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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline (edition 2004)

by Neil Gaiman

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12,945487177 (3.99)669
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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Showing 1-25 of 471 (next | show all)
I read Coraline when I was about ten years old, and I re-read this as an adult. I have also seen the animated film, which I thought was wonderful. Now, I remember why I was so fond of this book as a young individual. The amount of detail and vivid language in this book is truly wonderful. It sucks the reader in and makes them feel as if they were actually right next to Coraline on her spooky adventure. It is definitely a fantasy novel, being that Coraline is going back and forth between the "real world" and "the other world". Now, I know this particular book has been banned and challenged and I can understand why. The protagonist, Coraline, is about 10-13 years old and I think that it maybe on the scarier side with its dark themes for the targeted audience. ( )
  Sleco | Nov 24, 2015 |
I loved this; but I am a great fan of Neil Gaiman so my critical faculties are somewhat weakened as far as this book is concerned. This is a proper fairy tale right on the tradition of the Brothers Grimm with a resourceful heroine and some nasty bits. As I expected the language flows beautifully; I even caught myself reading parts of it aloud to myself with nobody else around. I have set it aside to read to my seven year old granddaughter who I am sure will enjoy my rendition. ( )
  johnwbeha | Nov 18, 2015 |
I absolutely love this book. The details help you picture the story and the characters easily in your mind. Especially when it describes the world she discovers. Everything is the same just better. For example, her real parents never pay her much attention whereas her alternate parents soil her and give her so much attention it's sickening. And it has an interesting story plot to where you just want to keep reading to find out what happens next. It is a very suspenseful and creative story. ( )
  kstano1 | Oct 1, 2015 |
I really loved this book. I enjoyed reading each page because reading this book literally took me to that alternate world. The details that were in the book were really good and helped me image everything that happened. In beginning the author has a good way of sparking your interest by simply stating how Coraline finds a door with a brick wall behind it, now thats very strange, and it makes you as the read try to image stumbling into a door like that. Whats behind it? The message of this book is that you should always cherish what you have and the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Family can never be replaced and in the story Coraline really learns this throughout the story as she is faced with the horrible reality that although her alternate family seems perfect on the outside they are really rotten to the core people on the inside. ( )
  dvazqu2 | Oct 1, 2015 |
My blog post about this book is at this link. ( )
  SuziQoregon | Sep 2, 2015 |
A dark mystical tale with an original set of characters. Beautifully written and witty. I saw the animated film first, and I enjoyed the book, as well. I would say it might be a bit too scary for kids. ( )
  valdanylchuk | Aug 26, 2015 |
This was a quick and scary read, like hearing a ghost story by a campfire. I also noticed all of the allusions to Alice in Wonderland and would agree with the reviews on the back of the book that this is a modern-day "Through the Looking Glass" story. I'm still pondering the significance of "names" and the recurring green imagery, so there's enough to challenge me to make this better than "Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark". I'd recommend it to any of my students, not just the low-level readers or the proficient ones. ( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
This was the perfect book to listen to on a car trip from Connecticut to Cape Cod, with a 10 year old and 14 year old grandchild.

The story is creepy enough to keep everyone, including me, happy for the entire journey. Coraline Jones and her family have moved to a new flat in a big old house. The neighbors insist upon calling her Caroline, her parents tend to ignore her, and she is left on her own to wander about. Her father tells her to explore, and she asks her mother what is on the other side of the door that they never open. Her mother opens the door to a brick wall. Left on her own, she opens the door and finds the brick wall is gone. She goes through the door, and what she finds there....well, enough said. Creepy and dark, this tale is quite a lot of fun. (Although, I can understand why my 12 year old granddaughter won't watch the movie version.)

The book has won:
Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Children's Literature, 2003
Hugo Award Winner, Best Novella, 2003
Nebula Award Winner, Best Novella, 2003

Neil Gaiman's narration is wonderful.

From June 2013 ( )
  NanaCC | Jul 26, 2015 |
I loved this book as a kid and I always will. I love how Coraline feels like an introduction into the horror genre for children. The book lis so tasteful about introducing gory themes such as the other mother attempting to sew button eyes onto Coraline. Also, it goes through many scary tropes in a kid friendly way. However, bits of it get a bit dry and hard to follow. ( )
  alaina.loescher | Jun 25, 2015 |
Coraline is a piece of youth urban fantasy in many respects reminiscent of Roald Dahl’s The Witches. The tale follows Coraline, a girl who loves to explore, with parents who work at home and care for her but tend to ignore her. Coraline finds a passage into a mirror world with a woman who claims to be her ‘other mother’ and wants nothing more than for her to stay. As Coraline spends time in this world, created entirely by the creature masquerading as her mother, she begins to realize how dangerous and horrific a trap she is caught in. With sound advice from a cat, and the unknowing help of her elderly neighbors, Coraline must beat the creature at its own games to save herself, her parents, and the souls of children caught long ago. ( )
  Ailinel | May 1, 2015 |
As for the writing, excellent. Neil Gaiman is good at that. His descriptions are great, and he's a wonderful storyteller, were it not so disturbing a story. Yes, it has a nightmarish quality rather a lot like Alice in Wonderland, and probably worse. These books should be in a genre all their own titled Horror for Kids. At least it teaches a lesson, that we should appreciate what we have, even if what we have is not perfect. I liked Coraline's response to the bad people who try to give her exactly what she wants: "I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really." Quite clever. ( )
  KR_Patterson | Apr 28, 2015 |
A great book but a little too creepy and mind warping for me. I know many young adult readers need to be exposed to the dark parts of their mind to come to terms with good and evil and who they want to be. But, Gaiman really goes for the creepy twist on it all.
One thing I did like in Coraline was the battle of identity that occurs throughout the book. Identity is something many children have to search and find throughout their childhood. Coraline question what makes one person a person and how your surroundings affect you. This is a good concept for children to read and think about in this novel. Not my favorite I prefer a little bit sunshine and rainbows not beetles and button eyes as much. ( )
  crieder95 | Apr 9, 2015 |
children should be scared. fairy tales should not be bubble gum and lollipops where everyone is safe and wholesome or easily recognizable as the Black Bart. Coraline is creepy and moving in the just the right way to engage young people's minds and hearts. ( )
1 vote keebrook | Mar 10, 2015 |
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 |
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 |
Dark fantasy novel. Great original story. Fast read, great writing. ( )
  dom76 | Feb 4, 2015 |
Coraline is a delightful creepy horror story for children. Coraline goes through a door in her house into the other house with her other-mother.

What works really well for Gaiman is the kind of subtle plausibility of his horror. The idea of portals and the other world. After all - doesn't any closed door potentially conceal a monster? Gaiman makes strong use of the uncanny, the way the other world is like this world but just that little but different. The things like buttons for eyes (eyes obviously being the window to the soul and the soul being something the other-mother can't reproduce for herself). Very good book. Very creepy. Would love to share this with a child. ( )
  TPauSilver | Jan 22, 2015 |
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. ( )
  librarycatnip | Jan 12, 2015 |
Anything Neil Gaiman writes is good by me. This book was creepy and fabulous. ( )
  AlisonLea | Jan 10, 2015 |
Coraline is hands down the creepiest children’s book I’ve ever read. It’s terrifying and beautiful, and I loved every moment of it. Highly recommended. ( )
  les121 | Dec 31, 2014 |
Just the right amount of scary and suspense, mixed with humor. Coraline finds a door in her new house that leads to a second world, with a second set of her neighbors, and her "other" mother and father. It is fun at first until Coraline realizes things are just a little bit off, and her "other" parents don't want her to leave. Coraline is determined, though, to save herself and the other lost souls stuck in this world.

AR level: 5.1 MG
Lexile: 740 ( )
  liblb | Dec 25, 2014 |
I was very excited to read this book, since I have seen the movie. Neil Gaiman has such a knack for slightly disturbing writing. When Coraline finds her way into the otherworld and meets her "other-mother" and "other-father", she finds they are even better than her current parents, though not all things are like they seem! I believe children who enjoy scary stories would really enjoy this.
  InstantLaila | Dec 8, 2014 |
Gaiman, Neil. Illustrated by Dave McKean. Coraline. 2002. 163 pp. $17.89. Harper Collins. 978-0-0662-3744-2 / 0-06-623744-0. Ages 8-12.
When adventurous Coraline ventures through the mysterious door that leads to the flat besides the one she shares with her busy but loving parents, she discovers a world that is oddly like her own flat. There, she has an other mother and other father who are identical to her own, except for their button eyes. When her other mother fails to convince Coraline to stay with her in her world, she kidnaps Coraline’s parents instead. Coraline must find a way to free the souls of her parents and the other children who have been captured by the primal evil lurking just next door. This modern fairy tale by Gaiman features well-developed characters who buck the traditional fairy tale roles. The story is suspenseful and uniquely unsettling, and the descriptions of the unnamed evil manifest in Coraline’s other mother are borderline terrifying. This is sure to be a favorite for fantasy readers and fans of horror alike. Highly recommended. Ages 8-12. ( )
  alovett | Nov 20, 2014 |
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