S4L – The Graveyard Book

For this final installment of our discussion of The Graveyard Book, I just thought I’d record some of my thoughts. Feel free to add your own in the comments.

First, I realized later that in my last post, I should have turned the question around and asked: is the author relying too much on the
conventions of fantasy. If so, how does this affect readers who might be new to these conventions?

I know we’ve had a terrific discussion of the book’s plot and the gaps people see in it. However, I think that the plot is really just a framework for the book. I think the point of the book was to offer vignettes in the life of a child who happens to be growing up in a graveyard. I find it fascinating how the author approaches different phases of childhood in the context of the graveyard: Bod learning his letters from the gravestones, venturing beyond the graveyard to get a headstone for the witch, and finally growing up in facing the Jacks.

Ok, on to the next book!

Categories: Reading

3 replies »

  1. I agree completely. I don’t really think of the book as fantasy. I thought it was a wonderful tale of childhood, relationships and how growing up changes and doesn’t change them.

  2. I’m still thinking about my answer.

    I think I appreciate many of the same things you two do, but I feel the gaps more than you do, and I’m not sure they’re just gaps in the plot.

    There seems to be a thinness of the story to me, and I’m left kind of cold. I don’t get the warm, satisfied feeling I crave from a story. The relationships aren’t as deep and affecting as they are in some other stories.

    I think the emphasis is on the clever twists and connections made with the graveyard setting and other aspects of story—character development, relationships, plot—are weak.

  3. I still crack up at the thought of Mother Slaughter’s gravestone saying just “laugh.” Love that!