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)
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.
A disconcerting book for an adult to read. An excellent book for a child who is contemplating the consequences of its wishes and actions.
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).
My 6 year old son and I listened, gripped, night after night, enjoying the frisson of fear in this wonderfully imagined story. It is not for the fainthearted, however - there are moments that really do make your spine tingle - and shouldn't just be listened to without an adult to reassure. I think Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer and this was brilliantly told.
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 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.
"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.
"As expected... Brilliant"
Having read most of the things Neil Gaiman has offered up to the world so far I thought that this would be a nice thing to put on in the car. It is brilliant - a nice throw back to the film with Dawn French's narration and yet far creepier. I think that Dawn French's usual Vicar of Dibley-esque cheeriness in fact made it scarier to listen to the story of a girl being kidnapped by an evil demon who looks like an eyeless version of her mother. Great for kids who enjoy a little darker fantasy (later Harry Potter books, Skullduggery Pleasant, etc.) not to mention grownups who love the genius of Neil Gaiman.
"It's Neil Gaiman - What more do you want?"
A funny twisty sour chewy sweet of a story. As with all Gaiman stories it doesn't dissapoint.
Wonderfully read by Dawn French.
I haven't seen the film version but enjoyed the audiobook immensely. It is a lot lighter than for example The Graveyard Book, which I highly recommend, but a good piece of entertainment. A book I could imagine listening to with a child (some of the images are scary though so not for anyone too young).
I've loved Neil Gaiman as the narrator of his own books but Dawn French was very good and I didn't miss Neil at all.
"Better, even, than the excellent movie!"
I haven't let my son hear this yet - it is way too spooky for that seven year old, even though he enjoyed the movie. There's something particularly dark and scary about having that stuff go on in your own head! The pictures ARE way more insane in the audiobook.
A gripping and imaginative tale read with vigour by Dawn French but the sensitive among you beware. I found it very disturbing and would advise any parent buying it for a child to listen first.
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