Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Graveyard Book - An Incoherent Middle of the Night Post

I have just this moment closed the cover of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK, after loitering rather longingly over the acknowledgments and possibly the back jacket flap as well.

I don't think I can manage a proper synopsis or review of this book -- about an orphaned boy who is raised by a graveyard of ghosts -- so I think I will just have to say that I love it very, very deeply. For so long I refused to pick it up because I thought it sounded quaint and possibly twee, but it was neither. It pushed all the buttons that Maggies love to have pushed: archetypes, humor, high stakes, personal stakes, and a deep ingrained sense of folklore that only comes from the author having grown up with rather than researched it.

Add to all that and I have to say it was, for me, the most well-written of all of Gaiman's books that I've read. I kept seeing things that I associated as Gaimanisms, but they felt absolutely right here. Weapons wielded by someone for so long that they've become part of their arms.

Just ahhh. Loved it. If there are Susan Cooper fans out there longing for that sense of other from the Dark is Rising books, pick this book up.

9 comments:

Karla said...

Now I'm really excited for next year's book club. The Graveyard book is one of the Evergreen Young Adult Book Award 2011 nominees which means I get to read it next school year in my school's book club. I don't know if I should wait it out until then or find a way to read it now.hmm

storyqueen said...

I so loved this book.

I learned a lot about what telling a good story means from this book.

It is one of my favorites. Ever.

Shelley

Not Hannah said...

You had me at Susan Cooper. I just finished CORALINE and it scared the peedooky out of me in a good way. Gah, now how am I going to work this into "Heather's List of Books to Read?"

Loveiny said...

Hmmm, sounds good. But I don't think I can find it in a hungaryan bookstore. I don't like reading books in computer. :S

Jonathon Arntson said...

Yes, I agree. Gaiman is a storytelling master. I have had a convo with a few ppl re: this book. They didn't like it. They wanted to know why I did. It was odd trying to defend something that felt ingrained in me. I felt as though I grew up with the book. Like it had been my favorite story for years. And the illustrations are phenomenal.

dlevy said...

Hah! Maggie, I have long enjoyed your blog (and books), but never bothered to comment (not a big fan of another " OMG, me-too!" post). But this review of Graveyard Book and the comparison to Dark is Rising, possibly my favorite series of all time, floored me. There is indeed a connection to be made there, but I had not made it at all....lovely to think of these gems together. Thanks for drawing a line between the dots.

Amy Allgeyer Cook said...

I loved it too. For me, I think it was all about character.

Jacqui said...

I felt the same way -- fought against reading it for so long and then fell in love and had to sit, happily holding it, for a while when I finished.

Maggie Stiefvater said...

Thank you, Dievy! (a tiny one to Diana Wynne Jones' Dogsbody too, if you ask me . . . )

I was quite, quite happy to fall in love!

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