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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline (edition 2002)

by Neil Gaiman, Dave McKean (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
14,194547143 (3.99)704
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Dave McKean (Illustrator)
Info:First Scholastic Printing (2002), Edition: 1, Paperback, 162 pages
Collections:Your library, Guest Room, Children's literature
Tags:Fantasy, Horror stories, Children's literature, Parent and child, Courage, Supernatural

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  1. 220
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (FFortuna, moonstormer)
  2. 130
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (timspalding)
    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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    James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl (littlegeek)
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    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (moonsoar)
  6. 70
    The 13 Clocks by James Thurber (Bookshop_Lady)
    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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    Clockwork by Philip Pullman (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: Both books are for children, but still manage to be dark and horrifying for all ages.
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    Faerie Tale by Raymond Feist (reading_fox)
    reading_fox: Slightly older YA, and a full novel. But the same theme, children move into a new place and discover a creepy 'fairy world' thats hard to escape.
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    BookshelfMonstrosity: Readers will savor the tension of both horror stories involving characters seeking ways to put souls to rest. Each story explores the distinctions between fantasy and reality in a deliciously creepy way.
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(see all 39 recommendations)


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» See also 704 mentions

English (531)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  All (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All (549)
Showing 1-5 of 531 (next | show all)
A wonderfully dark fable in which a young girl resents her parents and then, through magical intervention, is shown what it would be like if they weren't around.
  EmScape | Jun 23, 2017 |
A strange, creepy book about a girl who investigates her house and finds a door to an alternate world, where her "other mother" is determined to keep her. I thought this was a fairly good story for children, but maybe not so much for adults. I couldn't help but compare it to Gaiman's other YA novel "[b:The Graveyard Book|2213661|The Graveyard Book|Neil Gaiman|http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51mo4YSDB-L._SL75_.jpg|2219449]" which I thought had a more mature voice. It will be interesting to see how this translates to film. ( )
  dorie.craig | Jun 22, 2017 |
Wonderfully whimsical tale that once again shows Gaiman's marvellous use of the strange and absurd to deliver commentary on the mundane and ordinary things in everyday life. ( )
  MerkabaZA | Jun 12, 2017 |
This is definitely a very wild ride of a book. It's creepy and intense and dark, despite being a book which has a children's movie made after it and which (at least with the copy I got from the library) has a cover that looks rather innocent. There was a deep feeling of foreboding and corruption throughout the entire book, right from the start, that I absolutely loved. It had goosebumps along my arms and had me feeling almost like I was being watched even though I was alone and even when I read parts of it in high daylight.

I think my favorite things about this book, aside from the fact that it was deliciously frightful, were the idea that being fearless doesn't make you brave but rather doing what's right in the face of your own fear is what is brave. The story Coraline told about her father and the wasps will probably always stick out to me for that, and the running theme of Coraline doing what was right even though she was terrified. The other thing, is that the struggle between Coraline and the bedlam was very much a battle of wits. I liked the fact that instead of having an epic fistfight or swordfight, the two of them engaged in a battle of wits and to the cleverest one go the spoils.

I also really enjoyed seeing the difference between the real world and the other world behind the door, which seemed to be a rather mirror world, a world adjacent to the real one with corrupted versions of characters we already knew from the real world. That was very interesting and added to the creep factor by a mile.

Definitely an entertaining book that's worth the read, regardless of how old you are, but I also think it's a wonderful book for kids and young adults. It doesn't beat you over the head with them, but there are lessons in the book, things that I think everyone can learn from or of which it wouldn't hurt to be reminded of. ( )
1 vote madam_razz | Apr 24, 2017 |
“Be careful what you wish for” seems to be one of the learning outcomes for Coraline.
Coraline is disappointed when her parents don’t have time for her. She has just moved into a new flat and is bored and lonely. Her father and mother are busy and consumed with their writing. At the very beginning, there is discussion between the parents, suggesting Coraline go and find something to do so they can finish writing and editing their manuscript. This leads to finding the old black iron key and opening the secret passage.
Coraline is just 11 and experiencing a lot of change and loneliness in moving to the new home in a new town, and feeling isolated when meeting the very eccentric adults who live there. Finding a stray cat ,she longs for some adventure. The illustrator, Dave McKeen adds a half dozen or so black and white drawings to depict the more sinister characters that Coraline encounters when she goes to the 'other world' but much is left to the imagination of the reader. My students found this story very scary. The ‘other mother’ starts out beautiful even with her black button eyes, but when Coraline realizes it’s a trap, her ‘other mother’ becomes more and more relentless, elongated, and grotesque. Eventually, the other mother becomes a huge spider-like creature, with an arachnid’s abdomen, and mechanical sewing needles for her legs and hands.
The twists and turns of the story are amazingly imaginative and give a peek inside a child’s mind and a dream world, full of wonder, turned upside down with evil and death. ( )
1 vote ellenzfergus | Apr 11, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 531 (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, Neilprimary 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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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
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.
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.
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(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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:27 -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 10 descriptions

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