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Thursday, November 15, 2012

Audiobook Review: The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

AUTHOR: Neil Gaiman 
NARRATOR: Neil Gaiman 
PUBLISHER: Recorded Books
PUBLICATION DATE: September 30, 2008
FORMAT: Unabridged audiobook, 7 hrs and 47 mins
GENRE: Fantasy, Young Adult
ISBN: 9781436158848
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor of the dead. There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy - an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack - who has already killed Bod's family.

Master storyteller Neil Gaiman returns with a luminous new novel about life and death, love and growing up, and finding family in the most unlikely places


This book has won a ton of literary awards, including: Hugo Award for Best Novel (2009), Newbery Medal (2009), Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2009), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children's Literature (2009), Cybils Award for Middle Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year (2009), An ALA Notable Children's Book for Middle Readers (2009), ALA Teens' Top Ten (2009), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2009), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): (2009), Carnegie Medal in Literature (2010), and British Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009). 

The Graveyard Book is a fun read, with a dash of creepiness thrown in! It’s a bit of a dark tale and it sounds horrid, but there is no graphic violence. The book is rated suitable for ages 12 and up.

At the outset of the book, we learn that a man named Jack has killed a family trio: Mom, dad, and their daughter. However, the baby manages to escape from his crib and slide down the stairs on his bottom and toddle out the front door. The baby makes his way up the hill to the cemetery, and a ghostly couple named Mr. and Mistress Owens finds him asleep on the ground. They hear the man named Jack banging on the cemetery gates, trying to get in. The child’s parents, now ghosts themselves, beg Mr. and Mistress Owens to protect their baby. The couple never had children of their own, and Mistress Owens is thrilled to raise the child that she never had herself. The child is raised by Mr. and Mistress Owen in the graveyard, but his guardian is Silas who is a member of the Honour Guard that protects both the living and the dead. No one knows the child’s name, and he is given the name of Nobody (“Bod” for short) Owens. Because he is a part of the graveyard, he is able to develop certain skills unknown to other humans, such as fading and being able to pass through solid objects. In the graveyard, he is protected from Jack and Bod is warned that it is dangerous for him beyond the cemetery gates. As Bod grows older, he wants to explore the world outside the cemetery but doing so puts Jack back on Bod’s trail!

Memorable quote:

“It's like the people who believe they'll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn't work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you.” - Silas

Gaiman is a new-to-me author, and this was a great Halloween read! I particularly liked Miss Lupescu, Bod’s teacher in the graveyard who could shape-shift into lupine form! It wasn’t until near the end of the story that we finally learn why Jack is after Bod. I think that Gaiman is a great story-teller, and I will definitely read more of his work.

This version of the audiobook is narrated by Gaiman himself. I quite liked his reading, and I thought he did a fine job. 

4 stars!! It was really good! You should put it on your "To Be Read" list.

This book qualifies as: 

#76 for my 2012 Outdo Yourself Reading Challenge    
#10 for my 2012 Young Adult Audiobook Challenge    
#31 for my 2012 Audio Book Challenge     
#25 for my 2012 The Dusty Bookshelf Challenge      
#7 for my Ghostly Reading Challenge 2012  
#29 for my 2012 TBR Pile Reading Challenge   
#53 for my New Author Reading Challenge 2012
#26 for my Mount TBR Reading Challenge 2012     
#30 for my 2012 Young Adult Reading Challenge   
Task #4 for my What's in a Name 5 Reading Challenge    
#43 for my Speculative Fiction Challenge 2012   
#6 for my 2012 Serial Killers Reading Challenge   
#13 for my 2012 Award Winning Books Reading Challenge   
#10 for my Fall Into Reading 2012 Challenge
#10 for my Peril the First Challenge of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII 
October Selection for my Peril the Group Read of R.eaders I.mbibing P.eril VII  
#12 for my 101 Fantasy Reading Challenge (Item #118)
#32 for my Newbery Project 
#8 for my 1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up 
#3 for my Semi-Charmed Winter 2012 Book Challenge

View all my reviews


  1. Yours is the second review of this book I've read and now I really want to read it. I have heard so much about Gaiman's work but I haven't read any, this would be a good first. :)

  2. I liked this book, as well. Now I'd like to hear Neil Gaiman read it! Great review!

  3. As it was YA I never was interested but you have piqued my interest for sure.


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