Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Gaiman strikes again with his trademark creepiness!

Slowly but surely I will make my way through Gaiman’s massive collection of works. Next on the list happened to be Coraline because it was cheaper(ish) and didn’t have many pages. (I’ve been working desperately to catch up to my reading challenge.)

If you want to give Coraline a moral it is, plain and simple, be careful what you wish for. Coraline is  unhappy with her parents. They don’t always pay her much attention, they don’t always buy her what she wants, and all those other classic kid complaints. She learns though that the grass is not always greener on the other side, in this case it is a door in the drawing room. She is also given a chance to see and learn what real love is.

I’m not a person that likes horror films or thrillers or things like that, generally speaking. But Gaiman has the amazing talent of making things creepy and unsettling and disturbing without going over the top, making you jump or have nightmares for weeks (okay, maybe not always that last one). Everything is so subtle. It is just off kilter enough with the reality you know that it freaks you out. I mean, buttons for eyes? Not that different, not very gross or gory, but if you really think about it, that shit’s messed up.

And speaking more broadly about Gaiman’s work, he just writes a good story. Simple, with a good theme, believable characters, all that. He does a very good job of capturing a child’s innocence, as well as the way they think, and makes it obtainable for the adult mind that probably forgot a lot of it on the way to growing up.

Fun, quick read, with the right amount of creepy. Now time to watch the movie!



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