Friday, August 28, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Genre: YA Fantasy
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 192

When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar to her own (only better), things seem marvelous. But there's another mother there, and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wits and courage if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

This is what Neil Gaiman had to say on his website about his motivation for writing Coraline and the result - "I started to write a children's book. It was for my daughter, Holly, who was five years old. I wanted it to have a girl as a heroine, and I wanted it to be refreshingly creepy. It was a story, I learned when people began to read it, that children experienced as an adventure, but which gave adults nightmares. It's the strangest book I've written, it took the longest time to write, and it's the book I'm proudest of."

This was indeed delightfully creepy, but no creepier than a traditional fairytale like Hansel and Gretel. I didn't have nightmares but it does make you feel like you've just woken from a disturbing dream and I don't think I'll ever look at buttons in quite the same way.

Coraline is engaging, she's bored, curious, brave, smart & a little lonely. Her parents are distracted & always seem too busy for her. Coraline's exploring leads to an alternate universe where at first everything seems wonderful but quickly gives credence to the old adage 'if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.'

Coraline wisdom: "I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn't mean anything. What then?" "when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave."

Neil Gaiman creates a unique & vivid fantasy world that takes your imagination on a wild ride. I'm actually busting to the see the movie Coraline, even the trailer looks awesome but I think it would take more than begging to get my 15 year old son to come with me ... hmm maybe bribery!

See my review for my favourite Neil Gaiman novel: The Graveyard Book

Visit Neil Gaiman's official website for young readers Mr Bobo's Remarkable Mouse Circus, it's absolutely brilliant, loads of fun and well worth the time. Also check out for books and the latest Neil Gaiman news.


This month on The Eclectic Reader you could win Frostbitten by Kelley Armstrong OR The White Queen by Philippa Gregory OR Prophecy of the Sisters by Michelle Zink. Check this blog post for details. International entrants welcome.


  1. I loved how dark this book was. It's nice to know an author does not underestimate his readers, even if they are kids.

  2. Seems like an interesting read, if I ever cross paths with the book I will surely buy it :)

  3. Hi, just visiting from J. Kay's site. I've been trying to get hold of a copy of this book from our local library for months - obviously very popular as it's reserved for the next 5 weeks. At this rate, I think I'll have to give in and buy a copy.

  4. I loved this book. The story is just fabulous.

  5. I really need to get off my butt and read this. I remember Teri Hatcher promoting this movie & it looks..well Tim Burt-ish to me. Dark & weird but in a good, blow your mind kinda way.

    I also want to read Graveyard, thanks for the reminder :)

  6. I liked the book and the movie both a lot.

  7. I have very similiar thoughts Teddy. Like dthe story but didn't think it was as scary as others made it seem. Although if I was a child, my feelings would prob be different. And no, I won't look at buttons the same way again either.
    Great job.

    I have yet to type my review. I've been slacking :)
    Maybe sometime over the weekend.

  8. Oops in my post above I meant Tim Burton-ish, darn editing...hope everyone knew what I was talking about, lol.

    And Teddyree, I'm sorry I missed your post last week on J. Kaye's blog about finding me..I was on holidays. Just wanted to say thanks so much for thinking of me :)

    stop by for your award!


  9. I didn't know this was a book! I stil have to go see the movie too.
    LOVE Tim Burton : )

  10. I loved reading this book when I was younger, and the movie was awesome!!

  11. Looks good. Sadly, I haven't read any books by Neil Gaiman, but I really want to read this, Stardust (the movie was great), and The Graveyard book.

    Great review!

    ~ Popin

  12. This one has been on my list for a long time. Great review.

  13. I'm a die-hard Neil Gaiman fan, and I've read all his other novels. I have to admit that I tried to read Coraline and didn't finish it. I didn't even get very far. It totally creeped me out. Maybe I'll get back to it one of these days...but until then, glad you enjoyed it, and awesome job at spreading the Neil Gaiman love. The man is genius.

  14. My daughter has seen this movie, and I am definitely intrigued!

  15. Nikola ~ I think Neil Gaiman is right in that adults find this one scarier kids, it was definitely creepy but I'm a horror reader so I guess I have a high tolerance lol

    Hilda ~ thanks for visiting

    Petty Witter ~ thanks for mentioning you came from J.Kaye's blog, I can send her a cyber hug!
    If you can't get Coraline try for The Graveyard Book

    Viv ~ Neil Gaiman sure has a wild imagination doesn't he? Totally awesome.

    Mel ~ yes that's where I came across the movie. I saw Terri Hatcher promoting it after Desperate Housewives and that reminded me I had the book.

    Amanda ~ I can't wait to see the movie. Do you think it's too 'childish' for my 15 year old son? I don't know anyone who's seen it yet.

    Jenny Girl ~ it was creepy but I thought maybe I didnt find it scary because I read a lot of horror but I don't know. I really liked it, Neil Gaiman is just totally awesome!

  16. Mel ~ LOL I knew what u meant. And you are very welcome about the blog mention!

    Sarbear ~ I might be waiting for the DVD if noone will go with me to the movie :-)

    Addicted Book Reader ~ just in case Amanda doesn't come across my question. Do you think the movie's too 'childish' for my 15 year old son?

    Popinfresh ~ thanks, you gotta read one of his books or listen to it on audio. Neil Gaiman narrates these himself and he's got a voice like warm honey.

    Toni ~ thanks muchly, hope you enjoy it too!

    Celia.a ~ totally with you on the Neil Gaiman love, the man ROCKS!!

    Laughing Stars ~ How old's your daughter, I'm trying to convince my son to go with me.

  17. I loved this one too!! Very creepy but just right!! Excellent review!

  18. Love Neil Gaiman, but haven't gotten around to reading this one yet. Not sure why, but will have to dig it out. Thanks for reminding me!

  19. Gaiman is just so cool, so yes I have to read Coraline :D

  20. This is one of my favorite books of all time, and *the* favorite Neil Gaiman book.

  21. Okay, here's my confession. I have never read a book by Neil Gaiman. Freaky, huh?

  22. I have Coraline waiting on my shelf to be devoured! I actually just finished The Graveyard Book and it was awesome! I'll have to get to Coraline sooner than I thought now, thanks!

  23. I'm going to be a new follower as well you have a very nice blog!

  24. I've been wanting to read this book for a few months now. And after reading this...I think this will be the next Gaiman book I will get.

  25. I'm going to get this book from the library someday - I just picked up the DVD this weekend for my niece and nephew, as it has 3D glasses included and a 3d version on the DVD. Hoping that they'll go read the book afterwards, too.

  26. This is one author I have not read at all ! I think i want to read your favorite one :)

  27. I just read Jenny Girl's review earlier today.

    I've really wanted to read this book ever since I read The Graveyard Book early this year.

    I was going to take my girls to see it, but I thought it might be too scary for my oldest. She's a big chicken!


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