Saturday, November 15, 2008

Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

The book is about a boy called Bod, who is orphaned as an infant and left to grow up in a graveyard, where he is raised by his mysterious guardian, Silas, and a revolving series of ghosts. That's pretty much it---the book is decently written, but this is its one flaw, that at times it favours 'developing atmosphere' at the expense of 'developing plot.' The suspense factor of its one major plot point could have been strengthened had Gaiman thought to develop it substantially before the last third of the book! It is to Gaiman's credit that the atmosphere (i.e. the depiction of life in the graveyard) was reasonably interesting. But a little more 'plot' would have not have been amiss.

This small quibble aside, the book was a fun, quick read. I don't know that I would recommend it as its current exorbitant price, but if Gaiman interests you and you catch it at another sale (or a permanently lowered price once the paperback hits the market) than by all means, grab this. It's a decent read.


Neil said...

Does your copy of the book have Chapter Two, "The New Friend" in it? That's the one where Scarlett is introduced. If it's missing then there's a real problem with the electronic edition.

Ficbot said...

Thank you for the comment! I downloaded the book again and was able to locate this chapter. I don't know how it got skipped when I read it before. I have edited my review accordingly.