S4L – The Graveyard Book

Today, I thought we’d discuss the setting of the book.  Obviously, the setting is a big part of The Graveyard Book – it is there in the title!  To be more precise, however, the setting is a graveyard in Britain.  Thus, the residents of the graveyard span from pre-Roman to slightly more modern times (although I don’t remember residents from the 20th century).  What would the book have been like if the graveyard had been in a different country?  What kinds of characters would be the same and which would have been different? 

The residents of the graveyard are the primary “people” that Bod interacts with while growing up.  Hows does having interactions with people from different periods of time influence his upbringing?

Categories: Reading

3 replies »

  1. What an interesting question! You’re good at this, Kat. I’ll be thinking about this for a long time, running through different scenarios in my head. What if Bod were growing up in a graveyard in Hollywood, for instance?

    Bod knew things about history that other kids and adults didn’t know because he’d heard first-hand accounts. I liked that part. I wouldn’t say the story really developed that element, though, which, now that you mention it, is kind of a shame.

    Silas, Miss Lupescu, the young witch, the Owenses, etc. could be pretty much the same in any graveyard in any country, don’t you think?

    I’ll have to think about this.

  2. I guess what I was thinking about was that if the graveyard had been in the US, there would be less “history” within the graveyard. Even that would vary from the East Coast to the West Coast. An East Coast graveyard might (maybe) have witches, however, a Hollywood graveyard would probably not, since the area was settled much later. Similarly, the US graveyards wouldn’t have the Roman grave, or the pre-Roman Celtic grave. If an Indian burial ground was co-opted into another graveyard, there might be the parallels. Australia might be similar (I’ve never been to a graveyard in Australia, so I can’t be sure).

    What about Rome with the catacombs? What would it be like in other parts of Europe or the Far East?

  3. Egypt. Persia.

    That could be really cool! I don’t think that aspect was played up, do you? I think pursuing this would pour some historical fiction into the mix.

    With the Hollywood angle, I was definitely seeing something more modern, and much more silly and funny, less dark.