Last week I wrote about chapters 4 – 6 of Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book, this week we have read the final chapters 7 and 8.
It was obvious that the man Jack would be back and also that he would be part of the final episodes. What wasn’t entirely clear but was revealed in the final chapters was why he was after Bod’s family. This is where The Graveyard Book turns almost into a Greek tragedy. In order to prevent something that is predicted, the man Jack commits a crime but, as is the case in the Greek tragedies, fails and the murder itself sets in motion his own undoing. Ironic really.
The final confrontation with the man Jack was something I expected and I wasn’t too surprised, still there are many surprises in the final chapters. I was wondering from the beginning how the book would end in terms of Bod’s development and future. Would he forever stay with his ghost family and friends? Would he start to follow Silas on his trips? Would Miss Lupescu show him how to become like her?All these were possibilities and I was keen on finding out which solution Gaiman had chosen. The end isn’t exactly like I expected it. I thought it was almost a bit sad. I know, I’m allowed to, as this is a readalong post, still, I don’t feel like spoiling the book, so I won’t say more.
There is something I like about Neil Gaiman’s books and stories and that is that he often provides a lot of information on how he his novels and stories came to be, what inspired him, where he wrote them.
As I said in my first post, The Graveyard Book is strongly influenced by The Jungle Book but one of the very first inspirations came, as he writes, from watching his then two year-old son riding his tricycle between the graves of a cemetery. He finally started the book with chapter four and if his daughter hadn’t wanted to know what would happen next, he would have stopped there. Tori Amos is one of the people he mentions in the Acknowledgment section. He also adds some lines from her song Graveyard. I can only assume it inspired him too. It’s a very short piece. You can listen to it on YouTube.
I’m not sure which will be my next Gaiman. I guess either Coraline or American Gods.
I read The Graveyard Book for Carl’s readalong which is part of R.I.P. VII. If you want to read what other’s thought, don’t miss visiting Carl’s blog for the other reviews.