Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Coraline - Neil Gaiman


Rating : 4.0/5
Number of Pages : 185
Reason for Reading : Young Adult Challenge, RIP III Challenge, numerous recomendations

Coraline is an explorer. She moves with her parents into a strange new flat with even stranger neighbours. There are Miss Spink and Miss Forcible who used to be in the theatre and can't seem to let their previouslife go. Upstairs is a crazy man who claims to have a trained mouse band who will perform for her when they are ready. He also keeps calling her Caroline not Coraline much to her frustration.

Neither her father or mother has much time for her, leaving her to amuse herself often while she waits to start her new school. Luckily she has an excellent imagination and is very intelligent. She ignores warnings from the crazy man's mice as well as the tea leaves both Miss Spink and Miss Forcible read telling her she is in danger, by going through a secret door. It leads her into an alternative version of her house inhabited by her other mother and other father with eyes made of buttons. They want her to stay with them where they can love her and spend all their time with her. She will have to choose between staying and having buttons sewn where her eyes are, or going back to her neglectful parents.

She decides to go back home, but things are not so simple. Her other mother is relucant to let her go and agrees to a game to decide Coraline's fate. If she finds her parents who have been hidden somewhere in the fake house by her other mother, along with the souls of three lost children she has captured she can go home. Her other mother is not to be trusted and Coraline pits her wits against the horrors within the house accompanied by a sarcastic black cat.

A chilling and surreal read written for Gaiman's two daughters. It is a children's tale, but I certainly wouldn't read it at night if I was a kid! Lots of bumps in the night and some very graphic imagery as Gaiman does what he is best at. Illustrated by Dave McKean which really ramps up the chill factor. Another great collaboration.

18 comments:

Ladytink_534 said...

I need to read this! I think the movie is going to be really good too.

Melody said...

This is one of my favourite Neil Gaiman's books!!! I don't think I'd want to read it at night if I was a kid too. ;P

Carl V. said...

It is funny because one of the things Neil said repeatedly when the book came out is that kids really enjoyed it but didn't find it that scary and that adults were terrified by it. It is hard to know looking back, but I doubt I would have gotten all the truly eerie subtleties when I was a child. As an adult I read much more into it and it seems much more deliciously creepy.

The movie looks incredible, I just hope the story of the film is as good as the novel itself.

Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed it :) Btw, have you heard about his Halloween talk/signing in London? More info here. You should go and then tell us all about it :P

mariel said...

I loved this book! The buttons on the eyes was horrible though. And the illustration of her eating the spiders..yuk! Glad you enjoyed it. I remember this being a lot darker than I thought. I read it at the bookshop, as several customers had complained because they had bought it for their 8 year olds and they were terrified! I had to move it into the teen section with a warning sticker on it!

Very curious about his talk in london at halloween!

mariel said...

Carl - thinking about it now, maybe when my customers complained, it was them who were scared, not their kids!!

Lightheaded said...

I love this book to bits!!!

pussreboots said...

This book is on my TBR. Maybe I'll bump it up a few books.

Darla D said...

I just picked up a copy of the graphic novel version of the book. It will be intersting to see how it compares (and contrasts) with the novel. I'll let you know!

Alice Teh said...

I like this one a lot, Rhinoa. Thanks for the great review! It's a nice revisit of the book. :)

Andi said...

Love it love it love it! And McKean's illustrations were such an important part of the reading experience for me, the graphic novel adaptation really fell short.

Glad you liked it!

Framed said...

I just finished this book. I'm not sure I could sleep after seeing a film of it. Those buttons eyes would haunt me.

Framed said...

I just finished this book. I'm not sure I could sleep after seeing a film of it. Those buttons eyes would haunt me.

Kim L said...

I might have to go back and read the graphic novel of this one, because I saw it at the bookstore and it looked really great!

jehara said...

i loved this book. it gave me that good eerie chill down my spine at parts.

Iliana said...

Great review Rhiona. I didn't realize he had written it for his daughters. How neat. I still need to do my wrap up post on this one.

mari said...

I just read this tonight. Loved it. Very creepy. I will have nightmares.

3M said...

One of my favorites from last year!