Tag Archives: The Graveyard Book

Graveyard Book Winner!

First, I want to thank everyone who entered this contest, it was my most popular giveaway to date. Its always great seeing the wide range of fans for an author like Neil Gaiman having media is nearly every format available. If he comes out with a music-cd next, I don’t think I’ll be surprised. =)

The Winner of the Graveyard Book goes to

Josette of Books Love Me!


The Graveyard Book Giveaway

This is just a quickie reminder that the last day to sign up for a copy of The Graveyard Book is this Saturday the 18th. You can check out my post here for contest rules.

The Graveyard Book – Review

Fans of Rudard Kipling’s Jungle Book and Harry Potter will find many similarities between these three titles. The Jungle Book, along with Neil Gaiman watching his son bike through a graveyard was the primary inspiration for this moody and dark children’s book about an orphaned boy being raised by a most peculiar crowd.

First line: There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.


Starting out similar to Harry Potter, the story begins with a family being murdered in the dead of night by a man Jack. The only survivor of the killings was a young toddler who had managed to crawl out of his crib and sneak out the door and into the cemetery across the street. Through some form of luck, the ghosts residing of the buried dead in the graveyard took in this boy, and defended him from the killer. Like the Jungle Book, Bod, is raised with ghosts and learns how to live and act among the ghosts as they do. The story progresses though 8 chapters. In each chapter Bod Owens, short of Nobody, is older by two years. He has a not so typical childhood in the graveyard, learning to read and write from ghosts, and eventually learning about his past.

The book is full of mystery and suspense, but is also sprinkled with witty and unexpected humor. The main characters are Bod, and his guardian Silas, a brooding man who is neither living nor dead, but can easily walk between both worlds. I often forgot it was a children’s book, there being many words I had to stop and look up in the dictionary, as well as a number of references to literary characters throughout the ages. That is all a part of Neil Gaiman’s charm in his written work. He does extensive research when writing, and it yet it seeps out in his work very casually, as if he just knows everything about everything and can make it funny through some kind of pun. My complaint is that the characters seemed a little stale and unchanging, but then, how much can you expect a ghost to change? Maybe they were set to stay the same to reflect the changes in Bod over the years?

I still place Coraline as my favorite children’s book of Neil Gaiman, and am utterly undecided in terms of which novel to adore. Neverwhere was the first creation of his that I read. I read American Gods for the majority of a 10 hour drive up from Las Vegas and Anansi Boys had me laughing constantly as I read on the train to work.

For anyone interested in buying this book, apparently it does not want to stay on the bookshelves of the big chain bookstores (its either sold out, or filed away somewhere offbeat) Amazon has marked-down the cost of the book on their website.


If you haven’t already, please check out my giveaway post for a copy of The Graveyard Book, and the recap for a night with Neil Gaiman, stop 6 of his 9 city book tour.

Find this book at your local library

Buy this book from Amazon


The Graveyard Book
by Neil Gaiman
HarperCollins, 2008
320 pages

Neil Gaiman Reading Recap + The Graveyard Book Giveaway

Neil Gaiman read chapter 5 and the Interlude of The Graveyard Book to 600 lucky audience members at Gunn High School Saturday night. The event was cosponsored by Kepler’s Books Inc. (the best Independent Bookstore south of San Francisco) and the Palo Alto Library. The stage was wonderfully and theatrically decorated with tombstones of characters from the book, as well as a screen with an image of an eerie graveyard. There was a plush leather seat in the middle of stage complete with one reading lamp, one stuffed raven and two water bottles.

The Graveyard Book
Neil read for about 40 minutes (he has the best reading voice, its deep, it’s soothing, it has a British accent…). Then there was a raffle for a Coraline audio CD (I did not win). Then there was a short intermission. There was a Q & A which is always fun and interesting. While waiting in line, the audience wrote questions on index cards, this giant stack of index cards was then handed to Neil, as he flipped through them on the stage answered questions. Most of the questions he answered were about The Graveyard Book. There is one sentence in the book that is not on the audio cd. Chapter 6 had to be completely re-written because it did not match the tone of the rest of the book, and he wrote chapter 4 first, before working on the other chapters of the book. His next book to be released will be called Crazy Hair, and it is also a children’s book.

After the Q & A we were surprised with a couple of short movie clips. The first being a behind the scenes trailer of the Coraline movie. Its stop-animation in 3-D, and it is going to be fantastic. It should be coming out in theaters sometime this year. We also saw snippets from 4 scenes of Coraline. Palo Alto was the third audience to view these clips. Neil requested that no one You Tube the clips, but I doubt anyone really listened. Lastly, Neil read to us a poem that he had written for Tori Amos when she was pregnant with her baby girl. It is a beautiful poem, and reminded me of All The Places You Will Go by Dr. Seuss. I think this poem will also be published at some point in 2009.

Since Neil had broken his finger in China, he did not stay after the reading to individually sign books for the 600 audience members. I had already pre-ordered The Graveyard Book and was hoping he would sign it Happy Birthday Nari, but no such luck. Having a giant school-girl crush on him, I ended up buying a second signed copy of the book. =) Luckily for all my loyal readers, that means I will be giving away my spare copy of The Graveyard Book!!

Rules: All you have to do is comment on this post with your favorite Neil Gaiman creation (movie, comic book, novel, picture book, etc). I’ll announce the winner on October 20th, so make sure you get in your entries before midnight on October 19th. . Extra entries if you post about this entry on your blog or website.

The best birthday present

Is coming home and finding two packages in the mail filled with books!!

I pre-ordered Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, and it arrived just one day after my birthday, and just in time because he is doing a couple of readings in the Bay Area this week. He was in San Fransisco last night and will be in Palo Alto tonight. This book will be the third book of his that I have signed. Despite turning 25 (apparently a landmark birthday) I’m much much much more excited about seeing Neil Gaiman speak. Most people go to concerts, I go to author talks.

The Graveyard Book is a children’s book, but then, when is any Neil Gaiman children’s book just for kids? He’s said that Coraline has given adults nightmares. Its a very thick book, but is also filled with illustrations. I may have to put a moratorium on my 1-book-at-a-time routine and start doubling up on my reading again.

I will definitely post highlights from the event tonight, but I’m sure there will already be a number of YouTube movies of the same event up before Neil Gaiman has even finished signing his last book.

The Graveyard Book