This is Harry Potter condensed. I hope Neil Gaiman won’t be offended, because he’s his own man, but The Graveyard Book really has a lot in common with that other boy’s life story.
Bod – short for Nobody – is a very special, but normal, boy. Rescued from being murdered as a toddler, he ends up living in a deserted graveyard. Who knew dead people could be so lovely? Bod has a good, if somewhat unusual, life growing up with the graveyard inhabitants.
There is a prize on his head, and he is continously in danger, but the skills taught him by the dead people help him. Unlike the other famous boy survivor, Bod’s adventures need only one book to reach a conclusion, and a very satisfying one, too.
There’s a lot of good advice for the living in this book, and Bod proves to be very talented at dealing with bullies, as well as those more dangerous people who are after him.
I’ve never thought much about what the Dance Macabre might really be, but Neil’s version is a good one. And if you don’t want to look up dead US presidents, then no. 33 is Truman. Had rather hoped it might be Reagan.
This is a very, very good read.
I’m off to visit a graveyard.