A perfect, creepy little gem
by Chwimlean on August 24, 2007I had never read Neil Gaiman when I picked up this book from my local library. I had just finished two modern fantasies about children who wander or who are drawn into a strange alternate world: a genre I have followed since I read CS Lewis' Lion, Witch and Wardrobe as a child. I am sorry to say most modern retellings of this plot do not enchant me. One of those other books was pedantic and preachy, the other drawn out and covered in blood. But this one . . .
Is there a more grounded child heroine since Alice, or a more endearing animal helper than the black cat? If so, I have yet to find them among today's waifs in other worlds. Gaiman borrows effortlessly from myth and folklore, explaining only as much as he needs to for the story, and leaves the rest to our own philosophies. His descriptions of the bizarre are so matter-of-fact the reader finds himself tripping over them in a plot concise, neat, and marvelously twisted. I would recommend anyone to not just read Coraline, but to buy a copy of their own to return to again and again.
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