Now even taking into account that fact that, Neil Gaiman is so good at creating the worlds in his books, very little effort is needed from the reader to place you right in there, but having gone to school right across from this place – and spent many a lunchtime wandering though it (there is a wonderful view out over the valley at the end) (and I still live within walking distance), it did feel like Bod’s world was very familiar.
Undercliffe Cemetery is located in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England.
It stands on a hillside overlooking the city and contains some very impressive monuments, in a variety of styles. It is a notable example of a Victorian cemetery in which a number of rich and famous Bradford Dignitories and residents have been buried. Some of them Mayors, Lord Mayors and Mill owners, notably the Illingworth’s memorial.
It is listed by English Heritage in their Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest in England and is maintained by the Undercliffe Cemetery Charity and volunteers.
photo credit: lant_70
It was a wonderful surprise when I discovered that this had gone on sale early in my local bookshop, as I wasn’t expecting to get my grubby little hands on it until Haloween. And of course we in the UK have had to put up with certain elements in the book blogosphere have been flaunting the fact they had an earlier release date!
So, of course the wallet came out and it had to be bought, there wasn’t any reasonable alternative really!
This is the story of Nobody (Bod) Owens (and anybody that knows me in real life – or has ever had an email from me, will be able to work out why that name makes me smile every time I see it!) Who after escaping the murderer who had just killed the rest of his family, finds himself in a graveyard, where the “locals” decide to take him in and bring him up.
Over the course of the next few chapters, we get to meet his friends and experience his adventures, and he walks the line between the living and the dead, learns why his family was targeted, and why the man Jack is still after him.
The book is an utter, utter delight to read, and is populated with fantastic characters and a fabulous world for them to inhabit. I have seen in mentioned by others, that just like another of Gaiman’s books Coraline it works on many levels, younger readers will find a fantastic adventure, and older readers will as well of course, but will also find some horror lurking beneath the surface.
A note should also go out to Dave Mckean for his wonderful ilustrations, which are just perfect when used along side Gaiman’s writing, but there is another version being released over here illustrated by Chris Riddell and aimed at the childrens market, that I’m looking forward to having a thumb through, first time I manage to spot a copy!
One of my absolute favourite reads of the year!
Other Reviews to look at:
- Stainless Steel Droppings
- Stuff Dreams are Made on
- Things Mean a Lot
- You Can Never Have Too Many Books
- Katrina’s Reads
Buy, The Graveyard Book, from Amazon.