Last week I wrote about chapters 4 – 6 of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, this week we have read the final chapters 7 and 8.
It was obvious that the man Jack would be back and also that he would be part of the final episodes. What wasn’t entirely clear but was revealed in the final chapters was why he was after Bod’s family. This is where The Graveyard Book turns almost into a Greek tragedy. In order to prevent something that is predicted, the man Jack commits a crime but, as is the case in the Greek tragedies, fails and the murder itself sets in motion his own undoing. Ironic really.
The final confrontation with the man Jack was something I expected and I wasn’t too surprised, still there are many surprises in the final chapters. I was wondering from the beginning how the book would end in terms of Bod’s development and future. Would he forever stay with his ghost family and friends? Would he start to follow Silas on his trips? Would Miss Lupescu show him how to become like her?All these were possibilities and I was keen on finding out which solution Gaiman had chosen. The end isn’t exactly like I expected it. I thought it was almost a bit sad. I know, I’m allowed to, as this is a readalong post, still, I don’t feel like spoiling the book, so I won’t say more.
There is something I like about Neil Gaiman’s books and stories and that is that he often provides a lot of information on how he his novels and stories came to be, what inspired him, where he wrote them.
As I said in my first post, The Graveyard Book is strongly influenced by The Jungle Book but one of the very first inspirations came, as he writes, from watching his then two year-old son riding his tricycle between the graves of a cemetery. He finally started the book with chapter four and if his daughter hadn’t wanted to know what would happen next, he would have stopped there. Tori Amos is one of the people he mentions in the Acknowledgment section. He also adds some lines from her song Graveyard. I can only assume it inspired him too. It’s a very short piece. You can listen to it on YouTube.
I’m not sure which will be my next Gaiman. I guess either Coraline or American Gods.
I read The Graveyard Book for Carl’s readalong which is part of R.I.P. VII. If you want to read what other’s thought, don’t miss visiting Carl’s blog for the other reviews.
19 thoughts on “Neil Gaiman – The Graveyard Book (2008) Readalong Part III”
Thanks for carrying us along during your read of this Caroline. I have not yet read Gaiman and really want to begin with “American Gods”.
As you allude to Gaiman seemingly drew on a lot of influences when crafting this book. In addition to those that you mention, it sounds like there may be some Eastern Thought thrown in here to.
I’m very curious to see what you will think of American Gods. As far as I know, there too he draws his inspiration from many sources and I’m quite sure, there are Eastern Influences as well.
I’m really keen on reading it soon as well. I hope we will be able to exchange thoughts.
While this was a re-read for me, I too could kind of see Jack’s fate coming the first time I read it. However, Gaiman threw in all these other tidbits about side characters that I did not see coming, so the ending was satisfying.
American Gods is one of my all-time favorite books. I hope you enjoy it as much or more than The Graveyard Book.
That’s great to know. I’m in the mood to juts read one of his books after the other now.
I found the ending very satisfying. To some extent we get what we expect but like you said, there is more too. It was well done.
Thanks for the mention of Tori Amos’s Graveyard song. I just listened to it on youtube–very plaintive and lovely.
You’re welcome. It’s lovely, isn’t it?
I would have loved for Silas to take Bod off on trips into the world. It’s kind of sad he has to venture off alone…but for the metaphor of growing up, it makes sense too.
I thought it was sad but it is quite realistic. Things, life, everything changes constantly.
not to fussed on the book but love the amos video ,all the best stu
I love that song too but I liked the book as well.
I really need to read one of his books now. I think it might be easy to find his works here but the problem is the time that I have…I have been very slow in reading lately, too much tv-series (you know I found a new celebrity crush and he takes a lot of my time because I have a lot to catch up).
I am sure I will read his one day. Thank you for not spoiling the story in your readalong review, Caroline 🙂
I think you would like Neverwhere. I sure did. Oh yes, the new crush… 😉
TV series are dangerous time eaters.
Coraline is great–I first listened to it, then read it and also saw the movie! I am still listening to The Graveyard book, but should finish by the end of October. As expected Gaiman has been a wonderful reader for the story! Now I am quite looking forward to seeing how things work out!
I’m looking forward to that as well but I think I’m ready for one of his books for grown ups next plus I’ve got part I one of the Sandman graphic novel. I really think I should try him in the audio format too.
Nice post, Caroline. Glad to know that you enjoyed ‘The Graveyard Book’. It is interesting to know that the ending surprised you. I will add this book to my wishlist. I love that Tori Amos song. Thanks for the readalong posts and for sharing this song.
I like almost all of her music anyway but this is particularly nice.
The ending was surprising, it was to some extent foreseeable but maybe I didn’t want it to end that way.
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I just finished this book last night and I was in tears by the end. I loved the ending, I thought it was very fitting, but it’s also quite emotional I felt.
Heh, need I mention that I loved browing through the thank you notes at the end of the book and seeing quite a few people I really like myself, not the least of which is Tori of course.
That’s one thing I really love about Gaiman, the thanks and getting to know how and by whom he was inspired.
I think the impact of the book would have been even greater if I had read it in one go. I thought the end was sad as well. It did make perfect sense though.