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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline (edition 2002)

by Neil Gaiman, Dave (illustrator) McKean (Illustrator)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
13,736531152 (3.99)681
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Dave (illustrator) McKean (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2002), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Recently added bySeagan8, Sareene, Nillan, SnowCatMacDobhran, ltfl_cis, librarypimpin, WildMagic, LitaVore, private library, woggz
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» See also 681 mentions

English (514)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Portuguese (1)  Italian (1)  Catalan (1)  Polish (1)  Dutch (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (532)
Showing 1-5 of 514 (next | show all)
Back in 2009 I was watching the movie when I learned it was based on a book by Neil Gaiman. Oops. Normally I like to read the book first, then see the movie. Oh well, onward.

Reading the book in September 2016, after having watched the movie at least three times in the last seven years, turned out to be no less fun or any less scary. The movie follows the book closely, so there weren't many surprises, plot-wise, but the book ended up creeping me out more than the movie. Except for the button eyes; those were equally terrifying both on screen and on the page/ in my imagination!

Had it been released during my tween years, I would've worn out a copy of Coraline: a girl with parents who straddle the line of neglect, an adventure through a mysterious door, a talking cat, a world made from and powered by imagination -- soul food for the budding dark fantasy lover.

4.5 stars ( )
1 vote flying_monkeys | Oct 11, 2016 |
I cannot believe it has taken me this long to read this book. Ok, well I listened to it as it was read by Neil Gaiman himself and his voice is perfection (though FYI listening to this one as you are walking home from work on a dark and dreary night might not be the best idea - I'm a 46 year old women and I was spooked). This is THE perfect book (Just like his other middle grade title The Graveyard Book) for the middle grader. Gaiman is a truly gifted storyteller who never writes down to children, he treats them like the intelligent beings they are. That being said, kids who do not like darker tales, may want to stay away from his work. But I think they will be missing something by skipping this one. Gaiman has created a brilliantly magical world filled with dark creatures, unusual adults and one of the most delightful little heroines. I have to say my favorite parts of the novel included any part that the Cat was in (Yes Gaiman must have cats, as he truly understands them). I also got a kick out of the two retired actress', especially as the one mentioned all the roles my Mother in Law has played. I truly believe the child that picks this up will turn into an adult who loves to read. I am ending this review as it truly saddens me that I cannot express in more articulate and brilliant words how outstanding Gaiman's middle grade novels are. This is a classic my friend

Favorite Quotes/Passages

“Because,' she said, 'when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.”

“Coraline wondered why so few of the adults she met made any sense.”

“The cat dropped the rat between its two front paws. "There are those," it said with a sigh, in tones as smooth as oiled silk, "who have suggested that the tendency of a cat to play with its prey is a merciful one - after all, it permits the occasional funny little running snack to escape, from time to time. How often does your dinner get to escape?”

“I think most things are pretty magical, and that it’s less a matter of belief than it is one of just stopping to notice.” ( )
  mountie9 | Sep 2, 2016 |
It is always exciting to read the books you like again and again. It is engaging, descriptive and good to remind me to not afraid of my own fears. It is always good to read this book at this time of the year. I hope children pick this book up and dive into it. ( )
  shengcinar.lawpha | Sep 1, 2016 |
This was so good!

I was so surprised. I started listening to it because I needed to take a break from another book. I wanted something a little bit dark, a little bit Halloweeny, but light enough and absorbing enough that I could knit to it.

And holy shit Coraline is a clever, precocious little girl! I loved Gaiman's character development. She's such a lovely female protagonist, and I love children's books led by little girls like her.

I loved Gaiman's narration of the book, too. Some of the writing was just beautiful and the cat was fucking hilarious. It's dry, it's witty, it's dark, it's creepy. It's a really engrossing little book that treats children with respect much like the way Roald Dahl acknowledges children as tiny little people, too.

I liked the world-building, although it was a little bit simple for my taste, I totally consumed this book and really enjoyed it. Some people have said that they enjoyed the book rather than the audiobook, but I can't judge that for myself just yet.

This was a really cool novel and I'm so glad I picked it up on a whim. Definitely worth a read. ( )
1 vote lydia1879 | Aug 31, 2016 |
The story begins with Coraline Jones' move into an apartment in an old house with her parents. The neighbors include two elderly retired actresses and a man who lives upstairs Coraline is very bored and ignored/neglected by parents. They both work at home doing "computery stuff". Coraline discovers a door with a brick wall behind it. Drawn to the door the next time Coraline opens it there's a hallway. Coraline goes through the door, and she ends up in an entirely different world: it's kind of like her own, but just a little off. Thinking this other world is strange she heads back home.and discovers her parents are missing, They have been kidnapped and Coraline will have to go back into the other world to rescue them.

Grades: 5-8

Classroom use: Comparing Heroines, Literary elements-setting, plot, theme, characterization, narration/point of view, and foreshadow. As well as cross-discipline use: Art (illustrate your own "Other World"), SS create a map of Coraline's house/world, Science investigate animals found in story (rats are they smart?)
  GEMaguire | Jul 24, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 514 (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.
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 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 11 descriptions

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