Friday, October 21, 2011

The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

One of the biggest inspirations for the little dolls that I make, came from reading The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman. If you haven't read it, I don't want to give too much away, but essentially the story is about a living baby boy who is given sanctuary within the walls of a graveyard after the tragic death of his family. He is adopted and raised by a ghost couple, and provided protection by the cemetery's deceased (and undead) inhabitants because his life is in danger from an outside threat.

I absolutely loved the premise of this novel, and the originality of the graveyard being a little island  of security amidst a larger world filled with peril and horror really appealed to me. The imagery of the child (named "Nobody" by the spirits) playing amongst the tombstones with the ghosts of long-dead children, resonated with me as well. It was literally the moment after finishing the book that the idea for a doll popped into my head.

Like Coraline, The Graveyard Book is one of Neil Gaiman's children's novels, but it can definitely be enjoyed by adults, and in fact, the opening scene might even be regarded as too frightening for some children.

15 comments:

  1. What an interesting idea for a plot! I think most people would feel less secure in a cemetery. This story sounds strangely comforting. I love the illustration you posted!

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  2. I read this book with my son and the opening scene had him sleeping with me for a week. It is a great book,,, but I'm not so sure it is the best choice for children.

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  3. Hi Justine,

    Yes, it takes the idea of the spooky cemetery and turns it on its head. The evil and the horror come from the world of the living, not the dead.

    I love the illustration, too! That picture is on the cover of the copy that I have, but I think that the US edition may have a different cover.

    Hi Jessica,

    Yes, I agree. I think the opening scene would be quite confronting for most adults, let alone children.

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  4. This sounds awesome. My friend use to read The Sandman comics back in the day and loved them.

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  5. Hi Slowdeath,

    Yeah, Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer. My husband has read some of 'The Sandman' comics.

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  6. This book sounds amazing. I will have to look for it. Thanks for the rec.

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  7. Hi Vivienne,

    I really loved it and definitely recommend it!

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  8. I heard of Neil Gaiman but never heard of The Graveyard, the plot does seem like it'll be awesome.

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  9. Hi Zena,

    Yeah, it is awesome, definitely!

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  10. How interesting! I'm not sure I've ever heard of this.

    So many books and so little time . . . yada yada

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  11. Hi Lorelei,

    I hear you! Oh to be independently wealthy so that I had the leisure time to get through the huge stack of books that I'm dying to read! Sigh.

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  12. Hi Jenny,

    Yeah, it is awesome! There are plans to turn it into a movie, but the financing has been a problem. Funny how they seem to find the money for a ton of other rubbish films! Sigh!

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  13. I haven't heard of this but I love the idea and story.

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  14. Hi Adsila,

    I'm sure you'd enjoy it! Most of the story is set in the graveyard, which I believe is based on Highgate Cemetery, in London. It's very cool if you like old, gothic graveyards... which I do!!

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