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Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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Coraline (edition 2002)

by Neil Gaiman

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12,063None209 (3.99)609
Member:joehill
Title:Coraline
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:HarperCollins Publishers (2002), Paperback
Collections:Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:books read - 2007, reread

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Author)

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    timspalding: If Coraline doesn't quite live up to the hype, don't give up on Gaiman. Fragile Things is simply stunning.
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    Bookshop_Lady: "Coraline" is creepy and might be too creepy for some kids. "The Thirteen Clocks" has a few creepy moments but overall is a light-hearted fairy tale. They're very different books and tell very different stories. But for all that, I believe older children/young teens who enjoy one of these books will probably enjoy both.… (more)
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    norabelle414: Both books are for children, but still manage to be dark and horrifying for all ages.
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(see all 36 recommendations)

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» See also 609 mentions

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Showing 1-5 of 439 (next | show all)
The book Coraline by Neil Gaiman is very intresting and different. The main character is Coraline who is an exploror, and she's very good at finding things. One day she came across a trap door that led to a different world. Coraline is supposably a very unhappy child. Her mother doesn't buy her what she wants and her dad is a terrible cook. They pay little atention to her and aren't very exciting. So she traveled to the world wanting to explor it. There, she met her 'other' mother and father. Who are intresting, cook deliciously, and are much nicer. They spoil her and want her to stay with them forever and all she has to do is let them sew buttons into her eyes, just like them. She refuses and goes back home, and her parents are missing! She goes on an adventrue and a exploration to find her parents and the lost soals of the other children. Her other mother is very tricky but in the end she is very happy with her parents and is appreciative with everything she has. My REVIEW ----
I think this book is very spooky. The pictures especially are creepy and almost give you nightmears. Coraline seems to be afraid of nothing. Which doesn't appeal to me since i am very scared of the slightest things. So i did not relate to her. I really enjoy the plot line and the ideas of the stroy. I really like the way Neil Gaiman writes. In the story I particulary liked the cat. Not only do I love cats but he is a very intresting character that really completes the stroy with his comments and help. The movie I did not particularly like because it was very odd so i was weary about reading the book but I enjoyed it. ( )
  YuliaS.B1 | Apr 14, 2014 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Coraline’s family has just moved into a new flat. Her parents are always busy with their own work and Coraline (please don’t call her Caroline) has no friends or siblings to play with. She spends her time exploring her new apartment complex and the surrounding grounds. She’s got some eccentric neighbors: two little old ladies who love to reminisce about their time on the stage and an old man who trains mice to sing and dance.

But what’s really strange is the extra door in Coraline’s flat. It doesn’t go anywhere. Coraline’s mom says it used to connect to the vacant flat next door, but now it’s bricked up. Except that it’s not always bricked up... sometimes it does go somewhere…

Coraline is a terrific little heroine. Curious and brave, but appropriately cautious, she sets out to discover what’s in the vacant flat. And though what’s there seems rather wonderful at first, Coraline soon realizes that it’s actually rather horrible. Not in a bloody gory kind of way, but in a spooky, spine-tingling, why-the-heck-is-this-so-scary kind of way.

Neil Gaiman understands creepy: buttons for eyes, long red tapping fingernails, long dark hallways, talking rats, trapped and soulless children… I’m not sure why, but just the thought of an “other mother” automatically evokes goosebumps — How incredibly disturbing! The eeriness is accented with excellently terrifying drawings by Dave McKean (who did the Sandman covers).

Coraline is excellent fantasy for sensitive but brave children who like to squirm. I read it to my daughters, and I’m sure I squirmed just as much as they did. My girls enjoyed Coraline’s adventure and maybe now they’ll even be a little less put out when Mommy is too busy to play. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Coraline is a short young adult book. It is very good. This Harper edition has illustrations by Dave McKean which are excellent but probably not intuitive for younger readers. They would be more intelligible for adults. In any case, it was good to have the text broken up on the page by something curious and confusing. At 163 pages, I like to vary my reading by length of the book to stretch my attention span or shorten it up. Coraline is terse but descriptive while introducing readers to new vocabulary above their normal level of exposure. Gaiman, by the first page you are captured by its story. It even has a decent, off handish, first line, “Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.” You have a house, Coraline, finding out who ‘they’ are, and a door. It’s all there in the first line. The line will be easy to identify forevermore, like Dante’s “I awoke in the midway point of life to find myself lost in a deep dark wood,” Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth,”or Shakepeare’s Richard III, “Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this son of York.” Regarding the layout, I like the drop caps initial letter of each chapter followed by the all caps first line. It’s just something I notice and appreciate especially for fairy tales. The book jacket indicates “ages 8 and up” but I would recommend Coraline to anyone. The action takes place somewhere in England, a train’s ride from London, but without specific designation. Although everyone is publishing children’s books nowadays, few know how to write them. They are very difficult to compose as they do not lend themselves to complex sentence structure. The action has to move, but not too quickly. The movie version of Coraline is a masterpiece. The movie captures the spooky and fear inducing parts of family separation more so than the book. The book is still fantastic for the portrayal of Coraline’s interior life. ( )
  sacredheart25 | Mar 25, 2014 |
A charming book for kids probably anywhere from 8 - 14. It's twisted in the Roald Dahl type way where if you think about it... it's really a terrifying story, but it's written in such a way that is lighthearted and almost... detached enough that the horror stays mostly under the surface. ( )
  steadfastreader | Mar 18, 2014 |
Coraline moves to a home shared by three other tenants, but none of her neighbors are her age. She resorts to exploring her new home to ward off boredom, but what she finds is beyond anything she could have imagined. This book is a challenged book, though I believe the "creepy factor" of this book is lower than others I have read. The book ends on a high note, and would be perfect for those children who liked the film. It is also available as a graphic novel, which adds life and suspense to the story instead of detracting anything from it.
  Jen4k | Mar 12, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 439 (next | show all)
A modern ghost story with all the creepy trimmings... Well done.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times (Aug 11, 2001)
 

» Add other authors (84 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, NeilAuthorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Braiter, PaulinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Ernst, EnricoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gaiman, NeilNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kivimäki, MikaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Merritt, StephinComposersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Riddell, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.
--G.K. Chesterson
Dedication
I started this for Holly, I finished it for Maddy.
First words
Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.
Quotations
We are small but we are many/
We are many we are small/
We were here before you rose/
We will be here when you fall
Coraline was woken by the midmorning sun, full on her face.
For a moment she felt utterly dislocated. She did not know where she was; she was not entirely sure who she was. It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.
Coraline sighed. 'You really don't understand, do you?' she said. 'I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn't mean anything. What then?
The pale figues pulsed faintly; she could imagine that they were nothing more than afterimages, like the glow left by a bright light in you eyes, after the lights go out.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine Coraline with the graphic novel adaptation Coraline nor with the film.
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Book description
Shortly after moving into an old house with strange tenants above and below, Coraline discovers a big, carved, brown wooden door at the far corner of the drawing room. And it is locked. Curiosity runs riot in Coraline's mind and she unlocks the door to see what lies behind it. Disappointingly, it opens onto a brick wall. Days later, after exploring the rest of the house and garden, Coraline returns to the same mysterious door and opens it again. This time, however, there is a dark hallway in front of her. Stepping inside, the place beyond has an eerie familiarity about it. The carpet and wallpaper are the same as in her flat. The picture hanging on the wall is the same. Almost. Strangest of all, her mum and dad are there too. Only they have buttons for eyes and seem more possessive than normal. It's a twisted version of her world that is familiar, and yet sinister. And matters get even more surreal for Coraline when her "other" parents seem reluctant to let her leave.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0061139378, Paperback)

Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old house--a house so huge that other people live in it, too... round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers ("We trod the boards, luvvy") and the mustachioed old man under the roof ("'The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,' said the man upstairs, 'is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed.'") Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes bored--so bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door that--sometimes blocked with a wall of bricks--opens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe. Now, if you're thinking fondly of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you're on the wrong track. Neil Gaiman's Coraline is far darker, far stranger, playing on our deepest fears. And, like Roald Dahl's work, it is delicious.

What's on the other side of the door? A distorted-mirror world, containing presumably everything Coraline has ever dreamed of... people who pronounce her name correctly (not "Caroline"), delicious meals (not like her father's overblown "recipes"), an unusually pink and green bedroom (not like her dull one), and plenty of horrible (very un-boring) marvels, like a man made out of live rats. The creepiest part, however, is her mirrored parents, her "other mother" and her "other father"--people who look just like her own parents, but with big, shiny, black button eyes, paper-white skin... and a keen desire to keep her on their side of the door. To make creepy creepier, Coraline has been illustrated masterfully in scritchy, terrifying ink drawings by British mixed-media artist and Sandman cover illustrator Dave McKean. This delightful, funny, haunting, scary as heck, fairy-tale novel is about as fine as they come. Highly recommended. (Ages 11 and older) --Karin Snelson

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:48:09 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

Looking for excitement, Coraline ventures through a mysterious door into a world that is similar, yet disturbingly different from her own, where she must challenge a gruesome entity in order to save herself, her parents, and the souls of three others.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 11 descriptions

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