Shortly after moving into an old house Coraline discovers a big, carved, brown wooden door at the far corner of the drawing room. And it is locked. Curiosity runs riot in Coraline's mind and she unlocks the door to see what lies behind it. Disappointingly, it opens onto a brick wall. Days later, after exploring the rest of the house and garden, Coraline returns to the same mysterious door and opens it again. This time, however, there is a dark hallway in front of her. Stepping inside, the place beyond has an eerie familiarity about it. The carpet and wallpaper are the same as in her flat. The picture hanging on the wall is the same. Almost. Strangest of all, her mum and dad are there too. Only they have buttons for eyes and seem more possessive than normal. It's a twisted version of her world that is familiar, and yet sinister. And matters get even more surreal for Coraline when her "other" parents seem reluctant to let her leave.
©2002 Neil Gaiman; (P)2002 Bloomsbury
"I think this book will nudge Alice In Wonderland out of its niche at last. It is the most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love." (Diana Wynne Jones)
"This book will send a shiver down your spine, out through your shoes and into a taxi to the airport. It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece. And you will never think about buttons in quite the same way again." (Terry Pratchett)
I feel like I probably would have enjoyed it more had I read this when I was younger. I kept expecting it to be scary but it never got that far for me and I have to say that disappointed me a bit. Coraline is a good character however, and despite her constant repetitions that she is an explorers, she manages to not get tedious in the way other child protagonists do.
As for the storyteller, I'm pretty certain that the way this story was meant to be read was somewhat blandly in the beginning to underline Coraline's boredom and partial isolation. Seeing as Neil Gaiman is bad at dynamic storytelling and the storyteller became quite lively with all her voices and enjoyment of the text later on. However, I was very much regretting my purchase up until the first meeting with Coraline's Other Mother.
I quite enjoyed the audiobook regardless.
What a lovely story this is, I see that this could have bin one of my favourite story when I was a child. But I was 26 when I heard it the first time. But it is a good story.
I watched the movie, and loved it. Then, I thought the audio would be nice, too. But, in fact, I think I'm in love with the whole story, in any possible way, since I'm listening all over and over again. The narrator is excellent, so I recommend it a lot, even to adults (I'm 30).
Neil Gaiman is a fantastic story teller, and has an imagination that just explodes from his books. This book is an instant classic!
"Great story, OK reading"
Wonderful, macabre stroytelling - Gaiman at his almost best (The Graveyard Book is better). If you like Dawn French, no problem: I've always found her irritating and this didn't change that. I can't fault the storytelling though - Neil Gaiman makes the Brothers Grimm look like writers of -- well -- fairytales. Pitch black and wonderful.
Great story and brilliantly narrated. Very easy to listen to and enthralling. I'll be buying more of Neil Gaiman stories.
"To be honest I struggled with this"
Normally I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman but I found this hard going, Dawn French was good, but perhaps at middle age I'm too old for this particular story.
"Dark & Delightful"
This book is like an onion. With layers & stuff. Highly enjoyable on so many levels. I love Coraline Jones. So i do.
a short but entertaining listen. just right for a car journey one of my top 10
I do enjoy Neil Gaimen stories and this is no exception, a creepy tale, make sure you appreciate your parents!
The voice really complements the book, just the right amount of menace in it, very easy to listen to
I did want to but had to return to finish it the next day
a modern classic that I could listen to several times without losing interest
"The film better than the book?"
Yes, strange but true. I actually felt that the animated adaptation was better than the original book, and I feel dirty for saying that! However, it is still a great, fantastical tale that is scary and delightful in equal measure.
Curiously, I felt Dawn French's narration was laboured and almost patronising. It felt too slow and as though she was talking to a group of four year olds sat around a picture book. It made me want to scream "Get on with it!"
"Great story but didn't like Dawn"
A really great story for young and old, but I feel Dawn French's narration tends to be too childish and what should be a creepy atmosphere suffers as a result.
I loved this story! Dawn French is a great narrator with a very expressive voice :)
"Like a Stephen King novel for kids..."
What a gem! This imaginative and frightening story keeps you on your toes till the end. Coraline is an extraordinary girl who fights back against the scary things, while the cat provides twists of the kind only Neil Gaiman could come up with. This book is wonderfully original.
Having read most of Neil Gaiman's books I can't say it's my favourite, however I cannot imagine anyone being left with a hint of disappointment. It's scary, dark, charming and enjoyable.
Dawn French narrates well as the main character is female, it is great to listen to this book being read by a woman in a gentle way, as it feels that the story is so strong, it does not need a further dramatisation.
Thank you Neil Gaiman for sharing your imagination. It is truly beautiful!
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