A Rogue Librarian's Reading List

{September 22, 2013}   Coraline by Neil Gaiman

coraline_paperback_1185750231Plot: Coraline has just moved into a new flat with her parents, school has not started yet and she is BORED. During her explorations she discovers a bricked up door in the sitting room that leads to another world, a world that looks like her own but is very different. In this world lives her other mother, a woman who promises to love her and play with her forever. But there is something off about this other mother and it will take all of Coraline’s wit and courage to escape her grasp.

Coraline is one of those perfectly crafted novels that you come across so rarely. The writing is beautiful and the atmosphere is terrifying in that eerie creeping way that will have you eying the door at the end of the hall. I had seen the movie and the comic but though the narrative is the same, Gaiman’s lyric language and perfect pacing makes the novel a must read.

Coraline is an adventurous, slightly impertinent young girl and Gaiman perfectly captures her child’s voice. She is thrust into a terrifying and impossible situation. But she is brave in the face of fear and outwits ancient, crafty creatures. She faces horrors, each worse than the last, and each sure to send a chill down your spine. It is adventure story, a mystery and horror as I love it, without gore but with a great deal of atmosphere.

Coraline also features one of the best cats in fiction, second only to the one in Plain Kate. He is fickle, self-centered and wise with real cat logic and he refuses to be owned.

A pleasure for readers young and old.

2013 (#44)


[…] of the fantastical; it feels like a beautiful, eerie fairy tale. I was reminded a great deal of Coraline both in plot and atmosphere, though with a more adult tone. The three Hemstock women make me think […]

[…] quite fond of Gaiman’s books for middle grade audiences. Both Coraline and The Graveyard Book are oddly magical and deliciously creepy (though, somehow much creepier to […]

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