S4L Book Club – The Graveyard Book

Hello out there!  Hi, I’m Kat and I’ll be doing some guest blogging this month as we talk about The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  As you can see from my picture, I like to stitch just about anywhere!

Mocha is still reading the book, since she had to wait for me to finish it.

For this first discussion, I’d like to get everyone’s gut reaction to the book.  Did you (the reader) like The Graveyard Book?  Why or why not?  Which chapter was your favorite/least favorite?

I’ll respond in the comments and also on my blog, Kat Gets Cross Eyed.

Categories: Reading

7 replies »

  1. Hi Kat! I read the book quite a while ago, but I really liked it. I thought it was a clever premise and the characters are all fun. But I’m surprised I never hear anyone discuss the very beginning when the family is murdered. That almost stopped me from reading it. I thought it was pretty creepy for the age level. Not “ghost story” stuff, but all too real. I wonder if anyone here felt the same? Thanks!!

  2. I had a very hard time getting into the book. I imagine it’s because I have problems with fantasies in general; some things just don’t make sense to me, and it all feels contrived.

    I liked the second half better than the first, and there were some interesting ideas, to be sure. I liked the graveyard setting and characters, but I found it frustrating to not understand the hierarchy or order of creatures in the dead world: the Hounds of God vs the ghouls, for instance. They’re good vs evil, but it’s as though you picked players in a board game for those roles: it seems arbitrarily assigned. “Okay, these guys are going to be good; these guys are going to be bad.” But there’s no reason for it and the barest evidence of it. It’s just thrown out there, and we’re to accept it. I have a problem with that. I want those choices supported.

    I thought the murder at the beginning was pretty grim, too, but Gaiman is British, and they go further with that stuff than Americans do. I would have hated it as a kid. I wouldn’t have read it.

  3. I read this two summers ago and don’t have my copy on hand so I can’t comment on chapters. However, the beginning totally hooked me. I think it’s fine for older kids in an Edgar Allen Poe sort of way.

    I read this book by accident (people recommended a book to me, and I mixed up the title and go this). It was my night reading while my family was camping in a cabin. I literally couldn’t put it down. Like a kid again, I had the flashlight under the covers so I wouldn’t bother anyone else as I read until dawn. I think I mostly liked it because it wasn’t nightmare-inspiring yet still had some tension.

    Coraline is one of my favorite movies so I guess it’s just possible that I’m attracted to Neil Gaiman’s writing style in general.

  4. Linda raises an interesting point that I plan to discuss – it will probably be Thursday’s question! Jen, I never thought about why werewolves and vampires are on the “good” side in this book. It is just a premise I accepted.

  5. I generally liked the book. I mentioned in an other posting that I think it has some lack of logic, or explanations, and Jen has pointed out this as well. But, to me it is easi(er?) to understand the system of parallell univers, or co existing universes, like we have here. I do prefer more substanse to it, why thouse characters exists and what role they play in both places? This is to vagly done. If he had written in depth about this, the book would have been heavier, 1000 pages, or so, and maybe not so good? I can relate to trolls ( we have a lot of them, up here!) , dragons, wizards, vampires and such, but they need to have a reason, a life (I am caughing here) and a system or logic. This is not easy to write… And the boy is the chosen one, why and to whom? This is vagely done… And, yes, the vamåire is on the humans side – at least this boys side – but he still do his batpractises elswhere… And that is bad, very bad! This mix pussels me som, and at the end of the book it seems it pussels the vampire too… Fun! Ok, like the book, but not the shallowness of the three universes, I think. But is this for 10 years? Or older?

  6. I very much liked the book. Even as a lover of fantasy, there were some things I found a bit lame- particularly the “chosen” bit. But, to me, the book wasn’t about the specifics of how the “other world” worked, but about parenting and being young and growing up and love. I liked that part a lot.
    I found the beginning a bit chilling, and recall thinking-“is this really happening?” Jen, I think I wasn’t as nice a child as you. I’m pretty sure the macabre beginning would have appealed to me.

  7. I have to say I’m relieved and even excited to hear you fantasy-lovers see the same shallowness I do; you’re just more willing to accept it than I am. I sometimes think it’s funny that I can enjoy word play and loose connections between ideas, but I can’t tolerate unsupported premises or setups in fantasy.

    So…Silas is a vampire. I totally didn’t get that. Thanks, Harriet! I wondered throughout what he was, but it never clicked. And I confess I didn’t see Miss Lupescu as anything but a dog/human. The word “werewolf” didn’t occur to me. Gaiman doesn’t use the words “vampire” or “werewolf,” does he? Clearly, I am culturally illiterate in this arena!

    Becca, I was and remain a scaredy-cat. I can’t even handle suspense sometimes. I try to avoid anything that scares me.