Coraline by Neil Gaiman


Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Published: 2002



Coraline by Neil Gaiman is….amazing!

First, this is rated as a children’s book?  I’m not sure I’d want my child reading it.  Okay, there is no sex or outright violence or gore.  However, it is pure creep/horror/dark fantasy and just scary.  I loved it.

It is about a young girl named Coraline (not Caroline!) who, with her Mom and Dad, moved into the main floor of an old house.  Living above them is an old man who is training mice to sing.  Living below are two old women who once performed on stage.  In their dining room, is a locked door, behind which Coraline finds a brick wall.  Her Mom explained that the house was split in two, and there is another, empty flat on the other side of the door.  One day Coraline, while exploring, opens the door to find a hallway instead of bricks.  Entering, she finds an identical apartment, including all their furniture.  She also finds “another” Mom and Dad….with black buttons for eyes.  At first, it seems much better on this side of the building.  Toys seem to come to life, the food is better, and everything is interesting.  However, her “other” Mom & Dad are a bit strange, even without the button eyes.  The neighbours are a little “off” too.   She finally gets back to her own side of the building, but shortly after, her real parents go missing, and Coraline knows she will have to travel that hallway again if she wants them back.  Maybe she can save them, as well as rescue others whose souls have been taken by the sinister woman who call herself her “other Mother”.  Maybe that talking cat can help.

The story is about a young girl, feeling neglected and bored, and maybe a little nervous about going to school,  finding out that she is braver and stronger than she thinks.

This has been my introduction to Neil Gaiman.  WOW!  I have to read more.  I don’t care if it is aimed toward children or adults, Gaiman can write!  This is truly a special book.  Yes, I’m gushing, but it’s been a while since I enjoyed a book this much!


Favorite Quotes from Coraline:

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

“Calling cats,” it confided, “tends to be a rather overrated activity. Might as well call a whirlwind.”

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

“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?”


Read: January 2017


About the Author:  Neil Gaiman is an  author of short fiction, novels, comic books, graphic novels, audio theatre and films.  He has won numerous awards, and is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work, The Graveyard Book. 


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