby who grows up with quite a different life than the one most children get. After all - he is growing up in a graveyard with corpses as his parents and a vampire as his guardian. Who are the men Jack? And why are they so eager to kill the boy? This book takes many twists and turns, and although slow moving at the start, is an entertaining tale with a good overall plot. Neil Gaiman's voice is perfect for narration, and I loved that he is the author of the book as well.
All of them
However, I could have done without the silly irritating music. If the music had not been louder than the reading, it would not have been so bad.
How can a toddler be adopted by a whole graveyard and have a wonderful childhood? Neil Gaiman can show it to us. Very well read and full of inventiveness, though a bit weak in the finale. I recommend it.
This was wonderful to listen to, as Neil Gaiman narrated the book himself. I always enjoy his writing, and this was no exception. It's creative and entertaining in a quirky way.
This is a fun and slightly spooky (but not in a nasty way) book that I really really enjoyed. In fact, my entire house was cleaned while I listened to this (great motivation). I wouldn't give this one to kids under about 10 years old, but it really is a charming book for those who know it is fully fiction. Because it is a young adult book it has one main story, which makes it easy listening. I really recommend this book and will be purchasing others by the same author now.
The narration was so very good that I didn't even notice it and was engrossed in the story. Well done Neil on both the writing and reading!!!!
This is a very enjoyable plot despite being set in such a dark location. All facits of our nature are explored as the young 'Bod' grows and explores not only his suroundings but his own character. Trying to find his rightful place in such an unusual environment with strange (deceased) characters as his guides, 'Bod' is fleshed out by the colourful and graphic writing style used by this author. The audio is good and Neil Gaiman brings you into the story with his easy reading style.
Those of who frequent Audible, know full well the importance of a good reader. A clunky performance can ruin a terrific book, while a great one can bring a whole cast of characters to life. I know that I myself have selected books solely based on who the narrator was (Simon Vance, look him up). So it’s obvious why writers aren’t often selected to read their own work. Because they write! They’re not performers, and most aren’t expected to be. If you put so much effort into writing an enthralling story, you don’t want to have the whole thing ruined simply because you didn’t take elocution lessons as a child.
Thus my raised eyebrow at the fact Mr. Gaiman chose to tell his own tale. Was it a marketing gimmick? Was it a writers’ ego getting in the way of his good sense?
The truth is simply this. Neil Gaiman is a storyteller.
It is such a treat to hear a writer read the story in the way that it obviously plays out in his own dark and brilliant mind. To hear the voices of the characters they way he wants you to hear them. Gaiman’s pacing is great and his tone is deep, eerie and strangely comforting. If fact it suits the story perfectly.
I have never read the Jungle Book, so I don’t know how much of Bod’s journey mimics Mowgli’s or how much Gaiman channels Kipling. But I can tell you it is an amazing story in its own right, the sort of mysterious and scary story that I wanted to have when I was a child.
This is a rare opportunity audiobook fans; to hear a tale from the creators own lips and actually enjoy it.
I thoroughly enjoyed listening to this on vacation with my girlfriend. The story is great and it really comes to life with narration of Neil Gaiman, I recommend this to anyone.