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29. 4. 2010

Neil Gaiman - The Graveyard Book (Kniha hřbitova)

      Well hello, I'm back. 29th and my first book this month, I'm ashamed... I spent most of april either sick or watching tv shows for hours on end.. and that's pretty much it. So, The Graveyard Book!

      Neil Gaiman won the 2009 Hugo Award for this one, so it's part of my Book Awards challenge reading. I was excited about this book way before I even opened it. Because although it's a children's book, it's Neil Gaiman! Can't go wrong with that. And you can watch Neil Gaiman reading the whole book himself right here!

      The Graveyard Book is a story of a boy named Nobody Owens, or just Bod (Nikdo Owens or Nik in Czech) raised by ghosts in a graveyard. The rest of his family was killed by a mysterious man Jack when he was just a toddler and with a bit of luck (okay, a lot of luck and improbability) he toddled his way to a graveyard just in time to hide there. His dead parents asked the dead people in the graveyard to take care of him and as the afterlife can get quite boring if you're stuck in one place, the graveyarders agreed.
       So little Bod is raised by ghosts, werevolves and Silas, his "not alive, but not dead" guardian. (Easily my favourite character - dark, wise, enigmatic, lonely, some unpleasant past... and probably a vampire, although he never says.. go figure.) He is taught ghost abilities like Haunting, Dream-walking, or Fading from mortal sight and is quite good at it, considering he's alive. He never leaves the cemetery, because the dead can't protect him outside of its gates, but he manages to get into a lot of trouble anyway. He befriends a witch, has some trouble with escaping ghouls, finds a creepy something underneath a crypt (a something who turns out not so particularly creepy, if you're clever enough) and even tries to go to a real school once, but has to leave again soon when he uses his haunting skills on a few bullies.
      Meanwhile... the man who murdered his family and the rest of his order are still looking for Bod and want to kill him and finish the job (there's a prophecy involved). In short... after much struggle and sacrifices, deaths even, this order is destroyed and voilà, a happy end. And then there comes the time for 12-year-old Nobody to leave the graveyard and live a real life on his own, see the world.

      This is a really sweet book, even though you can probably guess much of what is going to happen if you're more than 10 years old and a great part of the book is just a kid making silly mistakes but always being forgiven because it was with a good intention and brave heart. I still read it all in one day - a bow to you, Mr. Gaiman. That's what I would have definitely wanted for Christmas about 12 years ago:)

2 komentáře:

  1. How interesting you make this sound! I love the premise. Odysseus used the name "Nobody," too, so that's a nice echo from classical literature.

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