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The City Of Invention

The book reviews of UK children's author, Brian Keaney

Masterful Modern Gothic

Graveyard Book - Neil Gaiman

The Graveyard Book is the story of Nobody Owens, a living boy brought up by the dead to protect him from a conspiracy that is as old as history itself. Despite being aimed at children, it is uncompromising in its portrayal of evil while remaining an entirely optimistic and life-affirming story.

I found the writing enthralling. From its opening sentence, 'There was a hand in the darkness and it held a knife', it gripped my attention with its mixture of the terrifying and the playful. It was as though I had stumbled upon a lost folk tale that had somehow miraculously been transcribed for the modern age.

Neil Gaiman displays a confidence and an originality in his story-telling that I find quite breath-taking. No-one since Ray Bradbury has displayed such mastery of the modern Gothic style.