The Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman I think many people are correct to say that "The Graveyard Book" is an interesting and enthralling story akin to Rudyard Kipling's "The Jungle Book". Even as an adult reading/hearing this tale, I could feel myself swept into the progressive tale of Nobody (Bod) Owens. I liked the way the story progressively showed his transition through the years, the efforts of those around him to keep him safe, as well as his learned abilities and experiences while residing in the graveyard. I can tell that from the chronological ordering of the chapters that it was written in segments. It does feel that, when reading the actual book, that they were not written in a set order, but when listening to the audiobook, I didn't feel this was an element that took away from it.The premise revolves around Bod's becomings into the graveyard. After Jack mercilessly kills the members of his family, Bod finds himself under the protection and enlightenment of the ghosts, ghouls, spirits, and otherworldly creatures of the graveyard. The characters are very vividly described and realistic, and Gaiman shows a natural sense of dark humor with lighthearted antics in the interactions between these characters, while commanding a strong sense of setting and pacing in each individual episode of Bod's experiences. The macabre scene was incredibly described and I loved it. I had some issues with the book/story in retrospect though. While character definition was very well done in this story, character development seemed lacking for many of the characters. Granted, Bod does learn from the experiences detailed, but I feel that it wasn't shown enough in the book for it to really convince me of the changes in his core character. Also, there isn't as much of an age distinction through the book - Bod does indeed advance in age, but there isn't really focus on how he changes from one age to the next. I loved his adventures, and I loved his interactions with the characters, but I thought it would have been an even better story if those elements were expanded upon. Dare I say, I think this would have been a 5-star book from me (first in a while), if it were longer and more expanded to show these elements.Nonetheless, I enjoyed the journey. Extra half star for a brilliantly read audiobook - I love Gaiman's narrator voice.Overall score: 4/5 stars