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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline (edition 2006)

by Neil Gaiman

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14,965572211 (3.99)726
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Info:William Morrow Paperbacks (2006), Paperback, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

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» See also 726 mentions

English (553)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (2)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (572)
Showing 1-5 of 553 (next | show all)
Delightfully creepy.

It took a few chapters to really grab me, but since I had seen the movie when it first came out in 2009 and had enjoyed that so much, I stuck with it. A very wise choice on my part.

The book rounds Coraline out a lot more than the movie did. The film changed a few things from the book, most notably adding an entirely new character: Wybie.

This is the second book I've read by Gaiman. He is incredibly talented at building suspense and delivering. I was honestly creeped out a few times by the vibe that Gaiman holds steady throughout the book. Also adding to the eeriness are some wonderful illustrations by Dave McKean sprinkled throughout the book.

One of my favorite parts of the book was when Coraline retells the story of when her father sacrificed himself for her by choosing to be stung by several wasps while letting her run ahead so that she would be safe. The story illustrated that her father *did* love her (a fact not necessarily evident in the earlier chapters) and that Coraline understood how much her father loved her. The story ends with a line that perfectly sums up one of the main lessons in the book and one of the better quotes from the book: "When you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave."

This book also had some fun, dark humor that I enjoyed. When trying to convince Coraline of her trustworthiness, The Other Mother swears on her mother's grave. Coraline asks if her mother has a grave: "Oh yes," said the other mother. "I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back."

This was a quick, enjoyable read. Some children may find it too scary, but I know that when I was around 3rd or 4th grade, I would have probably loved this!

Side note: I tried rewatching Coraline after reading the book. I couldn't finish it. I found Coraline's character insufferable after growing to love the book version of her. Perhaps I'll try it again after giving myself some time. ( )
  Borrows-N-Wants | Sep 22, 2018 |
All of Gaiman's novels so far have been delightful, and this one is no exception. Coraline is putatively aimed at a younger market, the eight and up crowd, but that's no reason for an adult not to sneak into the children's section and pick it up anyway.

Coraline Jones and her family have just moved into a flat in a big, old house. Two of the other flats are occupied, one by "the crazy old man" who tells her that he's training his mouse circus to perform for her, but the mice aren't ready yet, and the other by two old women, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible, retired actresses who keep some indeterminate number of aging Highland terriers. There's a fourth flat, that's still empty. There's a door in the drawing room of the Jones' flat that used to lead into the part of the house that's now the fourth, empty, flat, but now it only leads to the brick wall that was put up to divide the building when it was broken up into flats. However, there is still a key that unlocks that door to the brick wall.

With all the adults around her affectionate but distracted--the retired actresses and the crazy old man even consistently call her Caroline, rather than Coraline--Coraline decides to explore. Her exploring leads her to try that door to the brick wall again, and this time there isn't a brick wall. There's a corridor, and Coraline goes down that corridor, and finds her "other mother" making lunch. Her "other mother" and "other father" are attentive, her other bedroom has a more interesting color scheme (though she privately concedes she wouldn't really want to sleep in the green and pink room.) There are pet rats, who sing a nasty little song, and a chestful of toys that seem strangely alive.

When she goes outside, the neighborhood cat, whom she has been unable even to get close to, talks to her, and warns her to be careful.

Everyone she meets, except the cat, has black button eyes.

Coraline, being a sensible child, decides to go back to her own flat, despite the urging of her other mother to stay, and to allow her other mother to sew on her black button eyes so that she can stay forever. But when Coraline gets back to her own side, her parents are missing, and they don't come home, and she can't get anyone to take her seriously when she tells them her parents are missing--except the cat. Gradually, she realizes what has happened, and what she needs to do. This is a nicely scary little book. Strongly recommended.
( )
  LisCarey | Sep 19, 2018 |
This is a sort of marvelously creepy work, and I loved how understated the threats were in the beginning, and then the way Gaiman built upon the tension as things became more sinister. All told, I prefer his adult work, but I'd still recommend this as well worth exploring. ( )
  whitewavedarling | Jun 30, 2018 |
I am thoroughly grateful that Coraline was not released until 2002. In 2002, I was 13. At 13, I was too old to have my parents reading me stories in bed. And that is a blessing because I was an easily frightened child and my father was an excellent storyteller. Coraline would have given me nightmares.

It's not an overly scary book, but the Other Mother is very much like the boogeyman. If you're naughty, she'll take your parents and want to sew her buttons on your eyes. The creepy scenes are written with the greatest craft and skill. Coraline is endearing, while also being a ghost story.

As an adult, I don't think I appreciated Coraline as much as many others, especially those whose grew up with it. But it's still a fun book and I do appreciate Neil Gaiman's children's stories. :) ( )
  Morteana | Jun 20, 2018 |
I first picked this book up in the library of my high school. I'd just begun to be interested in [a: Neil Gaiman|1221698|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1234150163p2/1221698.jpg], though looking back on it I believe [b: Stardust|16793|Stardust|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1459127484s/16793.jpg|3166179] was my first introduction to him. I was a bit skeptical of this book, having seen it branded a *gasp* children's book book before. Nevertheless, I dove in and have never quite looked at button's the same way since.

Coraline Jones is a bored little girl living in an old, old house with a variety of strange, if sad, characters. Fairy ignored by her parents, one day she decides to explore the strange door in their living room and finds that it leads to another world, with her Other Mother and Other Father in it. Everything is the same there, just twisted ever so slightly... Coraline then finds herself faced with a difficult question. Does anyone really want life to be interesting and perfect all the time?

[b: Coraline|17061|Coraline|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493497435s/17061.jpg|2834844] is a brilliant book that thoroughly showcases [a: Neil Gaiman|1221698|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1234150163p2/1221698.jpg]'s skills as an author. The whole time I was reading it I could easily imagine him telling the tale as a terrifying bedtime story, each amusing little twist of words further solidifying the spell. It's frightening, but not too frightening. There are funny little moments, but none of them steal away from the suspense. It's rare that one finds a perfect book, but [b: Coraline|17061|Coraline|Neil Gaiman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1493497435s/17061.jpg|2834844] is unabashedly one.

The film, also, only heightened my enjoyment of the book and vice versa. I highly recommend it to anyone interested. ( )
  Lepophagus | Jun 14, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 553 (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 (23 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
Krutz-Arnold, CorneliaÜbersetzersecondary 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 14 descriptions

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