Sunday, May 8, 2011

Coraline

I love Neil Gaiman's books, but for some reason I hadn't read Coraline. I did watch the movie, which I loved. When I started to read the book, I had a hard time getting the movie out of my mind for the first 20 pages or so, but then it took a life of its own. That's a sign of a great book, when the narrative has enough strength to make you forget the film.

Open a little door and walk through it into another world - that premise has been used a lot of times, but rarely to a more creepy effect that in Coraline. The world she discovers seems perfect, except for maybe the little detail that the people have buttons for eyes. Soon more cracks in that perfect surface appear and it doesn't take long for Coraline to find out that she has stepped into a nightmare and cannot just walk away.

major spoilers here

The scene where Coraline discovers the shapeless, pathetic thing that used to be her Other Father is scary and sad at the same time and I totally fell for the trick she uses to get her Other Mother to open the door again. I was shouting (in my head, but shouting): "No! They're in the snowglobe!"

It's a wonderful book and it's great for reading aloud - like much of Gaiman's stuff actually.

24th book for the Library Challenge

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