When Coraline moves with her parents to a new house she is fascinated by the fact that their 'house' is in fact only half a house! Divided into flats years before, there is a brick wall behind a door where once there was a corridor and one day it is corridor again, down which the intrepid Coraline wanders. And so a nightmare-ish mystery begins ...
When Coraline moves with her parents to a new house she is fascinated by the fact that their 'house' is in fact only half a house! Divided into flats years before, there is a brick wall behind a door where once there was a corridor and one day it is corridor again, down which the intrepid Coraline wanders. And so a nightmare-ish mystery begins that takes Coraline into the arms of counterfeit parents and a life that isn't quite right. Can Coraline get out? Can she find her real parents? Will life ever be the same again? "I think this book will nudge "Alice In Wonderland" out of its niche at last. It is the most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love." - Diana Wynne Jones. "This book will send a shiver down your spine, out through your shoes and into a taxi to the airport. It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece. And you will never think about buttons in quite the same way again." - Terry Pratchett.
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I think my precocious and imaginative granddaughter will love this book when she's 8. It's rich language and story are at the edge of what she can now parse and contemplate.
Aug 30, 2013
Better than the movie
This is a well written, enchanting story. This edition has wonderful drawings and just enough mystery to keep you turning the pages in a hurry. Highly recommended. The movie was fun, but you have to read it to appreciate Gaiman's whimsy.
Feb 18, 2010
A fine achievement
Neil Gaiman's novel is a smart and witty psychological deconstruction of the modern myth of parental affect, the illusion of the perfect family and the social control of the well-behaved child. Shifting between a sense of mild desperation and the qrotesque horror that springs from organized family life, the author manages to excorcise our childhood fears by allowing us to dream once more of a parent-child relationship that derives its healing power not from the need to attempt perfection, but rather from its human flaws, which allows us to breathe once more.
Aug 14, 2009
I have read the book and have not taken time to view the DVD yet. The book is excellent and I hope the video will be likewise.
Apr 28, 2009
Strangest, deliciously creepy book I have read
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
This is the strangest, deliciously creepy book I have read in recent memory. I could not put this book down. It is not a long story, but is definitely satisfyingly complete. The illustrations just add to the flavor.
Coraline is easily bored, especially since she and her parents moved into the new house. But Coraline likes to explore. There are fourteen doors in the new house but one is locked and won't open. There is a key; when her mother unlocked the door nothing was revealed but a brick wall. The house is made up of probably three flats on her side of the big house, and the other tenants are nice, though a little strange. Two old ladies who read tea-leaves in one flat and a strange old man who talks of his musical band of mice in another. Returning to her own flat after visiting her neighbors, Coraline dwells on the problem of the door that is locked. There must be an equal part of the house on the other side.
Alone one day, she climbs up and snags the bunch of keys hanging high on the wall, which fall to the floor. Taking the one odd key, and on opening the door discovers that the brick wall is not there but there is a long corridor. This is where the book moves from a somewhat typical young adult book to a horror story with all its mystical and exciting thrills, because down the corridor is a replica of their own side of the house, but not quite right. Strangely the rooms are furnished with the same furniture, but slightly off. And strangest of all, Coraline's mother is there, but not quite. From here the story must be read because what thrill would one get if there are spoilers in the review!
I really enjoyed this book, was fascinated by it, and will definitely be reading a lot more of Gaiman's books. I highly recommend it to anyone who likes shivers from ghost stories told around a campfire (this is not a ghost story, but the analogy works). I would not recommend it for young children, though.
Publishers Weekly, 2002-06-24 British novelist Gaiman (American Gods; Stardust) and his long-time accomplice McKean (collaborators on a number of Gaiman's Sandman graphic novels as well as The Day I Swapped My Dad for 2 Goldfish) spin an electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons. After Coraline and her parents move into an old house, Coraline asks her mother about a mysterious locked door. Her mother unlocks it to reveal that it leads nowhere: "When they turned the house into flats, they simply bricked it up," her mother explains. But something about the door attracts the girl, and when she later unlocks it herself, the bricks have disappeared. Through the door, she travels a dark corridor (which smells "like something very old and very slow") into a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. "I'm your other mother," announces a woman who looks like Coraline's mother, except "her eyes were big black buttons." Coraline eventually makes it back to her real home only to find that her parents are missingDthey're trapped in the shadowy other world, of course, and it's up to their scrappy daughter to save them. Gaiman twines his taut tale with a menacing tone and crisp prose fraught with memorable imagery ("Her other mother's hand scuttled off Coraline's shoulder like a frightened spider"), yet keeps the narrative just this side of terrifying. The imagery adds layers of psychological complexity (the button eyes of the characters in the other world vs. the heroine's increasing ability to distinguish between what is real and what is not; elements of Coraline's dreams that inform her waking decisions). McKean's scratchy, angular drawings, reminiscent of Victorian etchings, add an ominous edge that helps ensure this book will be a real bedtime-buster. Ages 8-up. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly, 2003-08-04 When a girl moves into an old house, she finds a door leading to a world that eerily mimics her own, but with sinister differences. "An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons," wrote PW in a boxed review. Ages 8-up. (Aug.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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