The book begins with a triple stabbing, leaving a baby orphaned... said baby wanders to a nearby graveyard and is brought up by the ghosts that live in the graveyard. Crazy premise but it definitely works.
The sole survivor of the attack--an 18-month-old baby--escapes his crib and his house, and toddles to a nearby graveyard. Quickly recognizing that the baby is orphaned, the graveyard's ghostly residents adopt him, name him Nobody ("Bod"), and allow him to live in their tomb. Taking inspiration from Kipling’s The Jungle Book, Gaiman describes how the toddler navigates among the headstones, asking a lot of questions and picking up the tricks of the living and the dead. In serial-like episodes, the story follows Bod's progress as he grows from baby to teen, learning life’s lessons amid a cadre of the long-dead, ghouls, witches, intermittent human interlopers. A pallid, nocturnal guardian named Silas ensures that Bod receives food, books, and anything else he might need from the human world. Whenever the boy strays from his usual play among the headstones, he finds new dangers, learns his limitations and strengths, and acquires the skills he needs to survive within the confines of the graveyard and in wider world beyond.
It's a 'coming-of-age' type-book -we all know that when Bod is going to reach a certain age he will need to leave the graveyard - and it's highly enjoyable to read Gaiman's masterful storytelling as Bod goes from a curious toddler to a determined teenager.
When I got to the end of the book, my main thought was how I didn't want it to end. I wanted to keep reading about Bod and the other characters. Why did it finish?! :(
If you haven't already read it, go read it. Now! I give it 4.5/5 stars... have you read it yet? If not, why not?!