Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Discussing The Graveyard Book and Author Neil Gaiman

I distinctly remember the moment when I decided that Tim Burton was a creative genius and that I would be a devote follower of his work.  And, no, the moment did not involve Edward or his scissored hands.  It was Corpse Bride, actually, and his unique attitude toward the relationship between life and death.  Burton's movie describes a underworld full of characters and color, much more lively than the living residents above.  Burton challenges the traditional beliefs and fears about the dead and decaying that reside below us.

Similarly, but with a flare and voice all his own, Neil Gaiman tackles the theme of life and death in his book, The Graveyard Book.

Now, I'm really not the best at reviewing books.  To be honest, it is a new art form for me.  So, I will not call this or any other post I do a book review.  Rather my reactions to the discussion.  So often, tonight included, I feel I am sitting at the feet at some truly remarkable women in our group.  Their passion for books leaves me in awe and thier understanding of books makes me want to learn more.

Having read the book over a year ago, the details I remember are vague at best, but listening to the group gush over small, delightful details reminded me of why this book brought me so much joy.  The characters were completely believable.  And Emily led us through a rather exciting discovery about Silas that left us all slightly dumbfounded.

I'm starting to realize that I need to learn how to read.  I know that sounds silly, but there is so much more to these stories!  It's completely exciting to me.
When I read Coraline a few months ago, I came across this quote by G.K. Chesterton
"Fairy tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten." 
 As I read this I could not help feel this was a glimpse into Neil Gaiman and other creative minds that thrive on slightly macabre themes.  Is that what draws me to them?  The idea of facing fears instead of shrinking away.  Are these creative minds showing me a new perspective on fear that I tend to overlook?

The Graveyard Book is charming despite the dark overtone.  Bod works through many new experience with the help of his adopted family.  Once again, the dead are portrayed as warm, friendly, and protective of little Bod.  Authors like Gaiman and Directors like Tim Burton challenge our views and get us to accept and, in some cases, love those things we previously feared. 

Thank you Neil and Tim...Carry on!

The discussion was great and the food was good.  All in all, it was a good time. We missed all those who couldn't come!  Hope we see you next time!

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