The Graveyard Book was easily one of my favourite books back in 2008 when I read it for the first time, then again when I listened to the wonderful audiobook, narrated by the author, Neil Gaiman, a few months later.
This week covers the first three chapters:
- How Nobody Came to the Graveyard
- The New Friend
- The Hounds of God
Holidays and the lurgey conspired to delay my start of the book to just last night, but within just a few opening lines, Gaiman’s perfect reading voice, drew me straight back into Bod’s world.
I need to start this with an admission and a smack to the head. The book opens with this epigraph:
Rattle his bones
Over the stones
It’s only a pauper
Who Nobody owns
– Traditional Nursery Rhyme
Nobody owns = Nobody Owens… Why have I never made this connection before? I’ve not felt this stupid since it took me a couple of reads to realise Grimmauld Place = Grim Old Place!
The structure of using short stories to tell Bod’s story rather that a traditional narrative, has always felt ‘right’ even from the first read, but with each read, and as everything becomes more familiar, it feels even more right.
The first two chapters/stories serve to introduce the characters, and some plot points that will come back as the story reaches its climax, but it’s with the third story, The Hounds of God, and his initially unwanted relationship with his new teacher, Miss Lupescu,that we really get to see, Bod take a journey and develop throughout it.
I still love the fact that every time we meet new denizen of the graveyard, we are told they date of birth/death and epitaph, such a fun quirk! As is the slightly more creepy one where the ghouls are named after the first person they eat after becoming ghouls!
Up next week are chapters 4-6.