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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline (edition 2004)

by Neil Gaiman

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13,392515163 (3.99)672
Quanti di voi da bambini hanno avuto paura del buio? Il buio rappresenta l'ignoto: "La più antica e potente emozione umana è la paura e la paura più antica e potente è la paura dell'ignoto" diceva Lovecraft.
Ricordate la sensazione di smarrimento e terrore provata di fronte ad una porta aperta, magari su un corridoio, che dava su una stanza buia?
Non è difficile provare la stessa sensazione leggendo le dense pagine di Coraline.
Viene etichettato come libro per bambini e non difficilmente lo troverete nello scaffale dedicato alla letteratura per l'infanzia, ma a mio modesto parere questo racconto è pienamente fruibile da un adulto che viene prepotentemente trasportato nuovamente nell'infanzia dalla penna di Gaiman.
Avendolo letto di notte non provo vergogna nel riconoscere di aver fatto i salti nel letto all'accenno del più piccolo rumore. Questa è la magia di Coraline: una prosa asciutta ma evocatrice.
La protagonista del racconto attraversa il corridoio buio e si trova catapultata in una grottesca imitazione del mondo reale, dove tutti hanno dei bottoni al posto degli occhi. Non impiega molto a scoprire l'orrenda verità, eppure come altri protagonisti di Gaiman che si trovano intrappolati in altri mondi (mi vengono in mente Helena del sottovalutato film MirrorMask o il sempre valido Richard Mayhew di Nessun Dove) non si lascia sopraffare dalle circostanze, ma anzi vivendo l'impossibile riesce a sopravvivere e a crescere.
Il tutto è accompagnato dalle grottesche e terrificanti illustrazioni di Dave McKean, spesso socio di Gaiman e insostituibile complemento delle sue narrazioni.
Forse la magia di questo scrittore, più di ogni altra cosa è la capacità di evocare e trasportarci nei mondi da lui creati. ( )
  Zeruhur | May 26, 2012 |
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Coraline discovered the door a little while after they moved into the house.
-- first sentence

Coraline wondered why so few of the adults she had met made any sense. She sometimes wondered who they thought they were talking to.
--Chapter 2

...when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave.
--Coraline, Chapter 5

This story is really eerie. I haven't seen the movie, but I may watch it now that I read the book. I would always prefer to read the book first, if possible.

Coraline is a strong, brave, and determined young lady. All of the adults who live in the same house as Coraline insist on calling her "Caroline," no matter how many times she corrects them. There is a real disconnect between the adults in the story and Coraline. They interact with her, but it's like they live in different worlds. Coraline ends up walking through a doorway into a different world, with different versions of the same adults. At first, she finds the alternate world exciting, but still a bit off. Then she realizes that the other mother wants her to stay there forever. Coraline knows that it is up to her to find a way to stop the other mother and save her parents.

I can't believe I never read this before. This book seems too frightening for kids, but Gaiman wrote it for his own children. And I guess kids look at things differently than adults, maybe it isn't as scary to them. I enjoyed this book much more than The Graveyard Book, which is also by Gaiman but not nearly as creepy.

This book is a quirky, dark, and clever fairy tale.

Recommended to:
Amazon says 8-12; I was thinking maybe 9 or 10 and up, but you know your child best. If your kid likes creepy, then this is the perfect book. :) ( )
  Jadedog13 | Apr 28, 2016 |
An incredible tale of surrealism and deceit, Coraline is a literary masterpiece. ( )
  ethanlu121 | Apr 27, 2016 |
This is a great story, especially around Halloween. I highly recommend for young adults and adults alike. I disliked the movie, but found the book to be excellent, so if you're hesitant to read this based on the film, I would strongly encourage you to reconsider. ( )
  kelseymorgan88 | Apr 22, 2016 |
This a witty and adventurous short story that is about a girl who steps through a door into another life called her own, but better. Her new family is perfect in every way, but then she struggles to get back to her normal real life.
Genre: This book reveals a world of imagination and fiction.
Media: This book is novel based with mostly words but the few pictures are oils, paint, and pen. ( )
  Ahusk | Mar 29, 2016 |
WOW...A Gaiman book I actually enjoyed. That doesn't happen often. ( )
  benuathanasia | Mar 29, 2016 |
Summary of Book:
Coraline and her parents move into their new flat and Coraline finds a passage to another flat just like her new flat. But the new flat has another set of parents that have button eyes and they want to change Coraline. Coraline must fight the other parents to save other children that have been trapped, as well as Coraline's real parents.

Personal Reaction:
I actually thought this was kinda creepy for a kid's book! Especially when the other mother's hand starts moving around everywhere looking for the key. I'm glad I haven't seen the movie!

Extension Ideas:
Have the students create what they think Coraline's flat would look like.

Let the students design the clothes the other parents are wearing.
  robinkluth1980 | Mar 23, 2016 |
A young girl named Coraline Jones and her parents move into an old house that was divided into flats. There are three other tenants in the flat: Miss Spink and Miss Forcible are two elderly retired women, and Mr. Bobinsky is a crazy old man who trains mice for a circus. There is one empty flat. Coraline loves to explore, and while exploring her new home, she finds a locked door in the living room, and begs her mother to open it. They find that behind it is just a brick wall. Coraline visits her neighbors, and Mr. Bobinsky tells her that his mice warned her not to go through the door. Miss Spink reads Coraline's tea leaves and warns that there is danger in her future. They give her a lucky stone to help her. When Coraline is alone at home, she decides to unlock the door, and finds that it leads into a long hallway. At the end of the hallway is a flat that is identical to her home. Inside, she meets her "Other Mother" and "Other Father" and they look almost exactly like her parents except that have black buttons for eyes. The Other Mother is taller and more slender than her mother. In this "Other World", things seem to be more interesting at first. Coraline has better toys, her Other Mother fixes all her favorite foods, and the feral cat that roams the house can talk. The Other Mother tries to convince her to stay in the Other World. She says that Coraline can come stay forever, but only if she lets them sew buttons onto her eyes. Coraline is horrified by this and decides to return home, but finds that her parents are missing. She discovers they are trapped behind a mirror, and realizes that the Other Mother kidnapped them. She returns to the Other World, and the cat tells her to challenge the Other Mother to some sort of game because she loves challenges. However, when the Other Mother realizes that Coraline will not stay, she locks her in a small closet. In the closet, Coraline meets the ghosts of three children that had agreed to live in the Other World years before. They explained that the Other Mother was a creatured called beldam that sewed buttons over their eyes, but got bored with them and when they died, she cast their spirits aside so they were trapped in the Other World. If Coraline can find their souls, they can move on. The Other Mother finally releases Coraline from the closet. Coraline offers to play a game with the Other Mother. If she can find the children's souls and her parents, the Other Mother must let them all go free. If she cannot, she will have buttons sewn onto her eyes. Coraline finds the children's souls and her parents in a snow globe, but the children warn her that the other mother will not really let her go. Coraline tricks the Other Mother into unlocking the door, and manages to escape back into the real world. When trying to close the door, the Other Mother's hand gets stuck in the door and falls off. In the morning, her parents have no memory of what happened. That night, she has a dream that the three children have a picnic with her and tell her she still has more to do. The Other Mother's hand has been sneaking around the real world, trying to find the key to unlock the door. Coraline tricks the hand into falling into a well, where she hopes it will remain trapped forever.

Personal Reaction:
I absolutely love this book. I'm a big fan of creepy stories and adventure. I love Coraline as a character, she's a brave, bold little girl.

Classroom Extension Ideas:
1. Have children describe/draw/write stories about what their "Other World" would look like.
2. Have children draw/sew their "Other Parents"
3. Do a tea leaf reading ( )
  ClaudiaNormand | Mar 23, 2016 |
Author Neil Gaiman and illustrator Dave McKean collaborate to create the novel 'Coraline.' After moving to a new home with her family, Coraline Jones discovers another side to her house that mirrors her own. Here, her "other" family treats her better than she felt she'd been at her own home. But she finds they do not love her and the entire world is more like looking into a cracked mirror. Gaiman has Coraline learn that the family that loves her are her real parents; the ones who are always there for her. ( )
  Jtreed | Mar 22, 2016 |
Creepy, fascinating, and adventurous. Follow Coraline as she discovered a world so much like her own, but still so very different, as she prepares a battle of wits to win back her true life ( )
  ShayLRoss | Mar 16, 2016 |
A sweet quick read, andif already sewn the movie, so no surprises. It's inventive and a little spooky but very charming, and I love Coraline's plucky exploration. ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
I really liked this AND the movie. I listened to this audiobook with my sons on a car vacation a few years back. I think they were 9 and 11 at the time. It was pretty intensely scary in some sections for them, and we had to turn it off periodically for them to calm down. ( )
  magerber | Feb 22, 2016 |
Considered children's lit, but too creepy and dark for them, i think. I was expecting to love this, but I didn't like it nearly as much as The Graveyard Book. ( )
  fromthecomfychair | Feb 11, 2016 |
Neil Gaiman narrates......excellent Gaiman tale!
4* ( )
  pennsylady | Feb 10, 2016 |
A children's book, but it's also beautifully written and quite disturbing and spooky -
the little girl Coraline, feeling a bit lonely and neglected by her busy parents, goes exploring and finds an alternate version of her home on the other side of a door - peopled by alternate versions of her parents, who offer her everything she has ever dreamed of - but can't quite hide the malevolence lurking beneath these offers... Coraline must fight to escape the traps of the "other mother" - luckily, she's a pretty smart kid, and recognizes pretty quickly that 'you don't really want everything you always wanted'....

(However, I think she shoulda gotten the neon-green gloves at the end!) ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I loved this book. I have often heard it mentioned, but had never read it. I have always been drawn to the dark and twisted and this book would have been a favorite had it been around when I was a kid. Coraline is a great role model for young girls, especially, perhaps young girls who face difficult life experiences.

This, of course, would make an excellent lit circle boo, but it would also be a great addition to a 4th through 6th grade curriculum. It is an exceptionally well written novel that could be used to teach literary devices, literary structure, and/or creative writing.
  mtknick | Feb 5, 2016 |
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.

( )
  4everfanatical | Feb 5, 2016 |

Minha relação com o Neil Gaiman melhorou muito depois de Coraline. trama super criativa, como tudo o que ele escreve. ( )
  karineamaral | Jan 31, 2016 |
great story and great movie ( )
  Erika.D | Jan 28, 2016 |
Definitely 8 yrs and up. If your child is a regular reader of spooky reads then this is a good choice but if they are not I would advise to be cautious. Some scenes are quite scary although much tamer than the film version. 3.5 stars ( )
  LiteraryChanteuse | Jan 27, 2016 |
Very cute! ( )
  TerriS | Jan 17, 2016 |
Coraline is about a girl who is a little too dissatisfied with her life and ultimately discovers that getting everything you want isn't as much fun as wishing for it is.

I enjoyed this book a lot. The world Gaiman creates is fascinating. The story really pulled me in, although there were a couple things about the ending that I was able to guess much earlier in the book. I'm not trying to say anything negative about the book here, just that I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had read it as a kid. The book is so short, though, that it's well worth the time it takes to read it. ( )
  AmandaL. | Jan 16, 2016 |
I had been wanting to read this book since I first saw the movie version, and while, as expected, there are some differences, I'd say I enjoyed it, but did not love it. The movie is deliciously dark and horrific, while the book is far more tame. However, I think my age may be coming into play here, as I am not the targeted audience by a long shot.

Coraline is a curious and adventurous young girl who lives in the second floor of a large old home that has been converted to flats. Her parents are often too preoccupied with their work to pay her any attention, so she is typically left to her own devices. One rainy day, trapped indoors with not much to do, she goes exploring and finds a door that at first seems to lead to a brick wall. Yet, when she tries again she finds a long black corridor that opens up to another world, a nearly exact replica of her own.

The movie got the main gist of the story almost exactly right, with a few additions here and there to flesh the story out more to sustain a full length film, including the addition of her friend Wyborn, who was nowhere to be found in the novel. Yet it expressed the darkness of the story so much more fully than Gaiman's book. There were no little shivers of fear of anticipation in his story, but I am not the target audience. I feel sure that were my son reading it, he would not have finished it. He doesn't like horror and this would have been too much for him. Given that, I think that Gaiman achieved exactly what he set out to do. The writing itself was very simplistic, without the usual depth and nuances I've come to expect from this author. I actually think he sold the kids short in this case. The Graveyard Book, written for a similar age range, was not at all lacking in this department, so I'd have to say I'm a bit disappointed in the story from that aspect. In all, it was enjoyable, and though I read it in one afternoon, that was due to the ease of the read, and not because I couldn't put it down. If you have a younger child, say eight or nine, who likes horror, I would recommend this book whole-heartedly, but an adult would probably want something with a bit more complexity, which can definitely be found in almost all of his other novels. ( )
  Mootastic1 | Jan 15, 2016 |
When Coraline moves into a new home with her parents she wants to explore. When she steps through the strange door, she ends in a house that mirrors her own with another mother and another father that want her to be their girl. Yet beneath the promises are glimpses of a more sinister nature and finding her way back into her own world will prove a real challenge.

Another great read from Neil Gaiman. My only complaint: it's rather short. But that is not to say that anything was missing to make this a great story.
( )
  sushicat | Jan 14, 2016 |
Coraline is a wonderfully creepy story written for juvenile readers. Coraline finds an entrance to a world where everything is similar to her own, but something is not right. Can Coraline save her family and escape? I really liked the atmosphere the book creates. Gaiman does an excellent job with providing very creepy images for the reader. Coraline is a great character, she is brave but not fearless. It has a great message for kids when Coraline says that getting everything you ever wanted is not necessarily a good thing. ( )
  Cora-R | Jan 13, 2016 |
Entertaining. I saw the movie first so nothing was new to me. There's also the fact that I read this as an adult. ( )
  savagereads | Jan 9, 2016 |
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