Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean
My rating: 5 of 5
Nobody Owens (Bod for short) has a life that is not quite ordinary. After the murder of his family and his own near miss with death, Bod moves in . . . to the graveyard. Mr. and Mrs. Owens have been dead for years, yet they take Bod in to raise as their own child, with the help of his new guardian, the dark and mysterious Silas.
This book is an unexpected treasure. Neil Gaiman is an amazing author, but most of his works are distinctly adult. The Graveyard Book is deep and complex enough to be enjoyed by grown-ups, yet is innocent enough to be appropriate for children. It is a heartwarming story, artfully enhanced by delicious touches of spine-tingling otherness.
In particular, I appreciate Gaiman’s use of words. He has an art of choosing the precise phrasing that not only expresses his technical intent, but that also evokes the flavor of that intent. In addition, he has a great ability to say things without ever actually saying them–for instance, I don’t believe he ever states that Silas is a vampire, yet the impression is there from the beginning and is only reinforced over time. This book is a treat to read, combining elements of mystery, history, suspense, and fantasy into a unique story that I highly recommend.