Sunday, April 15, 2012

Audio Book Review: The Graveyard Book

Media Type: Audio Book
Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Harper Children's Audio
Format: Digital MP3
Duration: 7 hours 47 minutes
Source: Purchased on Audible
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Intended Reading Group: Young Adult
Content Screening: Mild Violence
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HDB Rating: 5 Keys to My Heart

Add it on: Goodreads / Shelfari / Amazon / B&N
After the grisly murder of his entire family, a toddler wanders into a graveyard where the ghosts and other supernatural residents agree to raise him as one of their own.

Nobody Owens, known to his friends as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a sprawling graveyard, being raised and educated by ghosts, with a solitary guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are dangers and adventures in the graveyard for a boy. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, then he will come under attack from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family...

Narrator Review:
Come now, is there even a question? If you haven't heard Neil Gaiman's voice, then you might not know how wonderful it really and truly is. He has the ability to change his speaking pattern just enough to show different characters, but you still get the deep and rich voice that you'll fall in love with. The pacing is just perfect, and varies depending on what is happening at any given moment.  He remains one of my favorite narrators!

Audio Book Rating: 5/5 - Definitely pick this one up!

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Book Review:
This book is gorgeous. Wonderful. Stupendous. I'm not sure how many other words I can come up with to describe it, but the fact remains that it was one of the best stories I've had the pleasure to dive into this  year. To those of you who might not have read Neil Gaiman's work before, it is always very layered. Enjoyable at any age, but the older you are the more you can see the hidden story line beneath everything else. This story is no different. The Graveyard Book is a story about humanity, friendship, and the age old battle of growing up.

Nobody Owens (Bod for short), looses his family in a grisly murder. Sad, I know. However what happens next is magic. Taken in by the inhabitants of the graveyard that he wanders into, Bod soon learns so much more than he ever imagined. I loved the way that Gaiman shows Bod's different stages of life. At a young age, Bod is smart and curious. As he grows, his questions turn from simple curiosity, to actual life lessons that he is trying to learn. Each of the graveyard members is unique and vibrant. From long dead war heroes, to simple folk who keep to themselves, the graveyard is a bustling place for a young boy to grow up.

What will really draw you into The Graveyard Book though is the writing. Neil Gaiman's writing is one of the reasons I fell in love with his books in the first place. Every page is filled with gorgeous prose, vivid descriptions, and witty observations. Bod's story, in particular, has a lovely mix of mischief, magic and horror. There were portions of this book that had me shivering in my boots. Well, shoes. Anyhow, it is really the ability to get so wholly lost in this story that really makes it a great read. You'll find yourself in the graveyard, and chances are you won't want to leave.

I'm not sure how else to implore you to read this book. The writing, the characters, the whole entire vibe is just pure ambrosia. There are moments that will break your heart, and others that will startle you with their sudden appearance. Whether this is your first foray into Gaiman's brilliantly woven worlds, or you're an avid fan, this is a book that is sure to delight. 

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