Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book.
I really want to like Neil Gaiman’s writing. I really do. I want to love it, in fact. In general, I’m a fan of YA books and of the horror genre. Or at least I used to be, back when I used to read. People who like what I tend to like really, really, really obsessively like him.
I have lots of mp3s of Neil Gaiman reading his various essays, short stories, and poetry. And I love all of it. I laugh, and I listen and re-listen and share it with abandon. I want to get that same feeling from his writing, but I just kind of don’t.
This story of the live boy (“Bod” short for “Nobody,” a name drawn straight from Homer’s Odyssey with the “Noman is killing me” bit) raised by ghosts in a graveyard left me… cold as the tomb? Well, not entirely. There were some good bits, but it didn’t seem to hang together as much as one would like. I saw the twist, such as it was, coming a mile away. And the idea that Bod had to cling to life because after that opportunity was gone, nothing changed, etc. etc… isn’t that falsified by the ghosts who changed everything by deciding to raise him?
I was happy enough to have this book keep me company on a long (almost twice as long as it should have been!) and rainy “express” bus ride in South Korea. But I don’t know if I’ll be picking up another Gaiman book soon. Maybe I’ll just go listed to him talk some more. Is it the accent?