The Graveyard Book [Unabridged] [Audible Audio Edition]
What a fun read. It kept me up 'til 7 in the morning yesterday, and I do not regret it a bit.
The story of Nobody Owens--his adopted name, as this is a wee human child spared the murderous spree of a dreadful assasin, then taken in by a cemetery full of ghosts from assorted centuries, and guarded by them because the assasin has not given up the quest to kill him--is unputdownable. Every adventure as he grows from toddler to teenager mixes wonders and frights and humor. It's just such fun to see him learn ghostly ways and interact with humans and nonhumans.
There's so much to recommend in the story (and my fellow reviewers cover plenty, so I need not repeat it), but I agree that the trip into the world of the ghouls was a wild ride. I have to give props to Gaiman for the total magic that he infused into the chapter on the Danse Macabre. It would have been a terrific short story--that strange, strange day--but it worked wonderfully in the tale, showing us clearly a thing or two about Nobody and his mysterious, powerful Guardian, Silas. (His particular fantasy niche, while never said specifically in so many words is , nevertheless, no great riddle.)
The near-end brings Nobody into confrontation with the horrible killer, and Nobody comes into his own, but it costs him. It's a well-crafted ending that is inevitable given all Nobody's learned as the story progressed. If you don't figure it out pretty well in advance, you werent' paying attention.
The bittersweet--but natural and fitting-- ending made me sad as I closed the book. It feels complete, yes, but I so want to see more written on Nobody Owens. I have no idea if Mr. Gaiman has planned another or several more novels with this character, but I can say that I would very much like to read more on Nobody and Silas.
I should add that there are illustrations scattered throughout, however, I'm not a particular fan of all the included art. I normally really enjoy McKean's partnering with Mr. Gaiman, but several of the illustrations just left me unimpressed. Though, honestly, I was so wrapped up in the tale, I didn't give them that much of a lingering look. So, the fault may lie more with my impatience to read.
A wonderful story. If you enjoyed the award-winning CORALINE, you're in for a treat. This one's better.
Thanks, Mr. G.