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Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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Coraline (edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,314464206 (3.99)629
Member:emiey
Title:Coraline
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:Harper Perennial (2006), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:****
Tags:None

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Author)

  1. 200
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (FFortuna, moonstormer)
  2. 130
    Fragile Things 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)
  4. 102
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (moonsoar)
  5. 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)
  6. 81
    Something Wicked this Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (infiniteletters)
  7. 40
    Clockwork (All Wound Up) 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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  10. 30
    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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(see all 36 recommendations)

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» See also 629 mentions

English (448)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (465)
Showing 1-5 of 448 (next | show all)
This is a fairly macabre story, that I expect adults will find as intriguing as young readers. It has everything one might hope for: musical mice, a talking cat and a supernatural mystery with high stakes.

All in all, I liked it. I wish more information was given, but that is limitation of the genre rather than of the story itself. ( )
  raselyem7 | Aug 30, 2014 |
This was a weird little book. I can do weird, being a fantasy fan and all but this one is one that didn't make it in my awesome or wonderful weird. Perhaps it was too juvenile – meant for a much younger audience than me – for me to make it into either of those categories. It is a very quick read however and it’s a fantasy classic. I think they even made a movie based off it. It was one of those books that I’m glad I can check off the list and now know the story that is referenced in many contexts, but I doubt I will ever pick up again or reread. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 27, 2014 |
An OK book. It wasn't anything too extraordinary. Just a quick, easy book that told, in a way, a modern and somewhat darker version of Alice in Wonderland. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
When Coraline Jones is home alone one day, she opens a mysterious door in the drawing room. Beyond, she finds a dark corridor that leads her to another house – just like hers, but better. There, she finds another mother and another father. They say they want to take care of her, to make her life interesting. There’s only one catch. They want Coraline to remain with them forever.
Soon, the other mother captures Coraline’s real parents, and she must find a way to free them if she’s ever to return to her ordinary life.

Pros:
Coraline is the type of book that’s perfect for a rainy day or when you want something subtly spooky. It reads like a modern fable, populated with archetypes that are somehow never flat. Coraline herself is such a refreshing heroine. She’s quiet – so a little ignored – clever, brave, and so intuitive. The other mother is an interesting, frightening antagonist whose obsession with keeping Coraline forever saturates the story with an understated but constant dread. Secondary characters like Miss Spink, Miss Forcible, Mr. Bobo, and the black cat – though somewhat one-note – are colorful, fun and witty respectively, and give the story a well-calibrated sense of whimsy.

The plot, which explores themes of self, bravery, and want versus need, is intriguing, multi-layered, and never condescending. It also contains aspects of ambiguity (the other mother’s origins, for example) that serve to heighten the book’s other elements. Gaiman’s writing is spartan and allows the story to speak for itself, bolstering each episode’s emotion impact.

Dave McKean’s shadowy illustrations increase the creepy-factor exponentially, assisting the reader in conjuring up even scarier mental images.

Cons:
Many portions of this book may actually be too frightening for the target audience.

Verdict:
Coraline merits instant classic status. Delightfully spooky and entrancing, it’s a contemporary fairytale with an abundance of heart.

Rating: (9.5/10) ( )
  readernoir | Jul 22, 2014 |
It was a quick read. I did see the movie before I read the book, but it was different. It was eerie, but still very well written. I'm a bit hesitant to read Neil Gaiman's adult novels, but only because I didn't find any synopsis i liked on books I've skimmed. Anyway, he's been well received by other people I've talked to. ( )
  aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 448 (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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Wikipedia in English (3)

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 13 descriptions

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