Graveyard Book

The Graveyard Book

by Neil Gaiman

I’m Kim Alexander and this is Fiction Nation. The book is The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, which by the way has just been awarded the Newberry Medal.

Let’s get the obvious out of the way. I adore Neil Gaiman. I live in awe of everything he’s ever touched or looked upon, and to simply call The Sandman a graphic novel doesn’t do justice to its beauty, terror, humor and poetry.

Gaiman’s newest is The Graveyard Book, a children’s book that starts with a triple murder in the first few pages. It’s a sort of sideways slant on The Jungle Book. What would a little orphaned boy raised in a cemetery learn about life and death? Who would his friends be? His enemies? The book is typically rich in the funny and the sad, and the very very scary. Keep an eye out particularly for the ghouls, who are delightfully awful, and the Man Jack, who is simply, starkly awful.

Actually getting a chance to talk with Neil convinced me that nerves will never give me a heart attack. Let me tell you, it was close. No surprise, he was warm, gracious, charming, a great story teller and very quickly calmed me down. We talked about The Graveyard Book, Bela Fleck, his collaboration with genius artist Dave McKean,Ê and then about the translation to the screen of Coraline, another razor blade masquerading as a teddy bear.

Neil just announced that The Graveyard Book will also hit the screen, directed by Neil Jordan — so now we all have that to look forward to. First, Coraline this Saturday! See you at the movies!

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