Neil Gaiman “The Graveyard Book”

Illustrator: Chris Riddell

Now what made me choose this book out of all the books at the local library? Was it the acclaimed author? Was it the genre? Was it the need to quickly choose something on top of three other books and make it to the register before the library closed? The answer is – all of the aforementioned and Chris Riddell. I know what some claim: people who pick books based on covers or pictures inside the books, do not fully appreciate fine literature. Well, let me tell you, often great illustrators give the finishing touch to an already great book, and it happens to compliment the plot and the characters.

The protagonist of the story is a litte child whose family has just been murdered by Jack. In the midst of the act the child was elsewhere and accidentally found his way to the nearby graveyard where he meets helpful ghosts (the Owens). The ghosts of his own family ask the Owens to save his child from the murderer. The child is saved by the ghosts and by a peculiar man named Silas who will later become his guardian. The child receives a name – Nobody Owens and will have to live in the graveyard invisible to normal humans. Growing up in the graveyard is not easy, you cannot interract or talk to living creatures. Over the years however Nobody meets a human girl Scarlett (who can see him), friendly ghosts, dangerous ghouls and other strange creatures. He also finds out what really happened to his family and wants revenge. To accomplish that he infiltrates to the human world and starts going to school. He soon learns that the human world is way more unusual than he thought.

A book written for children does not necessarily mean that it shouldn’t be read by adults. A touch of macabre, bit of horror and handful of emotions make “The Graveyard Book“ live up to its title. And the beautiful illustrations only make the plot more enjoyable. Is this my new favorite book? No. Is this one of my favourites for its dark undertone in genre and writing style and choice of characters? Yes.


Check from the e-catalogue ESTER.

Birgit Kirsipuu
Sääse branch library

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