The Graveyard Book Essay

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Critical Review ‘The Graveyard Book’ (Neil Gaiman) In the classic children’s fantasy-horror novel, The Graveyard Book, written by English author Neil Gaiman, 2008, he has created a passionate gate into the world of fairy tale and fantasy for young readers. It is considered to be the most distinguished contribution to children’s literature today because it explored various themes and ideas, and questioned others’ opinions of good and evil. Gaiman’s novel examines the themes of death and supernatural. The Graveyard Book is rightly considered the definitive horror novel for children because it entices the reader to continue reading as the plot builds up more excitement. The novel begins with a ruthless murder of a small boy’s entire family by a professional assassin. Only the orphaned toddler survives, because through coincidence or infantile premonition, it had chosen the night of the murders to wander from its crib. The killer, Jack, tracks the roaming child, by scent, to the graveyard. An elderly, ghostly couple rescues the young child and names him Nobody Owens, Bod for short. Bod is given the freedom of the graveyard; the ability to see and communicate with the dead, and therefore spends his early life living in there. The majority of the book is about Bod’s adventures in and out of the graveyard as he grows up, and learns about the danger beyond the gates. Gaiman has fashioned a sinister storyline in third person, intending The Graveyard Book to be a frightening yet compelling story of childhood, parenting and growing up. Neil Gaiman was inspired by his son riding on a bike around the graveyard and Kipling’s novel, The Jungle Book. At the time, Gaiman envisioned it to be a simple, sophisticated supernatural retelling of Mowgli’s adventures. However, the Graveyard Book has become a nobly recognised horror-fantasy book in pop culture for early teens. The
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