So I didn’t quite get my Graveyard Book post up last week… the combination of grad school and the new job have been a bit rough, but I only have a semester and a half left to go after this one. I can’t wait to finally be done with school!
This will just be a quick post, because I just finished a paper and need to go to bed before waking up at 5:30 am to go to work. I’ll need lots of caffeine to avoid being Zombie Librarian.
Warning – from this point forward, there will be major plot spoilers from Chapter 4 through the end of Neil Gaiman’s “The Graveyard Book.”
I love the way that Neil Gaiman creates the theme that the world isn’t entirely bad, and that not everything that seems scary is inherently evil. Liza Hempstock and the Sleer are both great examples of this. The chapter where Bod gives Liza a headstone was my favorite part of the entire book; even though everyone told Bod to stay away from Liza because she was a witch, she ended up being a true friend and a good person who just happened to get shafted with some bad luck. I’m glad that Bod had the good sense to look past everyone else’s prejudices and make a new friend. And the Sleer? The Sleer is just awesomely creepy, and I love that it’s not malevolent, but just has motivations of its own.
Ghouls, on the other hand, are just nasty. So are Jacks of All Trades. Even though Gaiman created a lot of characters that are rough on the outside but just misunderstood, he allows that there are still evil things in the world that will try to harm you, whether or not you are nice to them.
I’m not sure that I particularly cared for the way that the book ended (even though I loved the book). I realize that it’s meant to be a parallel to “The Jungle Book,” but let’s face it… a fifteen or sixteen year old with a pocketful of cash is going to have a hard time being thrust into the world without some sort of direction, especially if he has no idea about modern life. I don’t think that going for pizza with Silas counts as understanding the world, and even when he went to school, Bod was very sheltered. I fear for him a bit. Perhaps Neil Gaiman will revisit Bod in a short story later on and let us know that he found a place for himself. I’d like that.
I still totally think that Silas is a vampire. There was that part at the end where he was talking with Bod about how he used to do bad things, as bad as Jack, even. When he said that, I kept thinking to myself “Yeah, he’s a vampire alright.”
What did everyone else think of the book?