Skip to main content

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I’ve had the 10th anniversary of Coraline sitting unread on my Kindle for quite a while now, so what better time to read it than for Halloween.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a Neil Gaiman fan, and although he has featured on my blog before (Shadows over Innsmouth and Rags & Bones) I’ve not reviewed one of his novels before until now. 

The star of this tale is of course Coraline Jones, who has just moved into a new house with her workaholic parents. On an exploration of her new home, she meets some of the other residents; there are the two retired actresses who live in the basement with lots of dogs, and an eccentric old man who lives in the attic training a circus of mice.

In her own flat, she finds a bricked up wall behind a locked door. When she least expects it, the bricks disappear and she travels through the door into a parallel world. In the new place, things look similar but are infinitely more interesting. She has an other mother and father who appear to look like her real parents, apart from the fact that they have buttons for eyes. Her other mother tries to persuade Coraline to stay in the new world with gifts and entertainment, but when she shows her true nature, Coraline  finds what started as an adventure has turned dangerous. 

This is the sort of mild horror for children that I always loved growing up. With ghosts, spiders and other creatures from dreams, I can imagine how some children could find this a little scary. Even I found the rats, with their creepy little rhymes unnerving! But the story is also about hope and bravery and I adored it. I also love the film version too, which is slightly different to the original tale, although both are equally dark and enchanting.

The tenth anniversary edition has an introduction by Neil Gaiman on the origins of Coraline and there are illustrations by Chris Riddell. Coraline is an adventurous heroine in a quirky read that children and parents can enjoy.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Roald Dahl Books

“The success of a short story is simple, it must have a beginning, a middle and an end. The reader must never want to put it down.” – Roald Dahl


Roald Dahl was a huge part of my childhood reading. My sister and I had most of his books, from his single stories, picture and rhyming books and even a short story anthology. There was something magic about his way of storytelling that was the perfect mix of entertainment and genuinely engaging storyline. And of course who could forget the iconic illustrations by Quentin Blake!
One winning formula that I loved with a lot of his stories was the wily nature of the hero of the tale who would use cunning and brains in quite a humorous way to overcome their situation. For example in George’s Marvellous Medicine, my favourite part was always when George mixes his most foulest mixture of medicine to administer to his awful grandmother. And in Fantastic Mr Fox when he pulls of his amazing heist is another classic moment. 
There is usually quite a cl…

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine

Halloween is fast approaching. Pumpkins are appearing in shops, costumes are on sale and everyone bookish is discussing their favourite scary reads. With an abundance of skulls and spiders, ghosts and ghouls everywhere, it got me thinking about my own experiences of Halloween and relevant reads. 
Nothing to me, reminds me of Halloween in book terms than the Goosebumps books by American author R.L. Stine. They were a huge part of my literary childhood; my sister and I loved the spine tingling tales and collected many of the books. We had stand alone novels, the 3-in-1 collection books, Goosebumps 2000 series, and even a hardback Goosebumps book that wailed when you opened the cover! 
Since the release of the first novel, Welcome to Dead House in July 1992, the books gained immense popularity and commercial success worldwide. As of 2008, the series sold over 350 million books worldwide in 35 languages and has been listed on many bestseller lists, including the New York Times Best Selle…

The Salt Marsh - Prologue

It's my spot on The Salt Marsh blog tour today so below is the prologue from the novel by Clare Carson. Enjoy!
Monday 1 May 1978
Jim did his vanishing act the day of the spring fair. Sam was sitting in her room reading, the last of the apple blossom drifting past her window, Jim and the dog downstairs, her mother Liz and her sisters visiting the new baby of one of Liz’s old friends. Liz often went out on the days that Jim was at home. Her mother’s departure had been preceded by an argument. Sam had half heard Liz shouting, Jim shouting back, but hadn’t taken much notice because she had her head stuck in a book and, anyway, they always argued these days. Liz laughed, and that did catch Sam’s attention because there was something manic about the cackle. She clocked Liz yelling, ‘So if I want to know where you are, I’m supposed to call the fucking Home Secretary, am I?’ The front door crunched. Sam was glad to hide in her room, curled up on her beanbag with her book. As she read, s…