Neil Gaiman is a magician. I can find no other possible explanation for his unearthly characters, colorful imagination and his enchanting way with words. No ordinary human being could have written this book. That is for certain.
“You're alive, Bod. That means you have infinite potential. You can do anything, make anything, dream anything. If you can change the world, the world will change. Potential. Once you're dead, it's gone. Over. You've made what you've made, dreamed your dream, written your name. You may be buried here, you may even walk. But that potential is finished.
"The Graveyard Book" is a deliciously dark fairy-tale with a few morbid elements and a hint of black humor, but it is also a profound and important lesson of life, involving themes of family, friendship and belonging. The closing chapters urges the reader to go out and take part in the world; to breathe, to live and to feel.
The world Bod inhabits is so well-defined, so complete and so utterly beautiful. And yet I was still left wanting more. I wanted to crawl underneath Silas' skin, to take part in the witch's, Elizabeth Hempstock, tragic fate, to understand the longing and the despair of the Owenses and to fully comprehend the man Jack and his motifs. This book is only a vague glimpse into a richly designed world. And I was as sad to leave it as Bod was.
I was extremely impressed to find how much intertextuality this little book contains. Not only is the plotline based on Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book", there are also numerous references to famous authors and poets. Victor Hugo and Thackeray are mentioned, along with many allusions to traditional folktales.
Lately I've grown very fond of Neil Gaiman. He writes with such an effortless ease, creating entirely believable and spellbinding worlds with only one brush stroke. His books possesses a magnetic power as they draw me in from the opening sentence, and leaves me completely dazzled and mesmerized. Just as if I was under a spell cast by a wizard. Which of course leads me back to the beginning of this review...