• The Graveyard Book

  • By: Neil Gaiman
  • Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (17,028 ratings)

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The Graveyard Book

By: Neil Gaiman
Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
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Publisher's Summary

The original audiobook edition of the acclaimed novel, read by the author! 

The Graveyard Book, by Neil Gaiman, has sold more than one million copies and is the only novel ever to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal.

Nobody Owens is an unusual boy who inhabits an unusual place - he's the only living resident of a graveyard. Raised from infancy by the ghosts, werewolves, and other cemetery denizens, Bod has learned the antiquated customs of his guardians' time as well as their ghostly teachings - such as the ability to Fade so mere mortals cannot see him.

Can a boy raised by ghosts face the wonders and terrors of the worlds of both the living and the dead?

Magical, terrifying, and filled with breathtaking adventures, The Graveyard Book is the winner of the Newbery Medal, the Carnegie Medal, the Hugo Award for best novel, the Locus Award for Young Adult novel, the American Bookseller Association's "Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book", a Horn Book Honor, and Audio Book of the Year.

©2008 Neil Gaiman (P)2008 HarperCollins Publishers
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Critic Reviews

  • Hugo Award, Best Novel, 2009
  • Newbery Medal winner, 2009

Featured Article: The Best Neil Gaiman Listens of All Time


"I make things up and write them down"—that’s how Neil Gaiman has humbly described his work. And he must be pretty good at it too, because many, many people count themselves as fans. He’s written novels, short fiction, nonfiction, comic books, books for children, graphic novels, films, and audio dramas in genres from mythic fantasy to horror. With so many Neil Gaiman works to get through, here's what you won’t want to miss in audio.

What listeners say about The Graveyard Book

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    12,471
  • 4 Stars
    3,316
  • 3 Stars
    914
  • 2 Stars
    207
  • 1 Stars
    120
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    11,144
  • 4 Stars
    1,338
  • 3 Stars
    302
  • 2 Stars
    68
  • 1 Stars
    58
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    9,650
  • 4 Stars
    2,380
  • 3 Stars
    664
  • 2 Stars
    134
  • 1 Stars
    78

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Masterful Fantasy for the Jaded Heart

I just put my finger on why I find Neil Gaiman's Graveyard Book and Neverwhere so enchanting. As a kid (roughly age 10 to 13) I used to love reading books like the Sword of Shanara, Hobbit, Lord of the Rings, Circle of Light, Elric of Melnibone, Chronicles of Amber, Grey Mouser and Fafhard, The Dragon and the George, The Compleat Enchanter, etc. They were books of a different world with with rules of magic I could believe were real. They had not only villains and heroes, children who became men, and powers discovered, but they made me feel like I could be part of battles between order and chaos, mages and warriors, gods and men, monsters and me.

Somewhere along the line in the thirty years that followed I gradually lost the desire or will to escape the rules of nature. I gradually lost my passion for fantasy and got drawn more to hard science fiction or murder mysteries or at least stories with a hard basis on reality, even if a reality poetically described.

When I hear Neil Gaiman's books, however, I am drawn all the way back, full force, into a world of all new rules. Everything becomes possible, and it all feels real.

I noticed that most of the negative reviews for this book are by people who bought it for their small children. This book is no more for small children than a Tolkien book would be. What it is, however, is for grown ups who miss the magic of childhood.

This book is magical.

264 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

This is Gaiman's best!


I devoured it like candy!! And Gaimen's narration has gotten so great. Really, really, great! I highly recommend this book for adults and those children who's parents trust them with a wee bit of violence and horror. Its a coming of age but one that beautifully and artfully acknowledges that the past,even the distant past, is a powerful force of life all around us, that those who walked before us could be closer then they seem, and they might be loving and sympathetic. I listened to the book straight through, in one sitting, I couldn't help it!

99 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful!

I bought this around Halloween for me, a 50+ lady. I wanted something spooky, but not really scary and this was just what I was looking for. It was delightful and fun and I just loved the story. AAAAA++++++ Just wonderful!!

90 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Pure Fantasy

I rated this book a five but I should state that this book is targeted toward tweens or young teens. I believe there is too much murder and scary stuff for younger than that. As for older than that, this is a trip down the dark side of the rabbit hole. I enjoyed the book though and I am 68 years old. You have to suspend your disbelief no matter your age. The author is so talented and the narrator so perfect that I got a kick out of the book enjoying the fact that it is such a stretch of the imagination. I don't usually enjoy music during a reading but the playing of a variation of the Sherlock Holmes theme was perfect in this book and added to the fun. If you like fantasy then this is the book for you.

48 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Takes the gloom out of lugubrious

I enjoyed this book very much. It is well written, interesting and the author's use of language gives an extra kick, like an elusive spice in a soup.

To be honest I almost turned it off after the first couple of minutes, but don't want to spoil. Let us just say that the story cannot take place without this bit, just struck a tad close to home for me.

Luckily I was driving mach 80 down the interstate and couldn't fiddle with my iPod at the time. I am now delighted that fate compelled me wait a couple of minutes, otherwise I would have missed out.

The story is a good one and has a very original twist.

Insofar as it goes as an audio book, it is fantastic. This is a book that begs to be read aloud and comes alive in the most marvelous way. The reader does a splendid job.

Now, as an aside - my husband recently ran out of shaving soap. As matter of fact, the week after I finished listening to this book. He ran up to Target to get some shaving soap. He came home with a bottle of "Every Man Jack" saving soap. I actually got chills, I was scared to pieces and had to tell myself it would be silly to make him take it back.
I didn't think the book all that scary, wrong. The story weaves its way into your psyche and finds a place to live (always the mark of an exceptionally fine piece of literature).

All in all, definitely a top drawer listen!

45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Another Superb Gaiman Book

I have come a little late to the whole Gaiman thing. I tripped over his book Neverwhere and that led me to this. It's positioned as a children's story but the funny,dark driven and enormously likable story makes it a must-hear for anybody. The fact that Gaiman is such a brilliant performer of his own work compounds the effect. Gaiman creates a wonderful completely credible alternate reality which sits just behind the cemetery fence.Although I now live in the US I was raised in London and that perhaps prejudices me towards this author who is so quintessentially Brit. If you are new to Gaiman then get this book and get Neverwhere at the same time. You will then spend many more hours than you need to sitting in your car parked on your driveway not wanting to leave the world he weaves around you. If you already know Gaimin and haven't yet enjoyed this book...what are you waiting for?

27 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A fun listen for tweens and up

This book has a lot of charm; it keeps you interested through storyline and a terrific narrator. I wrote for "tweens and up" because there are a couple of violent parts that you only understand by "reading between the lines" My 13 y.o. would get it but my 8 y.o. would be lost - which is okay because if my 8 y.o. understood what was happening, he wouldn't sleep in his own bed for a month!

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

If there are any gods in heaven...

...then there will be a sequel.

The Graveyard Book is an expansion of Gaiman's own short story, The Witch's Headstone, and a super fun read. The story has Gaiman's trademark other world elements but the comparison ends there.

Bod (Nobody Owens) is an orphaned boy raised by the permanent inhabitants of an old English graveyard. His quiet, anonymous little life is actually something very different. Discovering who he is is the spark for his outrageous adventures.

I gathered (from the reviews) that this was intended for more literate teens. That won't preclude a more mature lover of a good yarn from getting carried away with Bod's darkish adventures. There's no Freddy Kruger nonsense or Stephen King hauntings here -- it's delightfully different.

Also, Gaiman reads this himself and you don't have to pay extra for that!!

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Parents should listen first

This is a great book and wonderfully read (by the author?). HOWEVER... parents might want to listen to it first. The first scene is, well, to put it bluntly, the narrative of a professional murderer stabbing to death two parents and a little girl. It's pretty violent. The story really starts with the second scene, where the baby is "adopted" by ghosts in the graveyard, and if you think the scene of murder will bother your child overmuch, you can probably just skip right over it without losing much plot.

But this is a very good book, and the reader is really, really good, especially with the children's voices.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A fine children's story but not worth a Hugo

Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book is a simple story about Nobody "Bod" Owens who, after his family is murdered, takes refuge in a graveyard and is raised by ghosts. It is a milieu story designed to explore Gaiman's strange world of ghosts and ghouls and many other weird things. It will leave any young reader wide-eyed. Bod, despite being raised by ghosts, is a fairly normal kid. In fact, he is so normal that he is boring. We follow along as he explores the graveyard and gets into trouble. The story picks up when Bod uses his ghostly powers for good against a pair of school bullies. Finally, Bod goes toe to toe with the villain in a G-rated showdown that will please concerned mothers.

I have never much liked Gaiman's style. He tries too hard to be clever and he offsets this by trivially naming his main character "Nobody" or always referring to the character Jack as "the man Jack." Gaiman is absurdly creative but he struggles to control it. His creativity gushes forth feverishly into every aspect of his story which puts me off. But that is Gaiman.

It is unfair to criticize The Graveyard Book by the standards of adult fiction. This is a story aimed at younger, less discriminating audiences. The problem I have is that this book won a Hugo award and this is why I read it. This book definitely does not belong in the same category as Starship Troopers, The Forever War, or Spin. While some adults may like The Graveyard Book, I thought it was too "cute" and even annoying (Any villain worth his salt should know better than to reveal his plans in a twenty minute conversation with his victims.)

If you are a Gaiman fan or if you enjoy young adult fiction, you will like this. It is clever and fun. But if you are looking for something more substantial, as I was, look elsewhere.

13 people found this helpful