Friday, October 26, 2012

Bizarro Book Club: The Graveyard Book


Bizarro Book Club is Back!

(this happens every two months, click here for last time)
Here are the logistics...
  • We came up with a set of questions that will allow us to discuss the book without really giving anything away for those of you who haven't read it.
  • We  both answer each question.  We've written our answers beforehand so as not to be influenced by the other person's ideas.
  • We do have a chance for rebuttal or additional commentary after we've read what the other person wrote. 
  • If you've read the book and you want to weigh in with your own answers, reactions to ours, etc. we'd love that! 
Are you still there?  Great!  We read The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman.  Here we go....


#1- IF TWO BOOKS HAD A BABY AND THE RESULT WAS THIS BOOK, WHO WOULD IT'S PARENTS BE?

Robyn: Are there any other books like this out there?  It was SO original to me!  I'll say it had the mystery of a Nancy Drew combined with the Fantasy of Mull's Fablehaven- twisted in a creepy way only possible through the creative genius of Neil Gaiman.

Whit: Okay I had a hard time with this question too. For me, one of the parent books would be James and the Giant Peach though, you know because of a child being cared for by unlikely guardians and the environment seeming normal to him but odd to everyone else. As for the other parent? Something creepy-- a murder mystery-- maybe Mary Higgins Clark or something (I have haven't read one of those forever, but I remember a lot of creepy stalker stuff in those.)

Robyn:  hmmm...  mostly I don't think there is anything out there quite like this book.

Whit: Oh, I haven't read Fablehaven. (I know, I know. And I call myself a book blogger!)

#2- THE MAIN CHARACTER 'NOBODY' AKA BOD LEARNS/ACQUIRES SPECIAL GIFTS BECAUSE HE LIVES IN THE GRAVEYARD. (ie passing through walls, fading, haunting and dream walking) WHICH OF THESE SKILLS WOULD YOU CHOOSE TO HAVE?

Robyn: I would choose Fading, hands down to all the other abilities Bod has.  I mean I already try to fade... sometimes when your at the grocery store you just don't want to run into anyone you know.  Am I right?

Whit: You are totally right! I was torn between fading-- for same reason you mentioned, and dream walking.  I just think it might be nice to go into my kids dreams and get rid of any nightmares they might be having...and if I happen to slip in a little something about following directions while there... but really, to help them have good dreams and sleep peacefully in their own beds.

Robyn: If I used dream walking on my kids it would be for the sole purpose of trying to improve their behavior.  ;) 

#3- WHICH CHARACTER (besides Bod) DID YOU LIKE MOST AND WHY?

Robyn: Silas was just so cool and mysterious... I really liked him and always wanted to know more.  More about his past, more about his story, more about what brought him to the graveyard.  He was a really cool character.  I think Gaiman could totally write a whole book about just him.

Whit: Another book about Silas would be very cool! I had never even heard of the Honor Guard before reading this, had you-- has anyone?  I'm gonna have to do a little internet search.

I picked Liza Hempstock. I enjoyed all her interactions with Bod- seriously, from the first meeting to the goodbye, good stuff! Also, this is probably going to sound morbid, but I thought the story of her death as told from her perspective was just perfectly written and exactly what a witch would have done with her last breath.

Robyn: Liza was a great character!  A book all about her would be great too.



#4- HOW WOULD YOU FEEL ABOUT YOUR CHILD SPENDING THEIR DAYS PLAYING IN AN OLD GRAVEYARD/ NATURE PRESERVE?

Robyn: I would totally let my kids visit an old historical graveyard/ nature preserve with me.  I think it would be really cool.  But play in?  That seems a little irreverent to me.  And I'm certainly not one to spend my days at a graveyard so I'm thinking no to spending their days playing in one.

Whit: Yes, the part that got me about a child freely playing in this graveyard unsupervised (which does happen in the book) was not the creepiness, but the fact that I think my kids would be loud and rumpus and come across (unintentionally) disrespectful to the dead and any of their loved ones who might be visiting. I like the idea of a very old historical graveyard being turned into a nature preserve though... not sure we'd be hanging out much either. We do better in places where loud can happen.  


#5-RATE THE BOOK ON A SCALE OF ONE TO TEN, TEN BEING AS GOOD A TRIPLE SCOOP ICE CREAM CONE AND ONE BEING A CAN OF WET DOG FOOD.

Robyn:  It's getting at 8 from me.  I've never read anything quite like it.  After reading I totally understood why it got a Newberry award.  It was certainly creepy... but hey, I like creepy.

Whit: Wow! An 8, that's pretty good.  I'm not scoring it as high...I think 4 1/2 or 5. While I actually really enjoyed how it put a new and positive spin on the graveyard and the afterlife, I wasn't so hip on the creepy parts BUT-- this is the real reason for the low rating-- I did not like how things ended with Scarlett!! Why on earth did Gaiman bring her back into the plot just to take her out in a frustrating way again?!? BOO on that!! (If you can't tell I like a nice clean, resolved ending.)

Robyn: Yes, I got the feeling you hated that part.  For some reason it didn't bother me.  I don't know why.

Whit: I do, its because you're much better at going with the flow than I am.  As you were reading, you probably processed it like, "Oh, Scarlett again, that's interesting, I wonder how this will play out..." Whereas when I'm reading a book, I have in mind what will happen and if the author doesn't agree with me, it's quite annoying.  Having said that, I'm not saying all books have to have a happy ending, I'm saying if I've been reading and I expect or predict a certain plot twist or particularly a final outcome, that better be what happens! For the record? I am, luckily, a touch less like that about things in real life, sometimes. ;) 

And, that wraps it up!  Has anyone out there in internet land read this book?  What do you think?  Are we spot on? Way off?  Do you enjoy reading something a little spooky this time of year?

If you'd like to join in on our next Bizarro Book Club, we'll be reading Son by Lois Lowry.  This is actually the fourth and final book in what is being called The Giver Quartet and it just came out.  Because of the holidays, we gonna post about this one sometime in January.  So, if you haven't read this series you should have plenty of time to catch up. It should be a good one! 

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