Sunday, 14 October 2012

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline's often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
My Review:
My second Neil Gaiman book, and wow, it was awesome. The book is known for its creepy, out of the ordinary and intriguing storyline. This children's novel is such a wonderful halloween read. I really enjoyed the alternative and frightening world of the secret door and the "other Mother & Father".  I really enjoyed the character of Coraline. She is a typical 12 / 13 -ish year old girl who is adventurous and loves exploring. We see her evolve into a brave, heroic girl throughout the novel as she has to face all her fears and all of her wildest imaginings. Throughout the book, I was reminded of the endless and undying love that a daughter had for her parents and vice versa. Family, and its importance, is a large aspect of this book that underlies it creepy Halloween exterior.
The characters in this book were all individually unique. From Mr Bobo- who trains mice to preform music and circus acts, to Ms' Spink & Forcible -who provide a comic side to the story and are very helpful towards Coraline, and of course the "Other" Mother & Father- who are terrifying and are the antagonists of the novel (I'll never see buttons in the same, normal, non frightening way again!). Last, but certainly not least, the Cat! The Cat is a large part of the story and I feel that by the end of the novel the Cat and Coraline are on a level of understanding much deeper than friendship.
I loved the plot! I had just the right speed of pacing, not too fast paced and not too slow. It also contained the right amount of suspense, mixed with danger, creepy-halloweenness and a sprinkle of adventure. I loved the "Treasure Hunt" and thought it was so well written. The entire book was both suspenseful and gripping.  The ending was beautiful. I really thought it ended the book in an excellent way and wrapped up the story well. Again I see Neil Gaimans writing is both poetic and beautiful. I've also read somewhere that Coraline is the book he is most proud of!
The only downside to the novel is that firstly, I felt it was very short. Things could have been added or drawn out to make the novel feel a little longer as I felt it was over much too quick. It was also a little disappointing that I enjoyed the movie that little more than the book. I think it was that in the novel there was the absence of both Wybie and the doll. Other than those points, Coraline by Neil Gaiman is an enjoyable novel for all ages. Read it for Halloween!

A four star book
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Video of Neil Gaiman talking about Buttons....



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