Monday, October 8, 2012

Musings on: The Graveyard Book Group Read Post 1

This is the first official post for The Graveyard Book Group read hosted by Carl V. The read-along started on October 1st and this first discussion post will cover chapters 1-3. I'm listening to The Graveyard Book on audiobook. It is excellently narrated by author Neil Gaiman.

Chapters are as follows:

How Nobody Found the Graveyard
The New Friend
The Hounds of God

I went into the The Graveyard Book having avoided all spoilers, reviews and even the summary. I had no idea what the book would be about, other than a boy and a graveyard. So, to say that the opening surprised me would be an understatement. I wasn't expecting it of a children's book, but then reminded myself of the books I grew up reading by authors like Mary Downing Hahn, Pam Conrad and Alvin Schwartz. All books that dealt with death, spirits, ghosts and the like. With that in mind, my surprise settled into the comfort of nostalgia, then into intense satisfaction as I was transported by the tale told in Gaiman's own voice.

How Nobody Found the Graveyard opens on the heels of a gruesome murder involving the family of a boy, so young, he's still in diapers and is only toddling about. Oblivious to what has happened in his home, the baby gets free from his crib and wanders outside. He makes his way to a graveyard where he meets interesting spirits who are shocked to see a real, live baby amongst them. The baby is taken in by the ghosts of the graveyard, namely Mr. and Mrs. Owens who agree to be his parents and is cleverly given the name Nobody Owens aka Bod, and thus begins his new life.

The New Friend finds Bod aged a bit. He is old enough now to know that he is different from his graveyard family and to feel different. As the chapter title states, Bod meets a new friend. Scarlett is a five-year-old girl who decides, that Bod is about her age, too, since he's unsure of how old he is. Their friendship is instant and innocent. They play together and they become confidants. Bod tells of his life in the graveyard and Scarlett of hers in the world outside of the graveyard walls. To the reader, their friendship is tentative one, due to their very different circumstances and it makes you wonder if they can really remain friends for long? I found that a lot happened in this chapter and I was left intrigued by what one creepy discovery would uncover in future chapters.

The Hounds of God finds Bod parts disenchanted, lonely and bored. Bod's boredom, like in most cases, leads to trouble. He finds himself entangled with a nasty group of ghouls. Bod is tested in a way he hasn't been before. He doesn't have the safety of the graveyard to fall back on and must use his smarts to get out of the mess he's found himself in. Of the first three chapters, this one was my favorite. I enjoyed the suspense and action that takes place here and that there is a lesson to be learned. And though I know that there is more to come in the form of trouble for Bod, I liked that at least this chapter ended on a high note.

I am truly enjoying The Graveyard Book so far. I'm very glad that I chose to listen to it in audio because Neil Gaiman's telling of his story is masterful.

The Graveyard Book Group Read is a part of the RIP VII challenge. For more thoughts on this book from other readers in the challenge, visit the Discussion Post.





8 comments:

  1. Unfortunately my library doesn't have the audio version. That would make this story even better. But I am enjoying it.

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    1. It's such a good story, I'm sure it's enjoyable both ways. If you ever get a chance, give the audio a go, it's something special. Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. I'll have to buy the audio version one year for myself at Christmas! I'd love to hear Gaiman read it. Didn't know he did that. Awesome post. Poor Bod! ;>

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    1. Yes, yes, please. It would be a wonderful gift to give to yourself! And, yes, poor Bod. Thanks for stopping by!

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  3. I definitely want to try the audio version next time. I've been hearing such good things about it!

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    1. I can guarantee you won't regret it. It's simply masterful and I think I love the story even more for hearing it Gaiman's voice.

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  4. I, too, was taken aback by this story's beginning but now that I've read more, I don't know what I was so upset about. lol! I would love to listen to Gaiman tell this story. I may have to listen to the audiobook at some time just for the experience.

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    1. I feel like I keep saying this but YES, do listen to the audio when you get a chance. You will love it!

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