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Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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Coraline (edition 2002)

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

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
12,563481191 (3.99)649
Member:Crotchetymama
Title:Coraline
Authors:Neil Gaiman
Other authors:Dave (illustrator) McKean (Illustrator)
Info:HarperCollins (2002), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
Tags:None

Work details

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  1. 210
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    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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    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 also 649 mentions

English (466)  German (5)  French (3)  Spanish (2)  Portuguese (Portugal) (2)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (1)  Catalan (1)  Dutch (1)  Polish (1)  All languages (483)
Showing 1-5 of 466 (next | show all)
Feeling neglected by her overworked parents, Coraline is thrilled when she discovers a secret doorway in her home that leads to what appears to be a parallel world, with her "other mother" who happily gives her the attention she has been missing. But Coraline soon learns that not everything is quite as it seems, and her "other mother" might not be quite as wonderful as she appears...

Although clearly written for an older children/young adult audience, Coraline was so delightfully spooky, it even gave me the creeps. It was a fast, fun read with a strong protagonist and a few life lessons learned along the way. It definitely has many elements of the horror genre, and although the storyline is dark, the way Gaiman writes allows the story to be slightly tamer than it would be if written for adults. The handful of illustrations were frightening.

I ended up watching the movie after finishing the book, and definitely found the movie more "kid-friendly" (and less enjoyable) than the book... but certainly worth a watch, if you enjoy the book. ( )
  skrouhan | Mar 2, 2015 |
This spooky story would be a great read for the month of October. The elements of horror are tame enough that they are more exciting than terrifying. I would like to do a character study with students with this book because there are some very eccentric and colorful characters. ( )
  Maggie.Goff | Feb 26, 2015 |
Very good short novel. The imagery is fun and well done. Gainan easily gets his points across, but does so in fun ways and you are rarely ever bored. ( )
  adam.d.woodard | Feb 23, 2015 |
The book is the creepiest children's stories I have ever read.

I watched the film adaptation before I read the book so I kind of knew what to expect. The film was a lot more kid friendly compared to the book! I feel the book is a lot more darker and it reads as a horror. I'm not sure I would read this to a child, especially not to a sensitive child.

I think it speaks more to the adult reader than the child reader, maybe I found it so creepy because as an adult you understand things differently. Maybe for a child, this would be the ultimate story of adventure and survival.

It is a truly good book, and I am vowing to read a lot more of Neil Gaiman's books in future. ( )
  KittyBimble | Feb 12, 2015 |
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. ( )
  AlbinoRhino | Feb 11, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 466 (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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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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