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The Graveyard Book | [Neil Gaiman]

The Graveyard Book

Why we think it’s a great listen: Gaiman’s not just an award-winning author, but a narrator who earns rave reviews – and fields requests from other authors to perform their books, too! Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead....
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Publisher's Summary

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead.

There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family.

Beloved master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel for the audience that embraced his New York Times best-selling modern classic Coraline. Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is sure to enthrall readers of all ages.

Music arrangement of "Danse Macabre" copyright 2008 by Béla Fleck and Ben Sollee, Fleck Music (BMI), admin. by Bug Music.

©2008 Neil Gaiman; (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers

What the Critics Say

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2009
  • Newbery Medal winner, 2009

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

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  •  
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 10-12-09
    Guillermo Rochester Hills, MI, United States 10-12-09 Member Since 2007
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    "Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart"

    I just put my finger on why I find Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book and Neverwhere so enchanting. As a kid (roughly age 10 to 13) I used to love reading books like the Sword of Shanara, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Light, Elric of Melnibone, Chronicles of Amber, Grey Mouser and Fafhard, The Dragon and the George, The Compleat Enchanter, etc. They were books of a different world with with rules of magic I could believe were real. They had not only villains and heroes, children who became men, and powers discovered, but they made me feel like I could be part of battles between order and chaos, mages and warriors, gods and men, monsters and me.

    Somewhere along the line in the thirty years that followed I gradually lost the desire or will to escape the rules of nature. I gradually lost my passion for fantasy and got drawn more to hard science fiction or murder mysteries or at least stories with a hard basis on reality, even if a reality poetically described.

    When I hear Neil Gaiman's books, however, I am drawn all the way back, full force, into a world of all new rules. Everything becomes possible, and it all feels real.

    I noticed that most of the negative reviews for this book are by people who bought it for their small children. This book is no more for small children than a Tolkien book would be. What it is, however, is for grown ups who miss the magic of childhood.

    This book is magical.

    94 of 95 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paula A Ford Beautiful Mountains of Tennessee 12-13-09
    Paula A Ford Beautiful Mountains of Tennessee 12-13-09 Member Since 2009

    I am an artist who paints romantic landscapes in soft pastels.

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    "Delightful!"

    I bought this around Halloween for me, a 50+ lady. I wanted something spooky, but not really scary and this was just what I was looking for. It was delightful and fun and I just loved the story. AAAAA++++++ Just wonderful!!

    30 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lisa Portland , ME, USA 10-01-08
    Lisa Portland , ME, USA 10-01-08 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "This is Gaiman's best!"


    I devoured it like candy!! And Gaimen's narration has gotten so great. Really, really, great! I highly recommend this book for adults and those children who's parents trust them with a wee bit of violence and horror. Its a coming of age but one that beautifully and artfully acknowledges that the past,even the distant past, is a powerful force of life all around us, that those who walked before us could be closer then they seem, and they might be loving and sympathetic. I listened to the book straight through, in one sitting, I couldn't help it!

    87 of 93 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Stokes Dallas TX 03-19-10
    J. Stokes Dallas TX 03-19-10 Member Since 2008

    WordyMedusa

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    "A fun listen for tweens and up"

    This book has a lot of charm; it keeps you interested through storyline and a terrific narrator. I wrote for "tweens and up" because there are a couple of violent parts that you only understand by "reading between the lines" My 13 y.o. would get it but my 8 y.o. would be lost - which is okay because if my 8 y.o. understood what was happening, he wouldn't sleep in his own bed for a month!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 05-06-09
    Sara P. Southern Arizona 05-06-09 Member Since 2006
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    "Takes the gloom out of lugubrious"

    I enjoyed this book very much. It is well written, interesting and the author's use of language gives an extra kick, like an elusive spice in a soup.

    To be honest I almost turned it off after the first couple of minutes, but don't want to spoil. Let us just say that the story cannot take place without this bit, just struck a tad close to home for me.

    Luckily I was driving mach 80 down the interstate and couldn't fiddle with my iPod at the time. I am now delighted that fate compelled me wait a couple of minutes, otherwise I would have missed out.

    The story is a good one and has a very original twist.

    Insofar as it goes as an audio book, it is fantastic. This is a book that begs to be read aloud and comes alive in the most marvelous way. The reader does a splendid job.

    Now, as an aside - my husband recently ran out of shaving soap. As matter of fact, the week after I finished listening to this book. He ran up to Target to get some shaving soap. He came home with a bottle of "Every Man Jack" saving soap. I actually got chills, I was scared to pieces and had to tell myself it would be silly to make him take it back.
    I didn't think the book all that scary, wrong. The story weaves its way into your psyche and finds a place to live (always the mark of an exceptionally fine piece of literature).

    All in all, definitely a top drawer listen!

    29 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 10-09-08
    Richard Pembroke Pines, FL, United States 10-09-08 Member Since 2006
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    "Pure Fantasy"

    I rated this book a five but I should state that this book is targeted toward tweens or young teens. I believe there is too much murder and scary stuff for younger than that. As for older than that, this is a trip down the dark side of the rabbit hole. I enjoyed the book though and I am 68 years old. You have to suspend your disbelief no matter your age. The author is so talented and the narrator so perfect that I got a kick out of the book enjoying the fact that it is such a stretch of the imagination. I don't usually enjoy music during a reading but the playing of a variation of the Sherlock Holmes theme was perfect in this book and added to the fun. If you like fantasy then this is the book for you.

    41 of 45 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 10-26-10
    Robert Yamhill, OR, United States 10-26-10 Member Since 2009

    Hey Audible, don't raise prices and I promise to buy lots more books.

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    "Short, Simple, Sweet: a wonderful book"

    I could not call this a great book but easily I rate it a wonderful one. Some of the reviewers commented on the violence. I abhor violence and one of the reasons I liked the book so much had to do with its minimal violence. The description of a violent act in the very beginning leaves more to the reader's imagination than to the words of the narrator. The hero, Bod is totally nonviolent. He never threatens and hardly even defends. He allows the villains to do themselves in. Scary goules and ghosts? I think not. They are pretty much all loving and caring souls.

    Throughout the book I considered whether this was a book for children. As an adult, I certainly enjoyed it and believe many children would also. Hansel and Gretel now that's violent and horrific. Little Red Riding Hood? That's perverted and violent. None of that here... just a delightful story in which good completely triumphs over evil... or better yet, evil does-in evil. And to top it all off, the narration was excellent.

    Star-wise I find the book difficult to rate. For what it is I would rate the book 5 stars. Compared to all books in general maybe only 4. In Netflix, 4 stars means "I really liked it." That settles it.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim TEMECULA, CA, United States 12-14-09
    Tim TEMECULA, CA, United States 12-14-09 Member Since 2003
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    "Another Superb Gaiman Book"

    I have come a little late to the whole Gaiman thing. I tripped over his book Neverwhere and that led me to this. It's positioned as a children's story but the funny,dark driven and enormously likable story makes it a must-hear for anybody. The fact that Gaiman is such a brilliant performer of his own work compounds the effect. Gaiman creates a wonderful completely credible alternate reality which sits just behind the cemetery fence.Although I now live in the US I was raised in London and that perhaps prejudices me towards this author who is so quintessentially Brit. If you are new to Gaiman then get this book and get Neverwhere at the same time. You will then spend many more hours than you need to sitting in your car parked on your driveway not wanting to leave the world he weaves around you. If you already know Gaimin and haven't yet enjoyed this book...what are you waiting for?

    13 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cora Judd California 10-14-08
    Cora Judd California 10-14-08 Member Since 2007
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    "If there are any gods in heaven..."

    ...then there will be a sequel.

    The Graveyard Book is an expansion of Gaiman's own short story, The Witch's Headstone, and a super fun read. The story has Gaiman's trademark other world elements but the comparison ends there.

    Bod (Nobody Owens) is an orphaned boy raised by the permanent inhabitants of an old English graveyard. His quiet, anonymous little life is actually something very different. Discovering who he is is the spark for his outrageous adventures.

    I gathered (from the reviews) that this was intended for more literate teens. That won't preclude a more mature lover of a good yarn from getting carried away with Bod's darkish adventures. There's no Freddy Kruger nonsense or Stephen King hauntings here -- it's delightfully different.

    Also, Gaiman reads this himself and you don't have to pay extra for that!!

    18 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Danzer Indianapolis 09-17-09
    Danzer Indianapolis 09-17-09 Member Since 2001

    Danz

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    "Parents should listen first"

    This is a great book and wonderfully read (by the author?). HOWEVER... parents might want to listen to it first. The first scene is, well, to put it bluntly, the narrative of a professional murderer stabbing to death two parents and a little girl. It's pretty violent. The story really starts with the second scene, where the baby is "adopted" by ghosts in the graveyard, and if you think the scene of murder will bother your child overmuch, you can probably just skip right over it without losing much plot.

    But this is a very good book, and the reader is really, really good, especially with the children's voices.

    17 of 19 people found this review helpful
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