Published: September 30, 2008
Literary Awards: Hugo Award for Best Novel (2009), Newbery Medal (2009), Locus Award for Best Young Adult Novel (2009), World Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Mythopoeic Fantasy Award Nominee for Children’s Literature (2009), Audie Award for Audiobook of the Year (2009), Michigan Library Association Thumbs Up! Award Nominee (2009), Indies Choice Book Award for Best Indie Young Adult Buzz Book (Fiction): (2009), Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award (ALAN/NCTE) Nominee (2009), British Fantasy Award Nominee for Best Novel (2009), Cybils Award for Middle Grade Fantasy & Science Fiction (2008), Carnegie Medal (2010), Elizabeth Burr / Worzalla Award (2009)
“It takes a graveyard to raise a child.”
I picked this up to listen to on a car trip with my children. I think my young children were scared or turned off by the no frills triple murder with which the novel begins. I, however, was enthralled and could not wait to listen to it each time I got into my car. I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” previously and fell in love with his brilliant writing style then. I was hoping to share that experience with my children… Maybe in a few years. Having this book read by the author himself was pure delight. His English accent and the manner in which he was able to do different voices for the various characters really brought the story to life. I realized after the fact that there are actually two versions of this audible book. I listened to the one with Neil Gaiman as the sole narrator, but there is another one with a full cast of narrators.
The storyline itself is enchanting. I was mesmerized! I felt my skin prickle in anticipation of what was coming next. The characters were fabulous. The plot is complex, yet everything came full circle throughout the novel. It is a huge puzzle in which all the pieces had just the right fit. Every bit of this novel is delicious perfection. It is a brilliant, magical, dreamy, fantastical world and everyone should read or listen to this. As you can see from all the awards this novel has won, I am not alone in feeling this way!