Top positive review
7 people found this helpful
Unbutton your eyes
on 21 October 2009
My first thought about this book is that I almost wish it wasn't marketed as a children's book. It is very dark and grisly, and had I watched or read this when I was a young girl, I'm pretty sure I would have had nightmares.
A brief synopsis: Coraline Jones moved into part of an old, pink house. Her parents are busy and often neglect her, and she is discontent and lonely. The new house has very strange neighbors, such as a crazy man trying to train a mice circus, and two aging retired theatre actresses who own many Scottie dogs and dream about their lost youth. Coraline finds a small door in her flat that during the day opens up to a brick wall. Yet that night she opens it again and it leads to a parallel world, where she has an "other mother" and "other father" and everything seems to be a dream come true. Yet this world is a twisted, evil mirror world, and once she has fallen into it, she discovers it is very dangerous for her and for her parents.
I love the imagination of Neil Gaiman, even if he does follow the same format over and over--girl or boy stumbles into a hidden mirror world: London Below in Neverwhere, the world in Mirrormask, gods who are actually in the real world like in American Gods and Anansi Boys and The Sandman, the world of magic in The Books of Magic, and the almost separate world in the graveyard of The Graveyard Book. Yet this was a very tidy book--the motifs tie into each other well, no loose ends are left untied, and it definitely develops a sense of suspense in the reader. Gaiman is very good at creating an atmosphere and entertaining his readers.