Book Review by Aarene Storms: The Graveyard Book (graphic novel)

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The Graveyard Book (graphic novel) volumes 1 and 2
by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell

A lovely, dark and gentle re-casting of familiar tales from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Books ... only in these stories, the orphan boy isn't raised in the jungle by wolves, but rather is raised in the graveyard by the dead.

It should be creepy. But it isn't.

Nobody Owens learns to fade, to dreamwalk, to talk to night gaunts, and to open the ghoul gate - skills that a boy growing up in a graveyard should have. He will need all of his skills, and all of his friends among the deceased (or nearly deceased) to help him survive when the man Jack returns to finish what was begun when Bod was just a baby.

The graphic novelization brings new perspective to the stories originally told in Gaiman's award-winning Graveyard Book. The ghosts are still very charming, the ghouls even more icky. I was sorry to see that some of the delightful subtlety of the text-only version was discarded ... in other words, Silas is a vampire. Ms Lupescu is a werewolf. The novel implied it, but the pictures show it with no room for doubt. Ah, well.

The stories are still wonderful, but I think I prefer the original. Or better yet, the audiobook, read by the delightful Mister Gaiman himself.

Dark, but not horrible, scary but not terrifying. Some blood, but not gruesome.

Recommended for ages 12 to adult.

The events may not have happened; still, the story is true.  --R. Silvern

Aarene Storms, youth services librarian
Richmond Beach and Lake Forest Park Libraries, KCLS


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