29 August 2009

New Review: The Graveyard Book

It's my first review in a while, I know, I'm sorry, and I posted it first over at BlogCritics. Here's a preview:

The plot is archetypal Gaiman: an unsuspecting ordinary person (this time an infant) wanders into an unfamiliar and magical but not unappealing otherworld (this time an abandoned graveyard) where he learns just as much about himself as about his new surroundings.

Given the fact that I've read enough Gaiman books to identify this pattern, I suppose it's obvious I'm a fan. I had an inkling I would like this book before I cracked open its spine.

And I did like the book. So did the folks at the American Library Association (ALA), who rewarded the book their respected John Newbery Medal for singular children's literature. I can't quite reconcile myself to the thought that Gaiman, who one wrote a devilish story in which Snow White, a vampire-waif who seduced forest men for access to their blood before she married the necrophiliac Prince Charming, now joins the ranks of Beverly Cleary and E.L. Konigsburg as one of our country's foremost youth raconteurs, but that's how it is. Who'd have thought?

So, I liked the book, and some other people did, too. But despite the trophies it has amassed in the near-year since its release, the Newberry being only the most prestigious, I'm not convinced that Graveyard is Gaiman's masterpiece.

I have two prime complaints.

You can read those complaints here.