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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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Paula A Ford
  • Beautiful Adirondack Mountains of Upstate NY
  • 12-13-09


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!!

45 of 45 people found this review helpful

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  • Guillermo
  • Rochester Hills, MI, United States
  • 10-12-09

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.

128 of 130 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lisa
  • Portland , ME, USA
  • 10-01-08

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!

90 of 96 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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!

33 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

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!

10 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tim
  • San Diego, CA
  • 12-14-09

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?

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Richard
  • Pembroke Pines, FL, United States
  • 10-09-08

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.

45 of 50 people found this review helpful

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  • Ryan
  • CA, United States
  • 07-07-13

Made me wish I had a haunted graveyard family!

A lighthearted tale about an orphaned baby who is adopted and raised by the supernatural inhabitants of a graveyard.

When a secret, occult group learns that a child will spell their doom, they seek to eliminate said child. Though they dispatch the infant's family, through a series of events, the baby boy is found by the spiritual (deceased) inhabitants of an old, local cemetery.

He is quickly adopted and protected by the graveyard folk. They protect him from the faction that took his natural family while raising and loving him as if they were his living, breathing kin.

This book invites you to become ensconced in the hamlet where your adopted parents are a kindly, husband-and-wife, Victorian ghost couple, your guardian is an ancient, reformed vampire, your tutor is a matronly werewolf, and your neighborhood is a venerable graveyard with a quaint community of ghosts from here, there, and then. The graveyard's magic keeps you hidden from those who would do you harm, and you must remain until safe. But in the meantime, you find your hearth and heart among the macabre.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Kim
  • Spokane, WA, United States
  • 11-14-11

Unique and refreshing

I really enjoyed this one - light, fun, and just gruesome enough to keep me entertained. This would be a great book for older kids/teens and something the family could listen to together as long as nobody is too squeamish. Reminds me of the movie Beetlejuice - this would be a great Tim Burton movie.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Typical Gaiman = one of my favorite books

I really love Neil Gaiman's narrative books. This is one of my favorites next to Stardust and Neverwhere. In fact this probably makes the Top 20 list of over 600 books I have listened to. I have been a Audible member since 1996.

The best part of the book is that it is narrated superbly by the author himself. You will NOT be disappointed. A must listen.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful