So the other day, Kari posted on larger than life characters via her reading in WRITING THE BREAKOUT NOVEL.
Yesterday, I finished a book portraying a larger than life character. So I thought I’d piggyback off of Kari’s thoughts and add my own, review-style.
I decided I had to read THE GRAVEYARD BOOK after pouring through Kate’s analysis of it (look around her site, she pulls out awesome aspects of the book over multiple posts).
Actually, I “read” this one by audiobook. I have to tell you, the experience was especially delightful because Neil Gaiman was the narrator.
What could be cooler that hearing a book read the way the author intended it????
Plus, I must add that Gaiman has this magical storyteller’s voice. He was created to tell tales.
Of course, the book gets to break all the rules. Hopping character perspective mid-narration. Following a character from infancy to adolescence. Noticeable (but wonderful) use of adverbs. The thing is, Gaiman does it masterfully, and I didn’t mind A BIT. (And, as Mary Kole says–geniuses can get away with this kind of behavior much easier than an aspiring writer can.)
The main character, Bod, is exactly the kind of person you want to root for, you want to follow around, you want to be. Even when he’s making a stupid decision, you know it will work out, because you know deep down that he has a good heart. He does things I’m not brave enough to do. He has talents I only wish I had. But he’s humble and kind, and I’m pretty sure we’re BFFs now.
I didn’t want the book to end. As I felt the narrative wrapping up, I caught myself pausing the story and finding all sorts of reasons to do something else.
Not because I was bored with the story.
BECAUSE I DIDN’T WANT IT TO END.
The biggest revelation this book offered me was its simplicity. The plot was straightforward. You could see every brick that built the tale. You knew where it was going. I enjoyed every delicious word of it. Each character was delightful and unique. For goodness sakes, I was sad to stop living in a graveyard!
And because I didn’t want it to end, even after it was over, I kept thinking about the story. How could something so beautiful and simple apply to my life? How can I hold on to the delight I felt in the narrative?
And then all of my graveyard memories came flooding back to me.
I learned to drive in a graveyard.
My friends and I would walk through it before youth group and talk about life.
We drove around it in the back of a truck on Halloween to scare ourselves, and my dad hid behind a tombstone and TERRIFIED us.
I used to (need to again) visit my aunt’s and my grandma’s graves and remember who they were.
We played football in the field that wasn’t yet full of graves.
It was one of those places where I learned that there are real people and there are fake people. And there are real people who act like fake people because they’re too afraid to be real.
All of which proves that this is truly a great book. Any book that can pull me through the above thought process gets a 20 out of 5 hearts from me.
The layout is a work in process. Thanks for loving me anyways