Review of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Some books you can read over and over without tiring of them. Others you return to as old friends, discovering fresh nuances you missed the first time around. And when you leave a gap of ten years between readings? Yeah, that’s where I found myself. When I spotted the tenth-anniversary edition on the shelves, my brain told me it was time to add the book to my collection (having borrowed it the first time around). I didn’t expect ten years to make a difference (or my memory to fail me so completely), but that’s why Mr. Gaiman’s hailed as such a genius wordsmith, isn’t it?

One thought remained solid: the conviction that EVERYONE – young and old – needs to read this book. Why it languishes, forgotten, in the Young Readers section is beyond me. Yes, of course, there’s that minor detail of Bod’s age. But the emotion and shading and subtlety of the story? There’s so much contained within the words and characters, and everyone will take something different away. No need to draw broad strokes; Mr. Gaiman conveys everything you need with the tiniest suggestions. You understand Silas, Ms. Lupescu, even Liza within a few moments. The emotion reaches into you, and you want to argue with the outcomes, even as you understand the motivations. It’s so beautifully REAL – for a tale of ghosts and graveyards.

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