Author: Neil Gaiman
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Book to Film, Dark fantasy, Easy reading, Horror
Dates read: 16th – 22nd May 2019
Publisher: Harper Perennial
5th sentence, 74th page: “The one who says she’s you other mother,” said the cat.
In Coraline’s family’s new flat there’s a locked door. On the other side is a brick wall – until Coraline unlocks the door… and finds a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.
The food is better there. Books have pictures that writhe and crawl and shimmer. And there’s another mother and father there who want Coraline to be their little girl. They want to change her and keep her with them….Forever.
Coraline is an extraordinary fairy tale / nightmare from the uniquely skewed imagination of #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman.
I picked up this book because I absolutely adored the movie. Just seeing the title makes me want to watch the movie again and again and again. Which meant that I was seriously hoping that the book would be just as good. I was a little wrong. For starters, the book is so much creepier and horrifying than the movie. For another thing. It was just better.
I really expected an easy, fun slightly twisted read when I opened this book. After all, it is described as a children’s twisted fairy tale. And it’s a tiny novel! I was wrong. So very, very wrong. I finished this about 10 o’clock at night… and then just lay there, imagining a creepy hand crawling across the bed towards me in my sleep… I’m really not sure that I would have read this when I was a child. And even if I did… I’m not sure that it would have been a great idea. There are certain downfalls to having such a vivid imagination…
As children, we all have moments when we feel that our family just doesn’t care about us. That we belong somewhere else. And that it could just be so much better if we just had someone who understood us more. Or at least, I felt that way frequently throughout my childhood. I like that Coraline plays on this and gives us a reality in which everything is far more fantastic, fun and just plain exciting than the real world. But at a cost, and it’s one that Coraline just doesn’t want to pay. After all, she realises that real life just isn’t too bad after all…
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