The Turndog Review: The Graveyard Book





Hello there and welcome to The Turndog Review: the books I read, reviewed.

I aren’t a professional critic, instead all I offer is my honest opinion into everything I read. However, I do this with a difference, as I don’t only offer my personal views on the Writing, Plot, and Story, but also the Book Cover, Book Marketing, and Author Website.

We live in a modern world where being a writer is different to years gone by, and I feel the whole experience of the book matters. This covers everything from the initial find, the actual read, and everything that follows. Therefore I hope this review not only offers a great insight into the book and author, but also into my own mind and what makes me tick.

So without further ado let’s begin, and today I focus on The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman


Published: 2008

Read: June 2012

Discovered: Read by me and my Goodreads June Buddy



The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman isn’t a book that’s been on my radar, but as I want to read more Neil Gaiman, it was on my to-do list. When my Goodreads June Buddy (Anty Harton) asked if we could read it, I thought why not (plus my flatmate has a copy already so it was a free book J )

The book follows Nobody Owens and his young life in the Graveyard. His family was killed when he was a baby, and on the night of the murder he wandered up the hill, climbed into the graveyard, and was taken in by a community of ghosts.

It follows his life in the graveyard; his ups and downs, his lonely moments and his friendships with people long since dead. It also shows how he’s able to straddle the living and immortal world. Fading, Haunts, and a whole host of ghostly things. Young Nobody can do a great deal that us mere readers never could.

It’s a lovely story that all comes together in the end. I won’t spoil the ending because it kind of came out of nowhere (for me at least), but was superb nevertheless.


The Good:

First of all, I loved the occasional touch of illustration. They are haunting but beautiful. It made for a great break in play and really suited the type of story.

I also loved the premise of things come the end of the book. The story ties together in an amazing way, and some things that are mentioned earlier, which seemingly don’t matter, play a rather large role. It also brings other childhood stories to the front of your mind, which is something I always love.

Overall, I really liked things.


The Bad:

There isn’t too much I can put under this header. I really did like this book, and although there was the odd chapter that didn’t grab me, it’s nevertheless a top read.

I’m a fan of Neil’s writing and think he showcases his imagination very well. So yeah, sorry, but I can’t offer too much I’m afraid. Sorry guys. I’d be a terrible professional critic, wouldn’t I? Far too nice 🙂


Book Cover:

The cover immediately pulls you in and says “hey, I’ll be made into a Tim Burton film one day.”

It’s child friendly, but dark. They say a picture says a thousand words, well, in this case I think it’s true. Neil’s name is large and proud, which is good, but the title of the book takes a back seat.

This isn’t necessarily bad, as Neil will act as the main selling point (plus the picture says a great deal), but I feel the text could be a tad clearer.

A lovely paperback cover, but not sure what it would look like as an Ebook. Good, but not great.



Book Marketing:

I read the hardback version, and there wasn’t really any marketing. This is fine, because it isn’t something I’d expect from a hardback. However, at the back there is an acknowledgment section that Neil places his own spin on.

It’s more than a list of name, but a story in itself. It tells you a lot about Neil and the story behind the book. Not marketing per say, but it draws you in and wants you to research Neil more.


Author Website & Engagement:

Neil is a big time author, but his engagement is great. His Twitter is used a lot. Not just to sell himself (he does this little), but to just share info and engage. He also replies to his fans. Big or small, he speaks to them.

This is great and something I want to see more of from big time authors.

As for his website (or should I say sites), it’s great. Nothing amazing, but gives great detail on Neil, his books, and his future projects. There’s also a message board, for fans to interact, and really shows what an author can create.

Big or small, authors should love their readers. Neil loves them and I hope more and more people follow his ways.


Overall, I really liked this book. I wasn’t expecting to as it’s not my genre of choice. It is, however, great. It gets better as the book goes on and is very clever indeed.

The characters, the dialogue, the whimsical nature of things…It’s all great. I would happily recommend this book to anyone, because if I can like it, I feel most people can. Good job Neil, good job. I give you…

5 Turndogs out of 5


Thanks for reading this version of The Turndog Review. I review every book I read, not only for the writing, but the marketing, website, and general communication from the author.

Turndog Millionaire – @turndog_million

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