Coraline and Other Stories – Neil Gaiman

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Coraline tells the story of a young girl who is bored over the summer holidays in her new home. When she is left alone she explores her new house to find a hidden world with another mother and father who appear more attentive and just what Coraline needs. It’s not long before Coraline realises that everything is not as it seems and sometimes what you have is better and getting everything you want usually comes at a price.

I was originally drawn to this book after seeing the movie Coraline which was eerie, creepy and weirdly addictive. I just loved it and even the animation. As a fan of Neil Gaiman’s work I knew I had to read it and was presently surprised at how short the story actually was. I was not disappointed by the book as the movie had stuck pretty precisely to the plot which was equally as spine tingling and unusual.

I loved Coraline who seemed like a young, courageous and adventurous young child. It amazes me how Neil Gaiman can capture a child’s innocence and sense of adventure so well. This was something I had noticed in The Graveyard book last year and a trait none the less that seems to be appearing in his work.

Another character in the book that seemed perfectly represented was the cat. I don’t know how he did it but the smug, self-important and strong willed nature of any cat was portrayed so precisely in the cat’s character. In its mannerisms and the way it spoke. I really liked the cat in the plot and felt it was such an unusual addition to the story yet a perfect pairing as the plot developed.

Coraline was filled with unimaginable characters beyond your wildest dreams yet made it so fun, unusual and in some places eerie. I love this story and a farfetched as it seems I still would think twice before looking behind a locked door in an old house. In many ways this plot seems impossible yet Neil Gaiman’s writing style makes it addictive, believable and captures the reader into a world of extravagant ideas to the point where you fear for Coraline, you suspect the fellow characters and you go through the emotions as if you were doing it to.

I don’t usually say things like this but this is one book that was complimented by its movie. I think it did the plot justice and not only in sticking well with what happened but in its portrayal and style of animation. It seems to appreciate the genre and feeling of the plot and share this with the viewers.

As for the shorter stories in this edition, I just loved them. For someone who didn’t have a lot of time to read in this particular month, it was nice to sit down and read a short story. The stories are all consistent in Neil Gaiman’s trademark unique and addictive plots. One thing that I find strange about Neil Gaiman’s work is that I don’t crave for his stories to be longer or developed into a larger novel. He has this unique ability to develop a plot, introduce characters and watch them flourish in such a small amount of pages yet leave the reader satisfied with the end product. Personally I feel this way and for me it shows the pure and sincere talent he has as a writer to be able to satisfy his readers in no more than 30 pages.

When I first watched Coraline I had no idea it was a book, it also terrified me and I couldn’t understand how it was a children’s movie. Though in a strange and scary way I loved it and as soon as I found out it was a book I had to read it. Creepy and eerie and even better as a book, I loved this. I gave it a 5 out of 5 stars on goodreads. To top it off this book is filled with more wonderful imaginings of Neil Gaiman so the rating needs no further explanation other than if you haven’t read this, you really need to.

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