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The Graveyard Book CD Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including Norse Mythology, Neverwhere, and The Graveyard Book. Among his numerous literary awards are the Newbery and Carnegie medals, and the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Will Eisner awards. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
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Gaiman spins the tale of Nobody Owens, a child who escaped the mysterious murder of his birth family and is taken in by none other than the ghosts at the local graveyard. Under the watchful eye of his new, ghostly parents and an otherworldly guardian named Silas, tiny "Bod," as he comes to be known, makes the land within the graveyard his own.
But as he grows, questions arise: why isn't Bod allowed to leave the graveyard? Will the one human girl he met as a small child ever return to visit? Who is searching for this innocent boy, and why does Silas leave him, for weeks at a time, under the watchful eye of taciturn Miss Lupescu? Who - or WHAT - lives deep within the bowels of darkest, most forbidding hillside at the edge of the graveyard?
The complicated answers to all of this and much more Gaiman weaves together into a beautiful, terrifying blanket, and in so doing, he shows his readers that it is only the most porous (and important) of curtains that separates life and death, that magic still exists, and that love cannot be limited by any boundaries, no matter how impenetrable they may seem. Truly, a book for all ages. An instant classic.
Gaiman is an extraordinary, a gifted wordsmith. His sentences are beautiful - really, read them aloud. He is a master of tone and of place. He is an efficient writer, and there are not many of them around, at least in F&SF. But...
But he is a poor story teller. His fascinating characters shuffle around, and they learn a technique or two, and they experience, and they try to learn some more. But they never have significant interactions that create conflict and resolution, and thus a sense of satisfaction at the end of his tales. And they NEED that because everything about his work is mythic, fundamental, playful in the depths of us all. There are lessons you have to teach us, Gaiman, and there are lessons we have to learn from you. You must not remain aloof from the drama of humanness, buddy.
And so here, in "The Graveyard Book," we have the sudden realization from Gaiman somewhere around the two-thirds mark that, maybe, he'd better get moving and try to find some ending so he can call it a day and have a beer. He has to bring back a character from early on just for the occasion. Evil grows a little gray hair and masquerades as a lover of roasted potatoes (which, I suppose, is the kind of thing we might fear most about true evil - its true banality; except in a mythic construction, darn it!)
And so the reader is, ultimately, left slack-jawed. What just happened? A bad guy broke his ankle? That is Justice, capital J? Don't set us up for sequels ("Um. Silas. If you're ever in trouble, call me. I'll come and help.") if you haven't fully established heroic perseverance from the gitgo.
So, yes, read this book because Gaiman writes as one should write. He just hasn't discovered how to create - yet.... And when he does, it will be, well, very special.