By Thirteen for Halloween on Sep 26, 2009 | In Halloween Stories
I had no idea when I bought "The Graveyard Book" by Neil Gaiman that I was getting Rudyard Kipling’s classic "Jungle Book" retold in a graveyard setting. However, it was a nice surprise once I figured out what was going on (you would think the title would have tipped me) . . .
This was a great read and I don’t want to give away too much, but both my wife Dixie and I enjoyed it. I also heard a movie version is in the works. THAT should prove very interesting. I actually liked the movie version of Gaiman’s "Coraline" better than the book (except for the scene with the fat, almost naked, old women doing acrobatics on a stage, ick). I am also a BIG fan of "Stardust" the movie and hope to read the graphic novel it was based on soon. Gaiman’s tales seem made for the movies.
What is uncanny is how well "The Jungle Book" characters translate over to graveyard. Mowgli stays the human boy Nobody Owens in a world inhabited by ghosts rather than wolves. Bagheera translates well as a vampire, a loner belonging neither to the world of ghosts nor the living. Baloo becomes a werewolf. Bod’s mortal enemy, instead of tiger, is a sort of Jack the ripper intent on seeing him dead for his own good reasons. The monkeys become creatures of the underworld or ghouls . . . you get the idea. Frankly, I think its great, and the execution is superb.
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