Review of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman – 5 Stars

The Graveyard BookThe Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This book starts off with high drama, a small baby stumbling from his house where his entire family are murdered into the local graveyard, where he is found by the local ghosts. After a meeting, it is agreed that a married ghostly couple who never had children can adopt him, along with a guardian (who can leave the graveyard). The story then follows Bod and his new graveyard “family & friends” through adolescence with a few bumps along the way, including meeting a girl, attending school and of course finding out what happened to his real family.
This book is so quirky, it had me laughing from the first page even though it was about a baby evading a murderer! Bod is such a happy go lucky little chap too you can’t help but champion him on his journey, even the seemingly little things like learning to read using names on the gravestones and other funny little touches make the story really feel alive. Spoiler-ish alert – the last chapter is a little bit heart-breaking but also perfect.

This is almost like jungle book but instead of a child growing up in the jungle being brought up by the animals, it’s a child growing up in a graveyard being *raised (questionable word) by ghosts! It’s the only story that is similar to this, although I love the darkness of this book.

A really great read that I completely fell in love with from the first page and has long stayed with me since I finished the last! Very sweet and charming tale that I think people young and old will love. Not often I give a book five stars but I had to with this – one not to be missed!

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I can’t take full credit for discovering this book it was recommended to me by the lovely Elena over at Home that we built and I must say what a great recommendation it was! KL ❤

#Maydays Prompt – Good Madness

“May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness.”
― Neil Gaiman

May your coming year be filled with magic and dreams and good madness - neil gaiman

For today’s #maydays prompt include a dream, magic or good madness (or all 3).

Remember you can write a memory, short flash fiction, poetry or whatever may take your fancy and pingback here so that I can pop by and visit you. Don’t forget to TAG your prompt #maydays too.

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Know Your History – 10th November – Neil Gaiman born

know your history - writingOn this day… 10 November 1960, Neil Gaiman born.

Neil Richard MacKinnon Gaiman (born 10 November 1960) is an English author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films. His notable works include the comic book series The Sandman and novels Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, and The Graveyard Book. He has won numerous awards, including the Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards, as well as the Newbery and Carnegie medals. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book (2008).

On Writing

From an article in The Guardian, here is Neil Gaiman’s tips on writing:

  1. Write.
  2. Put one word after another. Find the right word, put it down.
  3. Finish what you’re writing. Whatever you have to do to finish it, finish it.
  4. Put it aside. Read it pretending youve never read it before. Show it to friends whose opinion you respect and who like the kind of thing that this is.
  5. Remember: when people tell you somethings wrong or doesnt work for them, they are almost always right. When they tell you exactly what they think is wrong and how to fix it, they are almost always wrong.
  6. Fix it. Remember that, sooner or later, before it ever reaches perfection, you will have to let it go and move on and start to write the next thing. Perfection is like chasing the horizon. Keep moving.
  7. Laugh at your own jokes.
  8. The main rule of writing is that if you do it with enough assurance and confidence, youre allowed to do whatever you like. (That may be a rule for life as well as for writing. But its definitely true for writing.) So write your story as it needs to be written. Write it honestly, and tell it as best you can. I’m not sure that there are any other rules. Not ones that matter.

Did You Know?..

 Neil Gaiman co-wrote his novel “Good Omens” with Terry Pratchett

 Gaiman describes the process in this bbc article:

We wrote the first draft in about nine weeks. Nine weeks of gloriously long phone calls, in which we would read each other what we’d written, and try to make the other one laugh. We’d plot, delightedly, and then hurry off the phone, determined to get to the next good bit before the other one could. We’d rewrite each other, footnote each other’s pages, sometimes even footnote each other’s footnotes.

We would throw characters in, hand them off when we got stuck. We finished the book and decided we would only tell people a little about the writing process – we would tell them that Agnes Nutter was Terry’s, and the Four Horsemen (and the Other Four Motorcyclists) were mine.Neil Gaiman_librarian

The second draft took about four months, as we took what we’d done and did our very best to make it look like we knew what had been doing all along. Pepper became a girl, and so did War. I went to stay with Terry at the end of the book, to patch it all together and make sure it worked, and slept in his spare room. The window was open, and there was a dovecote nearby. When he woke me that morning, the air of the bedroom was filled with fluttering white doves. I assumed this always happened in the Pratchett household, but he said it was only me.

All that remained was to find a title for the book we’d written. I suggested Good Omens, Terry liked The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch. We compromised, or rather, we collaborated, and we had a title and a subtitle.