Coraline, by Neil Gaiman
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman is my third visit to Gaiman’s world. I think it might have been my favorite trip. Should you need more of an invitation to read this book than the author’s name on the cover check out this blurb:
“This book tells a fascinating and disturbing story that frightened me nearly to death. Unless you want to find yourself hiding under your bed, with your thumb in your mouth, trembling with fear and making terrible noises, I suggest that you step very slowly away from this book and go find another source of amusement, such as investigating an unsolved crime or making a small animal out of yarn.” Lemony Snicket
Coraline -not Caroline – Jones and her parents have just moved into a new flat. The flat is really a large old house that has been divided. In the Joneses’ section, thirteen of the doors open; one does not. With a large black key, that door sometimes opens to bricks, sometimes to a long dark hallway. Coraline, bored with her life and rather ignored by her parents, ventures down that hallway and finds her other mother and other father waiting for her in a terrible other world. Escaping, she returns to the real flat to discover that her parents are missing. She knows that, even though she’s scared, she must go back through the door to save them.
As I mentioned above, this is my third Neil Gaiman book. I read Stardust in July, and The Graveyard Book at the beginning of the month. I can see now why many people compared The Graveyard Book to Coraline. But I have to say that I liked Coraline better. Coraline has a very tight plot. Though it is, in someways, a simpler story, I think the character development was better. I know Coraline better than I know Bod. I liked that Coraline had to face her fears and grow up a little. And it had all of the trappings of a good scary story: there were eccentric characters, disappearing parents, an “other mother” and terrifying scenes with a sentient hand. And by terrifying, I mean TERRIFYING. This is a tight little story that reminded me of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. I’ll definitely be revisiting this book with my future children – once they’re old enough.
Coraline, by Neil Gaiman [rating:4]
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