Coraline by Neil Gaiman

  • Name: Coraline
  • Author: Neil Gaiman
  • Type: Middle Grade Fantasy
  • Pages: 162
  • Series: Standalone
  • Published: August 4th, 2002
  • Publisher: Harper Collins

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.

I thought this book was fantastic! The only thing that brought my rating down a bit was it had a few parts in the audiobook that I found myself spacing here and there. It definitely wasn’t Neil Gaiman’s narration as I think he really increased the atmosphere in this book! I just found myself bored here and there but probably could’ve been my mindset at the time or whatever. Either way this was still a great read and would highly recommend listening to the audiobook!

  • Some mild scary scenes for younger children
Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman writes books for readers of all ages, including the following collections and picture books for young readers: M is for Magic (2007); Interworld (2007), co-authored with Michael Reaves; The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish (1997); The Wolves in the Walls (2003); the Greenaway-shortlisted Crazy Hair (2009), illustrated by Dave McKean; The Dangerous Alphabet (2008), illustrated by Gris Grimly; Blueberry Girl (2009); and Instructions (2010), illustrated by Charles Vess.

Gaiman’s books are genre works that refuse to remain true to their genres. Gothic horror was out of fashion in the early 1990s when Gaiman started work on Coraline (2002). Originally considered too frightening for children, Coraline went on to win the British Science Fiction Award, the Hugo, the Nebula, the Bram Stoker, and the American Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla award. Odd and the Frost Giants, originally written for 2009’s World Book Day, has gone on to receive worldwide critical acclaim.

The Wolves in the Walls was made into an opera by the Scottish National Theatre in 2006, and Coraline was adapted as a musical by Stephin Merritt in 2009.

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  1. So happy to see Coraline getting love! I adore that book. It’s perfectly creepy and weird in a way that doesn’t get gory or overly dramatic. It just messes with your head and makes you wonder if the impossible is really possible. Excellent review!

    Liked by 1 person

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