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Re: THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

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  • Margaret L. Carter
    I thought it was excellent, but then, as a Neil Gaiman book, how could it be otherwise? It turned out to be more somber than I would have expected from the
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 19, 2008
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      I thought it was excellent, but then, as a Neil Gaiman book, how could
      it be otherwise? <G> It turned out to be more somber than I would have
      expected from the rather whimsical-sounding premise, though. Here's the
      draft of the mini-review that will appear in my November newsletter,
      which can be subscribed to at:
      http://groups.yahoo.com/group/margaretlcartersnewsfromthecrypt

      I don't consider any of these comments spoiler-level, but just in case
      ---


      SPOILER SPACE


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      SPOILER SPACE



      THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, by Neil Gaiman. Openly a homage to Kipling's JUNGLE
      BOOK, this novel begins with a toddler's accidental escape from the man
      who has just murdered his family. The little boy wanders into a nearby
      historic cemetery, where the ghost of his mother begs the resident
      spirits to protect her son. Given the name Nobody Owens, Bod for short,
      he is brought up by ghosts instead of wolves and mentored by, instead
      of a bear, a vampire. Bod later also gets tutored by a female werewolf.
      He learns spectral skills such as Fading and has adventurous encounters
      with ghouls, night-gaunts, the spirit of a young witch, and a
      numinously terrible entity that guards an ancient burial mound, among
      other creatures. Venturing into the outside world, he clashes with a
      greedy antique shop owner and a pair of school bullies. All the while,
      the assassin who slaughtered his family hunts for Bod to finish the
      murderous mission in order to block the fulfillment of a prophecy
      (which, in keeping with authentic folklore tradition, would never have
      come to pass if the assassin hadn't killed Bod's parents and thereby
      driven him to take refuge in the graveyard to begin with). The book's
      conclusion, when Bod stands at the threshold between adolescence and
      adulthood, is satisfying yet deeply melancholy. If you've read any of
      Gaiman's other work, you don't need me to tell you not to miss this
      wonderful story.

      Margaret L. Carter (www.margaretlcarter.com)
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