Thursday, April 5, 2012

Coraline - Gaiman

Neil Gaiman

Almost a year ago I skipped a few classes to see Neil Gaiman speak at the One Book, One Chicago for his featured book, Nevermore. As far as authors go he is one of the nicest and most accessible out there. Plus I love his twitter and blog. Since I already owned Neverwhere , Stardust and had already read The Graveyard Book the next best option was for me to buy a signed copy of Coraline and expand my little Gaiman library. It was a good choice.

In a new, dull house chosen by her boring parents Coraline finds a locked door with nothing but a brick wall behind it. But what happens one day when she opens the door not to find a wall but an alternate universe, complete with alternate parents and a cat that can talk? And why do her "other" parents and neighbors have buttons for eyes? You'll have to read to see.

One of the things I absolutely love about Neil Gaiman's young adult/children's books is how accessible they are to all readers. Coraline is no exception. Above all it is a fairy tale worth of the Grimms. My only complaint about this 162 page child friendly adventure in fantasy and horror is Coraline herself. She's a clever girl, yes, and I respect her and the role girls like her have played in fairy tales, but she is whiny and really hard to relate to or like.

Overall Coraline is a great, fast read. It was everything I wanted from a modern fairy tale. The villains were the stuff of my childhood nightmares, the animals shout outs to some fantastic animated movies and the overall experience pretty great.


Ryan said...

I'm hot and cold on Gaiman. I loved Anansi Boys but couldn't get into American Gods. I think I need to read a few more of his novels to get a better feel.

Chelle said...

I've read Coraline twice now - once for myself and the second for a class. My classmates and I all felt like you do. Coraline is hard to relate to and I really didn't care if she lived, died or became a zombie fact, that might have been fun. I'll have to read another Gaiman book so I can compare them. He's written so much I'm not sure what to read next!