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Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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Coraline (edition 2004)

by Neil Gaiman

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12,525476192 (3.99)641
Zeruhur's review
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 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 |
When Coraline finds a door and enters through she finds the other side holds everything she has wanted. Parents that notice her, a full to the brim toy box and great tasting food. However, is what you've always wanted what you really wanted in the first place?
  auntiepants88 | Nov 7, 2014 |
On a dreary day during the school holidays, Coraline must entertain herself indoors since both of her parents are busy. Coraline is curious about a door in the drawing room that doesn't seem to go anywhere … except suddenly it does. Coraline finds herself in a place that looks very much like her house with people who look very much like her parents...until they don't. Coraline's courage will be tested as she tries to find a way back to her real home and to a reunion with her parents.

Coraline's problems will resonate with many elementary aged children. She's lonely and bored, her adult neighbors can't get her name right (they insist on calling her Caroline), and her father insists on cooking from recipes that are never to Coraline's liking. Children may fantasize about what life might be like if their parents indulged all their wishes and didn't spoil all their fun. Gaiman's story may help children to see that such dreams might prove to be nightmares. Think Wizard of Oz with a 21st century twist. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Oct 30, 2014 |
Despite my enormous love for Neil Gaiman, I could not finish reading this book.
Maybe one day. Maybe not. ( )
  NatalieAsIs | Oct 23, 2014 |
(5.2)
  mshampson | Oct 15, 2014 |
“Coraline” is one of my favorite chapter books, written by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. I feel very strongly about this story for two main reasons. First of all, the plot itself is just terrifyingly delightful; the first time I read this story, I had a hard time falling asleep, but I loved how it scared me. Even without it being a movie, I could see this fantasy world so clearly in my head, and the images stuck with me for years and years. Second, I enjoyed the illustrations that began each chapter. Drawn just in black and white, the pictures helped me to see how the author viewed his characters. Several times, they were very symbolic, like the picture of Coraline’s shadow being a menacing rat.
The central message of this story is to truly be careful what you wish for, and to appreciate the family you have. Every family has faults, but you should learn to love the one you have, because the alternative is not always pretty. ( )
  ElizabethHaaser | Sep 29, 2014 |
Excellent! This is a great book, the perfect mix of childlike fun and a dash of spookiness. Very well-written, fast-paced, and fun to read. ( )
  piersanti | Sep 28, 2014 |
I'm sorry, I really wanted to like this but the language used was so simple, the kind you were criticised for using when doing creative writing as a child, that my attention (even after taking breaks) kept wandering and only came back when I heard "Other Mother" or "cat".

Some of this may be down to the narrator who was hit and miss, mostly hit but Dawn French's voice was a little too calm and relaxing that I found I was just listening to her tone of voice instead of concentrating on the actual words. She'd make good money as a hypnotist.

There are definitely some very good ideas and fantastic imagery but I'm beginning to believe all of Gaiman's work should be turned into movies for me to watch instead of reading them because I think I'd enjoy them so much more, just like I did with Stardust. I'll definitely be looking to watch Coraline some time soon. ( )
  Cynical_Ames | Sep 23, 2014 |
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. ( )
  raselyem7 | Aug 30, 2014 |
This was a weird little book. I can do weird, being a fantasy fan and all but this one is one that didn't make it in my awesome or wonderful weird. Perhaps it was too juvenile – meant for a much younger audience than me – for me to make it into either of those categories. It is a very quick read however and it’s a fantasy classic. I think they even made a movie based off it. It was one of those books that I’m glad I can check off the list and now know the story that is referenced in many contexts, but I doubt I will ever pick up again or reread. ( )
  Kassilem | Aug 27, 2014 |
An OK book. It wasn't anything too extraordinary. Just a quick, easy book that told, in a way, a modern and somewhat darker version of Alice in Wonderland. ( )
  aryadeschain | Aug 26, 2014 |
When Coraline Jones is home alone one day, she opens a mysterious door in the drawing room. Beyond, she finds a dark corridor that leads her to another house – just like hers, but better. There, she finds another mother and another father. They say they want to take care of her, to make her life interesting. There’s only one catch. They want Coraline to remain with them forever.
Soon, the other mother captures Coraline’s real parents, and she must find a way to free them if she’s ever to return to her ordinary life.

Pros:
Coraline is the type of book that’s perfect for a rainy day or when you want something subtly spooky. It reads like a modern fable, populated with archetypes that are somehow never flat. Coraline herself is such a refreshing heroine. She’s quiet – so a little ignored – clever, brave, and so intuitive. The other mother is an interesting, frightening antagonist whose obsession with keeping Coraline forever saturates the story with an understated but constant dread. Secondary characters like Miss Spink, Miss Forcible, Mr. Bobo, and the black cat – though somewhat one-note – are colorful, fun and witty respectively, and give the story a well-calibrated sense of whimsy.

The plot, which explores themes of self, bravery, and want versus need, is intriguing, multi-layered, and never condescending. It also contains aspects of ambiguity (the other mother’s origins, for example) that serve to heighten the book’s other elements. Gaiman’s writing is spartan and allows the story to speak for itself, bolstering each episode’s emotion impact.

Dave McKean’s shadowy illustrations increase the creepy-factor exponentially, assisting the reader in conjuring up even scarier mental images.

Cons:
Many portions of this book may actually be too frightening for the target audience.

Verdict:
Coraline merits instant classic status. Delightfully spooky and entrancing, it’s a contemporary fairytale with an abundance of heart.

Rating: (9.5/10) ( )
  readernoir | Jul 22, 2014 |
It was a quick read. I did see the movie before I read the book, but it was different. It was eerie, but still very well written. I'm a bit hesitant to read Neil Gaiman's adult novels, but only because I didn't find any synopsis i liked on books I've skimmed. Anyway, he's been well received by other people I've talked to. ( )
  aliterarylion | Jul 14, 2014 |
For those whimsical moments in life when I think things could not get more glum I turn to Coraline to realize YES they possibly could. ( )
  revslick | Jul 14, 2014 |
It may be an unfair standard, but I don't think this book added much to the movie. Had I read the book first the converse might have been true.

The book was enjoyable, but I was hoping for more, something like Philip Pullman's Clockwork or I Was a Rat. There was something more mature than those books, not just the terror but the more complex portrait of a child's imperfect relationship with her parents. But still, something about it did not work perfectly as a story for me. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
This book is scary beyond belief and I would definitely not recommend it to younger readers: I had to hide under the covers! I loved Lemony Snicket's advice on the back cover. He basically says, "put this book down and walk away right now!" If you like ghost stories and being pleasurably frightened, then this may be the book for you. If not, leave Coraline and her "other mother," on the shelf! ( )
  aconant | Jun 6, 2014 |
This modern fantasy chapter book has been one of my favorites since the first time I read it. The vivid detail and elaborate plot line throws the reader into a mysterious world of wonder and imagination. The underlying meaning of this story is to never be afraid to discover something new, but to be cautious at the same time. ( )
  arodri13 | May 7, 2014 |
When Coraline explores her new home, she steps through a door and into another house just like her own... except that it's different. It's a marvelous adventure until Coraline discovers that there's also another mother and another father in the house. They want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to keep her forever!

Coraline must use all of her wits and every ounce of courage in order to save herself and return home
  Megan88 | Apr 22, 2014 |
AUTHOR: Gaiman, Neil
TITLE: Coraline & Other Stories
DATE READ: 04/18/14
RATING: 3.5/C+
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Short Stories/2002/Bloomsbury Press/277 pgs

COMMENTS: Really not my cuppa and would not have read on my own. This was a "traveling book" so I read it before passing on. This book contains the novella Coraline -- creepy & not something I liked w/ ugly illustrations. Just not something I could glom onto. Oh well, minus me as a fan means nothing since I know Mr. Gaiman has quite a following. The rest of the book is short stories. The only one that stood out for me was the fun one about the hard boiled detective The Case of Four and Twenty Blackbirds. ( )
  pammykn | Apr 21, 2014 |
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