Book Review- Coraline by Neil Gaiman


Welcome back, everyone. Before we begin the discussion of Gaiman’s delightfully creepy children’s tale, I have an update on the “Writing Room”!

Tonight we finished cleaning the pipes with paint thinner. A stinky, and unpleasant job, but it must be done. You see, the coating found on industrial pipe is not pet or child friendly. I have no plans for small children to be clambering about licking bookshelf pipes anytime soon, but someday the house will be sold, and the shelf will go with it.

Also, we have a dog to think about.

So, once all the pieces of 3/4″ pipe were properly stripped of their coating, we did a test run of how they’ll go together. Good thing too, because out initial attempt was too tall for the room!shelf-pipe

But, a quick adjustment fixed the height issue, and though I had to give up about four inches of total shelf space, I get my fancy toppers like I originally wanted!shelf-pipe-2

So, that portion of the shelving is done, organized, and ready for assembly once the boards are. Unfortunately there’s a lot of sanding, drilling, and staining still to be done. Trevor claims that all sanding and drilling will be done tomorrow night, that way we can stain Friday, add the polyurethane Saturday, and install on Sunday. We’ll see if that timeline holds.

Anyway, on to Coraline!

I listened to this book from an audiobook from the Library. Neil Gaiman did the narration himself, and it was delightful! Who knows what inflections to make, and what voices to imitate better than the author!

Now, I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the film, and I know it scared the bejeezus out of me. I think I could watch it now that I’ve read the book and know the outcome, but until now, no way.

So, Coraline is about a young girl whose life is pretty dull. Her parents are constantly busy, pawning her off on the neighbors or the outdoors frequently. They’ve just moved into a new flat, and whilst exploring on a rainy day, Coraline discovers a secret door. After much searching for the key, she finally unlocks it, and despite the warnings, she goes through into a different version of her world.

There she meets her Other Mother and Other Father, who seem desperate to dote on Coraline in all the ways her real parents never do. If it weren’t for their desperation, and their “black button eyes”, they’d seem wonderful. But Coraline knows that something isn’t right.

Upon returning to her reality, Coraline finds that her parents have gone missing, kidnapped by the Other Mother!

And so Coraline’s real quest, to release her parents and defeat the Other Mother, is under way. Along the way the girl is faced with terror after terror. The dead bodies of children abandoned by the Other Mother, the deformed corpse of the Other Father trying to kill her, and of course, the Other Mother herself.

It’s all very scary. In all honesty, there were plenty of times where I was uncomfortable listening in the early dark of morning outside my Starbucks, waiting for my shift to start. As a child I’m sure I’d read it with apprehension and wonder. As an adult I was just plain nervous.

With a talking black cat as her company Coraline strikes a bargain with the Other Mother. If Coraline can find the souls of the three children, as well as her parents, then the Other Mother must let them all go. The Other Mother agrees to the deal, confident that Coraline could never achieve such a thing. And, even if she did, the Other Mother had no intentions of sticking to her end of the bargain.

And so Coraline endeavors to save herself, and those she cares about. She faces many terrible things in the process, and proves just how brave and clever she really is. I don’t want to give too much away, though most of you have probably seen the film by now.

Suffice it to say that, despite my nervousness, I really enjoyed the story. I loved Gaimain’s narration. I doubt my imagination could have done justice to the words had I read them to myself.

I’d recommend Coraline to anyone. It’s fun and frightening for all ages. It’s clever, too. But, if you like to listen to stories, I really recommend the audiobook for this one. No one could do better than Neil himself.

Upcoming reviews to look out for include The Obelisk Gate by N.K. Jemisin and A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. I’ve also got less than an hour left on Elric of Melniboné, so that should be lurking somewhere in the near future as well.

I’ll see you soon, Blogland!




4 thoughts on “Book Review- Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s