Ian's Reviews > Coraline

Coraline by Neil Gaiman
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Apr 08, 09

bookshelves: childrens, fantasy, general-fiction
Read in March, 2009

I listened to this book for two reasons; one is that I'm a huge fan of Neil Gaiman's books, especially the audiobooks that he narrates himself, and two is that I really was eager to watch the movie. For sake of keeping it simple, my review is just about the book, but I encourage anyone who enjoys the book to check out the movie and see what they think.

What makes me really respond well to this book is that it has all the hallmarks of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales, yet it's set in present day. Coraline seems to be troubled by a simple problem which I'm sure plagues all children of vivid imagination, and that is that her life seems dull and her parents seem unfortunately just as uninterested in her life as she does. It is only when she sees a seemingly better alternative that she learns the real value of her life and her parents, ordinary as they may be.

I think the harshest criticism I could offer is that at times I read Coraline thinking, "that's not what a child normally would do...that seems too adult." But to be fair I waiver on this point when I think more about it. Children, especially now a days, seem remarkably mature at times, and although I still find myself surprised to see them do and say oddly "adult" things, I can't deny that they do in fact do it!

So, I give Coraline a warm recommendation - I hope anyone reading my review has the privilege of being able to read this to their child, as it's perfect for that. Be warned that there are parts that I'm sure could be seen as frightening to smaller kids, but no more so than Jack and the Beanstalk or Hansel and Gretel.
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