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The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

Author: Neil Gaiman
Rating: 10/10
Last Read: July 2016

Quick Summary: A boy's family is murdered, and he manages to escape to a graveyard.  The ghosts of the graveyard raise and protect the boy.  Many adventures and childish antics ensue.

I was looking for a book to read that would be relaxing before bed.  After reading the Amazon book summary, I was going to skip over it - the premise seemed cheesy.  I'm glad I decided to give it a whirl - I finished it within the next 24 hours.

My Highlights

A graveyard is not normally a democracy, and yet death is the great democracy, and each of the dead had a voice, and an opinion as to whether the living child should be allowed to stay, and they were each determined to be heard, that night. --loc 333

His guardian was unperturbed. “It is neither fair nor unfair, Nobody Owens. It simply is. --loc 743

“They kill themselves, you mean?” said Bod. He was about eight years old, wide-eyed and inquisitive, and he was not stupid. “Indeed.” “Does it work? Are they happier dead?” “Sometimes. Mostly, no. It’s like the people who believe they’ll be happy if they go and live somewhere else, but who learn it doesn’t work that way. Wherever you go, you take yourself with you. If you see what I mean.” --loc 1222

The dance sped up, and the dancers with it. Bod was breathless, but he could not imagine the dance ever stopping: the Macabray, the dance of the living and the dead, the dance with Death. --loc 1960

Fear is contagious. You can catch it. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to say that they’re scared for the fear to become real. Mo was terrified, and now Nick was too. --loc 2277

At the best of times his face was unreadable. Now his face was a book written in a language long forgotten, in an alphabet unimagined. Silas wrapped the shadows around him like a blanket, and stared after the way the boy had gone, and did not move to follow. --loc 2358

“The dead dun’t disappoint you. They’ve had their life, done what they’ve done. We dun’t change. The living, they always disappoint you, dun’t they? You meet a boy who’s all brave and noble, and he grows up to run away.” --loc 2403

Thackeray Porringer was Bod’s height and age, and seemed to be in much better temper with him; he would walk with Bod in the evenings, and tell stories of unfortunate things that had happened to his friends. Normally the stories would end in the friends being hanged until they were dead for no offense of theirs and by mistake, although sometimes they were simply transported to the American Colonies and they didn’t have to be hanged unless they came back. --loc 2809

And then, with a hopeful whine, WILL YOU BE OUR MASTER? “I’m afraid not.” IF YOU WERE OUR MASTER, WE COULD HOLD YOU IN OUR COILS FOREVER. IF YOU WERE OUR MASTER, WE WOULD KEEP YOU SAFE AND PROTECT YOU UNTIL THE END OF TIME AND NEVER LET YOU ENDURE THE DANGERS OF THE WORLD. “I am not your master.” NO. Bod felt the Sleer writhing through his mind. It said, THEN FIND YOUR NAME. --loc 3104

Jack nodded thoughtfully. “If this is true,” said Jack, “and if I am now a Jack-all-alone, then I have an excellent reason for killing you both.” Bod said nothing. “Pride,” said the man Jack. “Pride in my work. Pride in finishing what I began.” --loc 3503

“How could you make her forget me?” Silas said, “People want to forget the impossible. It makes their world safer.” --loc 3646

“I called you boy, didn’t I? But time passes in the blink of an eye, and it’s a young man you are now, isn’t it? How old are you?” “About fifteen, I think. Though I still feel the same as I always did,” Bod said, but Mother Slaughter interrupted, “And I still feels like I done when I was a tiny slip of a thing, making daisy chains in the old pasture. You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” --loc 3732

Bod said, “I want to see life. I want to hold it in my hands. I want to leave a footprint on the sand of a desert island. I want to play football with people. I want,” he said, and then he paused and he thought. “I want everything.” --loc 3828

“Sleep my little babby- / oh Sleep until you waken / When you wake you’ll see the world / If I’m not mistaken… / Kiss a lover / Dance a measure, / Find your name / And buried treasure…” Then the last lines of the song came back to Mistress Owens, and she sang them to her son. “Face your life / Its pain, its pleasure, / Leave no path untaken” --loc 3855

“Leave no path untaken,” repeated Bod. “A difficult challenge, but I can try my best.”

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