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7 Reviews
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good collection of scary stories BUT ....., 15 Feb 2010
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
BEWARE - if you own M is for Magic - Do NOT waste your money on this book - the stories are EXACTLY the same, in exactly the same order - but with the Coraline story at the start.
Having said that, apart from 'The Witches Headstone' which is a chapter from 'The Graveyard Book' book, Gaiman's other books, 'Fragile Things' and 'Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fiction and Illusions' also contain (From Fragile) October In The Chair;Instructions;How To Talk To Girls At Parties; Sunbird; (From Smoke & Mirrors) Chilvary;The Price;Troll Bridge; Don't Ask Jack.
The quality of the stories is not up for debate, Gaiman tells a good tale, often retelling a tale you know, without it being obvious.
The sad bit is that publishers duplicate so many stories across different books and leave the reader feeling slightly cheated - which with Gaiman's writing we should not. I like the slightly scary edge to the stories, they remind me of my childhood ghost stories I read and enjoyed. If your child has an imagination and zest for reading do not deprive them of the opportunity to be a little scared, later in life they will be able to laugh whilst others tremble.
Only 4 stars because of the duplicated stories I already have in the other Gaiman books.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sweet Coraline, 7 July 2013
By 
Rotgut "rotgut" (Warrington UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
Excellent collection of entertaining and interesting stories from a first rate author.

"Coraline" itself is the longest of the tales included here, and, as Gaiman explains in his introduction, he has added some stories written for adults to complete the book as he hasn't written many other stories targeted at young readers. Obviously, this is fair enough, and I would suggest an adult reader is going to be able to enjoy the title piece, which is creepy and scarey enough to make anyone's skin crawl. no matter what their age; but, I must say I found some of the other stories to be unsuitable, perhaps, for younger children. "October In The Chair", for example, is a beautiful multi-layed work, starting with anthropomorhised versions of the Seasons sat round a fire telling stories. It is a piece open to various interpretations, but a crude reading could be seen to be encouraging child suicide...similarly "Troll Bridge" ( A brilliant story, rather like a negative version of HG Wells's short -story about the magical door to a heavenly garden that a man encounters throughout his life) could be read as an invitation to depression...

The stories themselves, are all very well done. Not a word is wasted in "Coraline" , the phrase "Sweet Coraline" used twice and a punning reference to the well known song, is not emphasised by Gaiman, too good an author to need to show his workings out.

Apart from "Sun Bird" which was possibly a bit too long all the rest of the stories in this collection are sharp and idea-filled treats. Slightly depressing for me as I remember reading "How To Sell The Ponti Bridge" when it came out in the mid eighties.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A short story collection that managed to hold my attention., 4 Jun 2013
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
My best friend bought me this book for Christmas. I've been excited to read it since then and it really didn't disappoint.

'Coraline' has to be my favourite story in the collection. I would have loved to have read it as a child. The idea of an 'Other Mother' is super creepy and the thing with the button eyes is hideous!

'The Case of the Four and Twenty Blackbirds' was a cute little story giving a new twist to all the old nursery rhymes from my childhood.

I also loved 'Chivalry'. The idea of the Holy Grail being hidden away in an Oxfam Shop somewhere in Britain is inspired.

Actually, I loved the whole book, every single story. I can't normally say that about short story collections (there are usually one or two I start reading and then skip) and so 'Coraline and Other Stories' gets a huge thumbs up from me.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully written, imaginative and unusual, 29 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
I actually decided to read this book after seeing the film as I wanted to read it as the story was intended (whilst I do enjoy the film). I got it purely for Coraline, which was fantastic to read. I absolutely love how it's geared at children yet doesn't play down to a child's intelligence and ability to understand concepts, etc, whilst remaining easy to read. It is also written in such a way as making it enjoyable for adults as well.

I admit, after finishing Coraline with the prospect of reading the others (I flicked through the stories and read a few lines of each, deciding that I really didn't think I would enjoy them - going through a phase of classics geared at the younger generation started by reading Alice in Wonderland) knowing they were more for adult readers, I put it down for a bit. However, when I went back to it to give it a chance, I thoroughly enjoyed each and every other story. The very subtle wit and easy, uncomplicated way of writing that Neil has made it one of the most enjoyable reads I have had in a long time. He has a very unusual imagination and has the ability to place normality and normal people into situations that are funny and even absurd, and the stories in which he writes in first person as though genuinely talking about himself are often twisted and written as such that you can't decide whether he actually believes in the events themselves or not.

I am now awaiting the arrival of The Graveyard Book and Neverwhere and am thoroughly looking forward to reading them. So pleased with the discovery of Neil Gaiman.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Milo Richards, 11 Feb 2010
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
I think that this book is a good book. It has a collection of stories, many of them short, but the main story, Coraline, is easily the longest. When I read this book, I realized how different the book Coraline is to the film of it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coraline & Other Stories, 12 Jan 2010
By 
A. Farrell - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
Great product, excellent condition and exactly what I was looking for. Posted out promptly - great service, thank you
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Coraline, 30 Dec 2009
This review is from: Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics (Paperback)
First off: The way this has been printed is great. If you look at it from the side, the pages are black because the tips of the pages are black, but the actual inside of the book is white is black writing. The illustrations are great and the story is also great.
However, the illustrations are on the wrong page...there was a drawing of the Other Mother when the page next to it was actually about Coraline shopping with her Mother. It's a petty remark, but it just bugs me a bit is all. Personally, I think the movie illustrates the story better than the book, as in the book, things aren't explained very much and there isn't much detail...it's all very wishy-washy.
But it's a good book and it looks nice.
Recommended
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Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics
Coraline and Other Stories: The Bloomsbury Phantastics by Neil Gaiman (Paperback - 5 Oct 2009)
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