Up until this year, the only Neil Gaiman book I had ever read was Coraline (featured in an earlier post). While I loved it, and highly recommend that creepy little story, I felt no inclination to read his other books. Over time, though, my interest was piqued as I started hearing nothing but high praise about his body of work from several different people. I eventually decided to do a bit of research and see if he had written any other stories I might want to get my grubby little hands on.
I looked over his Wikipedia page, as you do when you’re not quite sure what reading path to take with an author you’re only vaguely familiar with, and I came across The Graveyard Book. That title alone was enough to fan the flames of my curiosity; I adore cemeteries and all things morbid.
The Graveyard Book was a wonderful reading experience. Short and sweet, like a late afternoon cone of Sweet Cream ice cream from Marble Slab after a long day at work, The Graveyard Book was a delightful adventure set in a graveyard, with personable ghosts, a boisterous witch, the appropriate number of Jacks, and a boy who is but isn’t really there. Here’s one of the (many) parts that I loved:
“You might think – and if you did, you would be right – that Mr. Owens should not have taken on so at seeing a ghost, given that Mr. and Mrs. Owens were themselves dead and had been for a few hundred years now, and given that the entirety of their social life, or very nearly, was spent with those who were also dead. But there was a difference between the folk of the graveyard and this: a raw, flickering, startling shape the grey colour of television static, all panic and naked emotion which flooded the Owenses as if it was their own. Three figures, two large, one smaller, but only one of them was in focus, was more than an outline or a shimmer. And the figure said, My baby! He is trying to hurt my baby!“
(Excerpt: The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, who I’m enjoying more and more with each book of his that I read.)