Wednesday, August 24, 2016

#397 : The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman : Guest Review - Sri Vinithra Sundararajan

Note : This review is by sister who managed to race me in reading this book. I pestered her to write a review and here is what she had to say about the book. Mission - Getting my kid  sister to write a book review - Accomplished :-D 

The Graveyard Book begins with one of the best opening lines “There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife” depicting murder. A man named jack sneaks into a house in the middle of night killing the father, mother and the sister. However, he discovers that the family’s two year old toddler is missing. He follows the scent of the baby and figures out that the baby had sneaked into a graveyard where something strange happens. The community of the dead in the graveyard hide the baby from the killer and while Silas who is neither dead nor alive, escorts jack out of the graveyard and erases his memory for Silas knows that Jack will not rest until he succeeds his intentions. Mrs. and Mr. Owens adopt him as their child while Silas vows to be his guardian since he is the only person who can leave the graveyard to venture out to the outside world.

The Graveyard book is creepy in its own ways. Mrs. Owens names the boy ‘Nobody’ or ‘Bod’ in short. From the start, he is given the ‘Freedom of Graveyard’ allowing him to wander around the graveyard and learn tricks. He even befriends a mortal friend Scarlett who thinks Bod is imaginary because her parents tell her so. She leaves him alone and heartbroken. With the passage of time Bod feels very lonely and somehow convinces Silas to allow him go to a school. He uses his graveyard tricks and powers to stand up against the bullies but with bad consequences. Scarlett re-enters his life, with an older man wooing her mother. But who is the old man? Has Jack found Bod?

With excellent narration from the author, each chapter in book stands out to be a short story itself, being an account of Bod’s journey of life. Each and every character is crafted to serve a purpose, with some memorable ones being Miss Lupescue and the Sneer. The villains turn out to be creepy and viscous that they leave you wanting to know more about them. But, this book is clearly not for readers who hate chapters that drag a bit with me being one of them. Even though the narration kept me hooked, I found it a bit slow in the middle affecting the course of the story.

On the whole, The Graveyard Book is, as its title suggests, creepy and unique. 

PS. This review has not been edited by me and is purely the work of my sister.

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