“Of all organs,” said Nehemiah Trot, “the tongue is the most remarkable. For we use it both to taste our sweet wine and bitter poison, thus also do we utter words both sweet and sour with same tongue.”
Title: The Graveyard Book
Author: Neil Gaiman
Number of pages: 327 (paperback edition)
Good things about this book: It’s magical.
Bad things about this book: The mystery that wasn’t really explained.
Do I recommend it? Yes, of course.
Read the summary and add this book on Goodreads: here
A couple years ago I bought the audiobook and started listening to it but as it always happens to me with books I haven’t read before listening to them, I got distracted and kept losing parts of the narration. I loved listening to Neil Gaiman tell the story but his voice wasn’t enough to get me focus on the book. I gave up until I decided to buy the physical book and now I could read a story that really deserved all my attention.
Nobody Owens is quite an interesting boy; we read about him growing up in the graveyard after a mysterious man called Jack murders his parents and sister. As a toddler he was inquisitive and curious. As a pre-teen he was obnoxious and unnecessarily rebellious. As a teenager he made questionable decisions but was overall a nice kid. I came to like him and I cheered for him to have a happy life surrounded by people who cared for him. It was going to be hard and I knew that.
“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.”
I forgot about the mystery about Bod and why Jack wanted him dead after that first part and every time someone mentioned it I asked myself why it was so important to kill Bod. Why was Bod’s dead essential? I was curious. A lot, but then, in my opinion, the reason was not explained and the ending left me with too many questions. More than I’m used to have after finishing a book without sequels. That’s the only bad thing (if we can call it bad) about his book. The rest was exquisite and it gave me a newly found trust about Gaiman’s books with younger protagonists. I had a bad experience but I wasn’t going to let that ruin this marvellous author for me!
“You’re alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you’re dead, it’s gone. Over. You’ve made what you’ve made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.”
Now I have a couple Gaiman’s books on my bookshelves that require my attention and I need to finish reading his comic book Sandman that I’m reading so slowly I’ve been in stand-by mode for months. I can do it!