Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Graveyard Book: a conversation


Neil Gaiman's much anticipated The Graveyard Book has just been released, and Dave and I have both read it. So, for anybody wondering about it, here's a little exchange the two of recently had:

Justin: Let me kick off this conversation by saying flat out I think the book is great. The amazing thing about the book is not just how exciting it is as a premise (boy grows up in graveyard, raised by ghosts), but how well Gaiman builds on that premise. I can't think of another book that delivers quite as precisely and as completely on the ideas it churns up as this one. I could go on and on, but how about you--What did you think of it Dave?

Dave: I thought it was one of the five best books I've read in the past year. This includes everything from picture books to adult fiction. Graveyard is creative at every turn without ever going too far over the top. If anything, I wish he would have spent more time developing some ideas he mentioned only in passing. For example, are there generational divides among the residents of a graveyard? Parts of the book are downright creepy; this is not too surprising given Gaiman and the subject matter. To whom would you recommend this book?

Justin: Well, I think it makes a great read for October and Halloween. Yes, there are creepy bits (especially the opening, which some might find harrowing), but I think it's such a great adventure, I'd recommend it to the 10+ crowd. I think teens will love it--heck, I even think adults will really enjoy it. Of course, I think that's probably Gaiman's biggest fan base. I'm really glad that older kids and teens are getting his attention--he's one of today's finest fantasy writers, and I think this book proves it. It' funny that you wondered about generational divides among the ghosts... I wondered about things like how many other dimensions can the ghouls go to? What's the back story on Bod's guardian? I mean, I think we can guess...

Dave
: Guessing was a fun part of the book - figuring out who was what, exactly. Another great part was the interaction between the living (besides Bod, the main character) and the dead. Actually, there are just all kinds of great parts. Justin, can we sum this one up by simply saying that we highly recommend this book to just about anyone with a pulse?

Justin: I give it a resounding YES!

1 comment:

Caitlyn Hentenaar said...

This sounds really amazing! I loved Good Omens and I've been waiting for another one of his books to come out!