Labels: Book Review
Everyone knows who Neil Gaiman is right? He is probably the single most popular children's author right now and it only costs a measly forty-five thousand dollars for him to come speak at your library. He has millions of actual fans following him around like he's Brad Pitt which is unheard of (authors normally don't enjoy that sort of celebrity status).
All that, and I really can't finish a book of his to save my life. Jim liked his book Coraline, which you may have heard of since Tim Burton made a movie out of it.
However, on the recommendation of a friend, I decided to give The Graveyard Book a fighting chance. I'll be the first to admit that Neil Gaiman possesses supernatural creative abilities and he kind of deserves his popularity. That man can write a sentence like no other, but I cannot live on beautiful sentences alone... I need story and plot dangit, and believe it or not, The Graveyard Book has both (even if it took me a month to figure that out).
The book started out kind of scary and I'm not talking about graveyards here at all, as the story is about a little boy who's family is murdered by a super creepy guy that's on the same shudder-worthy level as the blue gloved agents in Firefly. The little boy is a baby when this happens, and he wanders innocently into a graveyard where the ghosts take him in, adopt him and protect him from super-scary-creepy guy. As long as he stays in the graveyard, he's safe. He's a pretty awesomely cool little kid, but of course he eventually goes out of the graveyard because this is a book afterall and no one does the boring thing in books. Tension and conflict ramps up as he grows up and eventually faces all his problems head on. Once I got past my prejudice that the book was going to be bad, I actually consumed it with wholehearted enthusiasm. This is the type of book Jamie will read and probably adore as soon as he's old enough. One, he's not nearly a wimpy as his mother when it comes to suspense, and two, the kid in the book is exactly the sort of kid you want your kids reading about.
I give it one thumbs up and a partial thumb up. It's beautifully written, I love the characters and the story is first rate, but it is still prone to the random wanderings of aren't-I-a-super-creative-and-brilliant-childrens-book-that-smart-and-edgy-parents-love-to-nod-their-heads-in-superiority-about.
Posted by Ez at 10:28 AM