I was lying in bed and it was about 3am and I just fancied re-reading Coraline. I don’t know why, but I felt like a quick, brilliant read and I just thought of Coraline. I first read this book when I was about twelve years old and it freaked me out so much – not nightmares spooked me out, but the concept was really weird to me. Reading it again, 9 years later, it still freaks me out.
Coraline has often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures.
I think we can all agree when I say that Neil Gaiman is an absolutely brilliant author and nearly everything that he writes is magnificent. Coraline is no exception. It’s labelled as a children’s book yet it’s a book that can cater for all generations. It has the writing style and simplicity for the younger years, it has the spookiness for teens and the fact that it’s Neil Gaiman well… that just means it caters for everyone.
Because it’s a ‘children’s’ book, Gaiman’s concise storytelling in Coraline means that the plot is fast yet makes perfect sense throughout the entirety of the book. It’s after a dozen pages that we are introduced to the mysterious door and the other world that lies beyond the door.
“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?”
– Neil Gaiman, Coraline
Also, you’ve just got to love the characters that are in this book. Coraline is smart, sassy, young girl who just wants to explore the entire world. I can understand why Coraline would be bored at home with her parents working all of the time; they just came across too busy to even spend time with their child – which really angered me – but Coraline knows that they still love her deeply, which is why she didn’t get tempted by the other world. To be honest, who would be tempted by the other world? People with buttons for eyes? No thanks.
I have and always will love this book. Everything about it just screams brilliant, to the world that Gaiman has created, to the fantastic characters and to the weird concept of having buttons for eyes that will creep me out forever!