There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife.
This opening line from The Graveyard Book hooked me right away. I had a feeling after participating in Carl’s group read of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere that I would love his young adult novel as well. Nobody Owens is not like other children. His family has been murdered by a man named Jack. So far (we have only read 3 chapters) not much is known about Jack, except that he’s a killer and he is still searching for Nobody. On the night his family is killed, Nobody wanders from his home and ends up in a graveyard. It becomes clear to the residents of the graveyard that the toddler is in danger. Grave danger. Two ghosts, Mr and Mrs Owens decide to take in Nobody. Silas, another resident of the graveyard who is neither dead nor alive becomes his guardian.
The first 3 chapters of this book are delightful, in a creepy way. Yes it’s scary, but sometimes it’s fun to immerse yourself into a dark tale that makes your skin crawl and gets your heart pumping. Carl has asked if we enjoyed being frightened when we were kids. For me, the answer is yes and no. I’ve always been a jumpy person. If a friend would jump out from behind a bush, I would be terrified and angry with my friend for playing a mean trick. Yet, I enjoyed reading thrillers. I didn’t read a lot of horror, but I enjoyed a good story that had me on the edge of my seat. I still do as an adult. That’s the best part of Gaiman’s book. It’s scary, but not over the top scary. I can’t wait to find out what’s going to happen next, but I’m not disgusted by it. I never could get into slasher movies that involved buckets of blood and no story. For me, great books are great stories. This is only my second book by Gaiman, but so far, I think he’s a marvelous storyteller. Saying that, it’s time for me to get back to his book and to find out more about Nobody and his friends.
This group read is part of Carl’s R. I. P. For other discussions on this book, please visit this page.