Reading: The Graveyard Book

Personal Background

During the course of a wonderful afternoon (bitter-cold but sunny; walking around Bad Nauheim's pond; refreshing heart-warming shared memories) were I visited an old friend, whom I generally see way too rarely, the topic of books came up. As it happens almost always, when we meet or talk.
I lamented that I had read too few really good books in the last weeks and months. He instantly pulled out "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman, handed it to me and said something along the lines of: "Then just read this".

It took me several months to get around to reading it. But I did so in the best circumstances one could read such a book: During my parental leave, when my 1-year old son held his midday sleeps. Lying next to him, being able to look at him by only turning my head a little.


The book is the story of Bod's, short for Nobody Owens, childhood. It starts off quite sadly, when his whole family is murdered. Bod only survives by chance (or so it seems at first), and because he's instantly adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Owens, a couple of ghosts.

The book goes on to tell Bod's experiences as a living "man" being raised by ghosts and other supernatural beings, until it culminates in a grand finale, where also the real story behind the murdered family is unveiled.


The book is a great children's story for grown-ups. And I mean this is the best possible way. It's a charming read, with lots of fantastic ideas. Although I found it a little prolonged during the middle, it was very entertaining.
Still, it's not a book I'd count among the best I've ever read and will want to read time and time again. But it's a story, that takes your hand, and shows you a world, which you most certainly haven't seen before. And it does this in a way, that makes you feel all warm-and-fuzzy inside.
And isn't that already everything you can expect from a good book?