Coraline - Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave Mckean | Publisher: Turtleback | August 1, 2003 | Language: English | ISBN-10: 0613673220 | 192 pages | epub | 616.23 KB
When Coraline steps through a door to find another house strangely similar, but better than her own, things seem marvelous. But the other mother and father there want her to stay. They want to change her and never let her go.
Coraline lives with her preoccupied parents in part of a huge old housea house so huge that other people live in it, too round, old former actresses Miss Spink and Miss Forcible and their aging Highland terriers ("We trod the boards, luvvy") and the mustachioed old man under the roof ("'The reason you cannot see the mouse circus,' said the man upstairs, 'is that the mice are not yet ready and rehearsed.'") Coraline contents herself for weeks with exploring the vast garden and grounds. But with a little rain she becomes boredso bored that she begins to count everything blue (153), the windows (21), and the doors (14). And it is the 14th door thatsometimes blocked with a wall of bricksopens up for Coraline into an entirely alternate universe. Now, if you're thinking fondly of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe or Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, you're on the wrong track. Neil Gaiman's Coraline is far darker, far stranger, playing on our deepest fears. And, like Roald Dahl's work, it is delicious.
What's on the other side of the door? A distorted-mirror world, containing presumably everything Coraline has ever dreamed of people who pronounce her name correctly (not "Caroline"), delicious meals (not like her father's overblown "recipes"), an unusually pink and green bedroom (not like her dull one), and plenty of horrible (very un-boring) marvels, like a man made out of live rats. The creepiest part, however, is her mirrored parents, her "other mother" and her "other father"people who look just like her own parents, but with big, shiny, black button eyes, paper-white skin and a keen desire to keep her on their side of the door. To make creepy creepier, Coraline has been illustrated masterfully in scritchy, terrifying ink drawings by British mixed-media artist and Sandman cover illustrator Dave McKean. This delightful, funny, haunting, scary as heck, fairy-tale novel is about as fine as they come. Highly recommended. (Ages 11 and older) Karin Snelson
About the Author
Neil Gaiman wrote the award-winning graphic novel series The Sandman, and with Terry Pratchett, the award-winning novel Good Omens. His first book for children, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, illustrated by Dave McKean, hasn't yet won any awards, but was one of Newsweek's Best Children's Books of 1997. Angels Visitations, a small press story collection, was nominated for a World Fantasy Award and won the International Horror Critics Guild Award for Best Collection, despite not having any horror in it. Well, hardly any.
Born in England, he now makes his home in America, in a big dark house of uncertain location where he grows exotic pumpkins and accumulates computers and cats. He is currently at work turning his first novel Neverwhere into a film for Jim Henson films.
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