The Graveyard Book Discussion, Part 2

Back to Neil Gaiman folks. Last week the group discussed the first three chapters. This week we read Chapters 4-6. Please note that there may be spoilers in this post.

This is my second novel my Gaiman. Many of you may remember that I loved Neverwhere last spring. I started The Graveyard Book with great anticipation and a small amount of fear. Since I enjoyed Neverwhere so much I expected a lot from Gaiman and I didn’t want to be let down. I always feel this way when I read an author that I’ve recently discovered and adored. It can be crushing when a writer can’t live up to your hopes. It isn’t fair that I put so much pressure on them, but I do.

That said, I’m happy to report that this book is not a letdown. The first three chapters consisted of vignettes. We got glimpses into Bod’s life among his ghost family. The chapters for this week are less sporadic and more cohesive. I’m finding this tactic brilliant. First, Gaiman hooked me with the quaint idea that a baby was adopted by ghosts in a graveyard. Now that I believe, he’s building the story and connecting the dots that were planted in the first three chapters.

And we are watching Bod grow up. My favorite bit from this week’s readings is his relationship with Liza Hempstock, a witch who resides in the graveyard. Since she was killed for being a witch, she doesn’t have a headstone. Bod feels for his new friend and is determined to raise the money to buy her one. His plan backfires and has drastic consequences for him. The man Jack, who killed Bod’s entire family, hasn’t given up looking for Bod learns that the child is alive and is a threat.

My favorite aspect of Gaiman’s novel is that Bod is a sweet little boy. It would have been easy to have Bod turn out wrong since he has little contact with the living world. Instead, Gaiman’s loner learns to love and trust those around him. It’s one of the most original coming of age stories I’ve encountered and I’m pleasantly surprised by how much I love Nobody Owens.

Next week will be the conclusion of this novel. I can’t wait to find out what happens to Bod and the man Jack. For other discussions on this novel please check out this page.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American who's recently returned to the US after a seven-year stint in the UK and Ireland. When she isn't writing, she's traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs in New England, or reading. Not necessarily in that order. Her novels have hit Amazon bestseller lists for lesbian fiction and lesbian romance. She cohosts the Lesbians Who Write Podcast ( with Clare Lydon. TB also runs I Heart Lesfic (, a place for authors and fans of lesfic to come together to celebrate lesbian fiction.
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22 Responses to The Graveyard Book Discussion, Part 2

  1. Silvia says:

    I finished that book just last night after you recommend it. Absolutely loved it! Thanks again 🙂

    • TBM says:

      Oh I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed it. I’m always a little nervous about recommending books and then hearing from someone, “Are you an idiot, I hated that book!”

      • Silvia says:

        I try to keep an open mind about it, I never enjoyed Neil Gaiman before but this book was really good. How’s your challenge so far?

      • TBM says:

        What Gaiman books did you not like? My RIP challenge is going well. I set out to read 5 books and I think I’m on six. I have a few reviews I need to write next week. How are things with you?

      • Silvia says:

        I didn’t enjoy Coraline much but the movie was much better. Things are good, started a novel writing workshop and I am quite busy writing stories.

      • TBM says:

        Congrats on starting a workshop. That’s great and I hope you find it inspirational and you learn loads. And if you feel like sharing some tips, I’m all ears 😉 I wish you the best of luck! happy writing.

  2. Caroline says:

    I finshed it right after having posted on part II but… psst. No spoilers.
    Liza and Silas are my favourite characters I think. Her story is quite sad and I found it showed that the book has a historical dimension on graveyards in general.

  3. forgingshadows says:

    I enjoyed the Graveyard Book a lot when I read it (a good few years ago now). Neil Gaiman is my favourite author and I’m always finding people who feel the same way about him. He’s probably the author that has inspired me most.

    Enjoy finishing the book!

  4. nrlymrtl says:

    I am glad to hear that you are enjoying this book. It is one of my favorites, and this read along is a re-read for me. I like slowing down a bit and savoring the book. All those characters, even the bad guys, were so vivid for me.

    • TBM says:

      yes…it’s strange since I like the bad guys. I don’t mean I’m cheering for them. But I enjoy their creepiness. I felt the same with Neverwhere. Those bad guys were delightfully creepy.

  5. You and Caroline have both made me want to read this author.

  6. lynnsbooks says:

    Every time I read a review about a Gaiman book I think the same thing – ‘that’s my favourite book’. Basically I just love them all and I’m a complete pushover for all his works (although I’ve not read them all yet so there’s still time!)
    Lynn 😀

  7. Christine says:

    I adore Bod, too. He’s got such a good heart–he’s kind, compassionate, thoughtful and has a good moral compass, I think. He’s also brave and isn’t afraid to assert himself when the situation warrants. Mr. and Mrs. Owens and Silas should be proud of him. 🙂

  8. What an exciting book. One of my wish list is to finish reading a book other than the story books I read for my son. Thanks for sharing. Have a great week.

  9. Novroz says:

    since I have read your 1st review, I must read your 2nd and 3rd as well. You and Caroline have different style, so I enjoy reading both reviews (I usually don’t read reviews/discussion of the same book one after another).

    I really like your statement about it being a cretive coming of age book.

    Looking forward to reading what happen next to Bod and Jack

  10. Fergiemoto says:

    Wow, you sure do read a lot! That’s awesome!

Thanks for commenting, I would love to hear from you.

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