My FIRST EVER GAIMAN!!
I went into this book blind, knowing nothing more than what was on the blurb of the book and wanting to start reading Neil Gaiman’s works on one of the less-intimidating texts! Because lets be real, American Gods sounds amazing but that thing is, like, a tome of intimidating size. Hence: The Graveyard Book. It tickled my fancy because you don’t often read books which are legitimately and almost entirely set in graveyards.
I loved this book, rather unexpectedly I may add. It’s an interesting thing reading about death and graveyards in so light-hearted (to an extent) a manner, particularly in modern times when death has become something to flee and to fear. I really enjoyed it! Now I honestly can’t say if this particular volume is indicative of Gaiman’s writing style or work in general, but if it is I can see why he has such a following. This book deals with death in a far more irreverent, almost jocular manner than you normally find in Western-author books. And while death wasn’t a laughing matter in this book, it was treated as exactly what it is: a lifelong (excuse the pun) constant, a fate all mankind will one day face, and quite honestly something of which that we have constructed within ourselves and our society and irrational fear. I really, really liked that this book dealt with death as a simple fact of life. I really liked that. I mean, to be fair: this was also a book about the supernatural, so what comes after and the different places you can go and all that sort of carry-on, but I truly think that the main message of this book is that death isn’t necessarily something to fear. Of course, this may be total bollocks and Neil Gaiman may see this review one day and giggle to himself over what a ridiculous moron I am (unlikely to the first, likely to the latter), secure in the knowledge that this book was just a random squiggle of an idea to do with ghosts that turned into a book. I’ll admit this is also possible.
What I’m saying, here, is that this is a good book. I blazed through it, it isn’t exactly Proust (and thank all the gods for that), but it was a very enjoyable few hours and the story stuck with me. I am certainly going to read more Gaiman books one day, though the likelihood is that I will get to Norse Mythology before I get to another of his novels, simply because I both a) have that book, and b) don’t have any other of his novels right now. It is what it is. I would like to get more of them though.
Five star read, people. Give it a go!
Image credits: my book, my photo.