Only it's different...
At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.
Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.
©2002 Neil Gaiman; (P)2002 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.
"An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons." (Publishers Weekly)
"The story is odd, strange, even slightly bizarre, but kids will hang on every word...and they will love being frightened out of their shoes. This is just right for all those requests for a scary book." (School Library Journal)
"A magnificently creepy story...for stouthearted kids who love a brush with the sinister, Coraline is spot on." (Kirkus Reviews)
I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter, and decided to read it first so that I could make sure it wasn't too scary, and so that we could talk about it. Even though I was on vacation, I couldn't put it down. Wonderfully spooky and evocative -- and delightfully scary (but not too scary). Now I have the audiobook for my daughter, and other kids in the family. By the way, she really liked it too!
Gaiman is the perfect reader of his own stories, he presents his story with the nuance that only its author can deliver.
Coraline is one of Gaiman's most approachable stories, truly for children of all ages, meaning simply that it recalls in all of us the uncertainties and resultant horrors of living in this world as a child. Gaiman brings us all our fears remembered, and ultimately overcome. A classic modern tale.
I can find a book to love in any genre -- a beautifully written classic, an interesting mystery or sci-fi, a trashy romance. Bring it!
STORY (creepy) - This is a very dark story about an alternate world on the other side of a door in Coraline's home. When young Coraline (probably age 10ish) discovers the door and passes through, she meets twisted versions of her parents and neighbors, talking rats, a talking cat and other strange creatures. She becomes involved in a dangerous life-and-death game of strategy against her "Other Mother" and, in particular, one of her detachable hands. Coraline is smart and resourceful for a young girl her age and manages to come up with a pretty clever way to win the game, save the day and eliminate the threat of the villainous hand!
I thought the story was unique and somewhat interesting, but I can't help wonder what Gaimon's target audience actually was meant to be. As an adult listener, I thought it was fairly juvenile but, on the other hand, I think it would be too dark or intense for many children.
PERFORMANCE - Gaimon himself reads this work, and he does a good job. Not so sure that the weird songs added anything, but they were kind of creepy.
OVERALL - As stated above, I question what age group Gaimon wrote this book for, but maybe girls around 10-12 years old would find it enjoyable, perhaps even as a Halloween listen. No adult situations or language, but quite a bit of creepy characters and events, the type that can cause bad dreams...
....I was even a bit scared by it! What a great story...with an ending that didn't disappoint. I was expecting the ending to be a happy little fluffy ending but WAIT....there was more....how exciting and fabulous!!! Coraline was a wonderful and very smart heroine and the book had a lot of interesting and spooky and gooey and creepy twists and turns. It was so much fun to read that I decided to go out and check out the audio book at the library for my kids to listen to. How much fun was that to listen too???!!! Neil Gaiman narrates the book and he is wonderful.......just wait until you hear the rats sing.......creepy, creepy, creepy. My kids just ate it up.....they loved it and couldn't get enough of it!
A great listen for all from YA to adults. Neil Gaiman has written a good story and does a marvelous job of narrating it.
If you need a short escape then Coraline is a story that can help you accomplish that escape. I liked the story and the fact the the author read his own work.
The most memorial moment is when you think all is well and there is still danger for Coraline to face and overcome.
Coraline, Neal Gaiman is great at developing children into substantial characters.
I would have liked to listen to it in one sitting but even a short book like Coraline takes more time than I have to give all in one sitting.
Neal Gaiman has become one of my favorite authors for children's fiction/fantasy. Read or better yet listen to The Grave Yard Book for another sample.
My 8-year-old son and I loved this audiobook. We've seen the movie, he's read the graphic novel, and we agree that this was our favorite version. The author's narration is perfect, the music is suitably weird and creepy (particularly those singing rats). Probably a little too creepy for younger kids.
I really enjoyed this story, but the illustrations would have added a lot. At the time I selected this book, I didn't realize it was originally a graphic novel. Do not be fooled by the protagonist, though -- this story isn't appropriate for most children of Coraline's age. Like Alice in Wonderland, I believe it's intended for adults. Unlike Alice in Wonderland, it's a little scary. And makes the first time I ever got creeped out listening to an audiobook, on a crowded subway no less.
Gaiman does an excellent, impeccable job of the narration, which probably mostly makes up for missing out on the drawings. (Disclaimer: I haven't seen the graphic novel, so I can't say for certain.)
Much like Stardust this is a grown-up fable, and a well done one at that. Gaiman's narration was pleasant, if low key. Like other reviewers have noted, the songs are a little off, but not horrible. I get the feeling they were included to break up the book into managable sections. (Like if played for a kids or in a classroom.) It's well worth the download.
Oh, the book is much better than the movie. Not to trash the film, but there's more of the Neil Gaiman touch to it than there is portrayed in the movie.
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