Friday, June 5, 2009


I read the graphic novel. I saw the movie in 3-D. I finally read the book. Man, it took a long time to get me to read this book. I really enjoyed the story, but the third time around was a little bit of an overkill. Don't get me wrong- I liked the book and the story's premise, but just reading the book after I had seen the movie and read the graphic novel not too long ago was a little much and really repetitive. But nonetheless, it's still a good read.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is about one very bored girl who has just recently moved with her parents into a house in the English countryside. The house is so big that it's separated into four different parts with a crazy old man named Mr. Bobo living upstairs with his circus of mice, and the two eccentric ex-actresses Mrs. Spink and Mrs. Forcible living in the basement part of the house with their pack of Highland terriers. In her effort to curb her boredom and fight the dreary weather, Coraline visits both apartments to talk with the boarders, but finds only older people who don't listen to anything Coraline has to say, who constantly pronounce her name incorrectly- they say CAroline and not COraline.

Through Coraline's endless wanderings she ends up finding a little door in her house that opens to a wall of bricks, yet when she unlocks it a second time in the middle of the night, finds that it leads to another world. Of course she explores the world and sees that it's an alternate reality that was set up by her Other Mother, a woman who looks exactly like her mom but has black buttons for eyes, and seems to want to constantly please Coraline so that she will stay there with her other parents forever. Other than the fact that her other parents are extremely creepy, the other world seems nice enough: her toys all come to life and play with her, the cat that followed her through the doorway can speak to her, and her food and clothes options are exciting and limitless. Yet Coraline knows there's something not right about the other world, and trying to get back to her real world and parents is a little challenging when your Other mother wants to sew buttons on your eyes so that you can stay with her forever.

The story is truly engaging and creative; we've all been in Coraline's situation, trying to find things to do to take away the boredom. Gaiman has a certain mastery over his character descriptions and his attention to detail that makes the story that much more clever and enjoyable to read. I definitely recommend this book to anyone, just don't read it three times within a couple of months!

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