Thursday, April 23, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

For those who don't know the plot, Coraline is a little girl who moves into an old house with her mother and father. Her parents certainly cannot be accused of paying too much attention to her, and prefer not to be bothered by her for the most part, as they both work from home. So Coraline must amuse herself. While exploring their new home, she finds a locked door that, when opened, reveals nothing but a brick wall on the other side. But for some reason Coraline is drawn to the door. And after opening it a couple of times on different days, one day she opens it to find a hallway leading somewhere, no more brick wall. Of course she follows it.
On the other side she finds her Other Mother and her Other Father, and all of the characters that live in her building are there, they are simply creepier versions of themselves. And they all have buttons for eyes. Coraline soon comes to realize that the one in charge in this creepy place is the Other Mother - it is she who wants to keep Coraline there forever, and will stop at nothing to fulfill this desire.
I loved this book, which was sort of expected. I saw the movie first, which is not something I usually do, but it did not really spoil anything for me. The two are different from each other, with additional characters being added in the movie, but for the most part the stories are the same. This is a fast-paced, creepy story that would be enjoyed by any older kids, as well as teens and adults. And one thing I have to say about movies made from books by Neil Gaiman - they seem to turn out okay. I have been so horrified by what Hollywood does to some wonderful books (exhibit A - The Golden Compass), but both of the book-to-movie adaptations I've seen have been slightly different from the book, but still very good. I really enjoyed both the book and the movie of Stardust, and the same goes for Coraline.
Coraline was reviewed by Dewey back in October of 2007. I think my favorite thing that she has to say about it is that rather having Dakota Fanning in a movie version, she wanted to see a 1988 Winona Rider. The Unshelved Book Club also did a comic strip about Coraline. It's pretty funny, so I thought I would share it with you. If you would like to see the challenges for Dewey's books and the Unshelved Book Club, you can find them here and here (respectively).


Penny (aka Yooperchick) said...

Oh, that cartoon was great! I just finished Coraline and published my review here:

I put a link to mine, because you're such a good reviewer. :) Hope you don't mind!

Jessica said...

No problem at all Penny - I love in the comic how the kid says he was startled by sewing equipment. :)

Anna said...

Glad to hear you liked it. My daughter and I were halfway through the book when the movie came out, and we saw the movie, then finished the book during the read-a-thon. I enjoyed them both. I've added your link to my review here. (I hope that's okay)

Diary of an Eccentric

Jessica said...

No problem Anna, thanks!