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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing in the best possible way
I discovered this book a little over four years ago. It was the first Gaimain novel I had come across, and remains--despite my delving into the fascinating depths of Neverwhere's London Below, the dangerous beauty of Stardust's Faerie and all the rest--my absolute favourite of all his works. His clear, unconvuluted style is really allowed to shine through here as this...
Published on 27 Nov 2006 by Mr. Shon W. Lewis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not actually for children
More of a children's story for adults! Has it's frightening moments but also a message in the style of children's literature.
Published 14 months ago by Abbie Watson


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51 of 52 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Disturbing in the best possible way, 27 Nov 2006
By 
Mr. Shon W. Lewis "Ebony Sky" (Machester, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
I discovered this book a little over four years ago. It was the first Gaimain novel I had come across, and remains--despite my delving into the fascinating depths of Neverwhere's London Below, the dangerous beauty of Stardust's Faerie and all the rest--my absolute favourite of all his works. His clear, unconvuluted style is really allowed to shine through here as this story is primarily for children, giving a wonderfully bleak, chilly feel. Also, Gaiman's masterful tendency of leaving much unexplained and not feeling the need to rationalise the extraordinary is, no doubt one that will appeal to children greatly.

Admittedly, the basic idea of a 'Looking-Glass' world is not original, but the intricacies of the storyline certainly are. This novel has that feel that so many horror films try (and largely fail) to obtain with their demonic children and evil dollies; Coraline is awash with a kind of twisted innocence that is infinitely eerie.

Black buttons have ever since made me edgy.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coraline - ultimate spooky pageturner you can't put down, 19 Dec 2005
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
I was attracted by the amazing artwork on the cover of this book, but was totally unprepared for the surprise inside. It is a pleasure to read out loud and was chosen as a bedtime story for our 8 year old child. OOps - very scary indeed, talking animals, rats singing cautionary tales, haughty cats, an impossibly long key, souls of dead children, the truth seen through a stone with a hole in it...... a girl trapped in a parallel world unable to leave until she rescues her parents.... The Other Mother and Father with large black buttons sewn on their eyelids, waiting to stitch up Coralines eyes..... I'm such a fan, can't you tell. Anyway, some clever person has bought the film rights and I can't wait. There's also a great website.. mousecircus.com Look out for and click on the rats when they scurry over the page, they will sing their chilling song for you. Enjoy if you dare.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Unbutton your eyes, 21 Oct 2009
By 
L. R. Richardson (Scotland) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
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.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars FABULOUS, 15 Oct 2008
By 
Samantha L. Smith (Manchester) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
I bought this book (for my daughter) on recommendation. I wasn't sure what to expect. I read it before I gave it to my child as I invariably do. I gave it to her with a smile and a wink and assured her she'd be scared (her idea of a good read! she's 9!) She marched downstairs the next day and declared she didn't know what I was talking about and it wasn't scary. The following morning (after having read a couple more chapters) she gave me the biggest smile and said "it's brilliant! I love it!" Apparently it had then become scary enough for her. :0)
That was 3 weeks ago - now most of her friends mothers have bought it for their children and even her teacher is reading it to the class.
It's just fabulous. I can't recommend this book enough. Buy it! Read it!
We've bought two more Gaiman books now and are eagerly awaiting the release of the film at the cinema next year. What a cracker!
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's done it again., 17 Oct 2002
By 
This review is from: Coraline (Hardcover)
Neil Gaiman is a fantastic writer and this latest book conjured from his warped imgination proves it beyond a shadow of a doubt.
The story is definetly written for children in mind but Gaiman manages to create an ambience so eerie and chilling that it will have any adult reading with the hairs on the back of their neck standing up.
You'll follow Coraline (Not Caroline!) into a world exactly like hers but counterfeit and with counterfeit parents. A world which wants to keep her there forever and always offering everything a child could wish for. But she's no fool and soon figures that there are things that are just too good to be true. Be it in this world or another.
The book is within the same genre as alice in wonderland but has many original ideas which will dare you to put the book down and not read it in one sitting. I was not up to this dare and finished it within one read. I am now currently reading it to my partner who is enjoying it almost as much as I did!
I'll be buying a copy for all the children and fantasy loving adults I know.
Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Don't go through the door, 16 Jan 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
Nobody can drench a book in creepy, dank atmosphere like Neil Gaiman -- and it doesn't matter if it's a kid's book.

And "Coraline" -- now being released as a movie -- is no exception to Gaiman's track record. It's a haunting little dark fairy tale full of decayed apartments, dancing rats and eerie soulless doppelgangers, as well as a gutsy heroine who finds herself in this ominous "other" world.

Newly moved into an aged apartment, Coraline (not "Caroline" is bored. Her parents are too busy to do anything with her, and her neighbors are either insane or boring.

It's the sort of relentlessly dull world that any little girl would want to escape from -- until Coraline does. She encounters a formerly bricked-up door that leads into an apartment in another world, which looks eerily like her own. In fact, it's so similar that she has a taloned, button-eyed "other mother" and matching "other father," as well as a chorus of singing, dancing rats and magical toys.

At first Coraline is fascinated by the other world, especially since her other parents are very attentive. Then she finds her real parents sealed inside a mirror. With the help of a sarcastic cat, Coraline ventures back into the other world. But with her parents and a trio of dead children held hostage, Coraline's only hope is to gamble with her own freedom -- and she'll be trapped forever if she fails.

Without Neil Gaiman's touch, "Coraline" would just be another story about a kid who learns to appreciate her parents. But he infuses this story with a dark fairy-tale vibe -- decayed apartments, dead children in a mirror, beetles, disembodied hands, monsters that cling to the wall with souls in their grip, and rats that sing about how "we were here before you rose, we will be here when you fall."

That dark, cobwebby atmosphere clings to the increasingly nightmarish plot, as Coraline navigates a world where the other mother has every advantage. And Gaiman's wordcraft is exquisitely horrible -- the other mother's hands are compared to spiders, her hair to undersea tentacles. And the fate of the other father is a magnificently ghastly thing.

He even infuses poetry into the horror ("A husk you'll be, a wisp you'll be, and a thing no more than a dream on waking, or a memory of something forgotten"), and a fair amount of macabre humour ("I swear it on my own mother's grave." "Does she have a grave?" "Oh yes. I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back").

Coraline herself is a wonderful little heroine -- strong, sensible, self-sufficient but still fairly freaked out about what is happening around her. The sarcastic cat is a wonderful counterpoint. And the other mother is the stuff of nightmares -- she's utterly inhuman and merciless -- who "wants something to love. Something that isn't her. She might want something to eat as well."

Neil Gaiman creates eerie, slightly warped worlds like nobody else, and he does an exquisitely horrible job in "Coraline." Just never go through the door.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really, really creepy, 23 May 2008
By 
Mrs. K. A. Wheatley "katywheatley" (Leicester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
Gaiman is brilliant and I'm so very glad he moved into the territory of childrens' books, because it means that I can now share his brilliance with my children. This is a little too old for them yet, so they're being weaned on the fantastic, Wolves in the Walls and The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, but this awaits them eagerly.

This is a mesmerisingly disturbing tale of a young girl in a creepy old house being tricked and gradually sucked into a hideously scary fantasy world that she has to navigate safely. It's a traditional tale and includes the classic themes of abandonment, fear of losing identity and other such nasties, but it's done with the usual Gaiman flair and elegance that turns it into something special.

Coraline is an excellent heroine, something else I really rate about Gaiman. He doesn't write weedy girls. He writes real, feisty girls and it's brilliant.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars wacky,weird and wonderful, 5 Sep 2008
A Kid's Review
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
strangely weird but excitingly good. coraline is a short but intense story with so many suprises throughout the chapters. I would put it in my top 10 I could not put down. with a great story line I would recommend it to children over the age of nine as in parts it can be quite scary!!!!!
Kish (aged 10yrs)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mouse Circus!, 6 Oct 2013
By 
Lola (London) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
I am falling more and more in love with Neil Gaiman's creations. Coraline. Such a quirky, fun, adventurous young girl with huge imagination who sees right from wrong in a weird world of old houses, brick walls behind the doors, empty snowglobes and buttons instead of eyes. Did I mention singing mice, bat-dogs and a talking cat?

And the hand in the end! You just have to read it to find out all the quirky stuff. And it will only take you half a day. This creepy, a bit frightening tale is an absolute pleasure to read. It is fast paced and very well written. I highly recommend to share "Coraline" with children - but beware, there might be a few sleepless nights in store for them. Compared to The Ocean at the End of the Lane (which I absolutely loved!), I think Coraline is much more suitable for younger readers (I found the slow-motion film was actually scarier than the book).

Enjoyed and recommended!

This paper copy of the book is to treasure - the illustrations are beautiful.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Chilly and Frightening - great for kids and adults alike, 6 April 2006
This review is from: Coraline (Paperback)
This book is fantastic! I wish I was younger to enjoy the terror aspects more. The illustrations are perfect for the tone of the book and unlike many books enhance the narrative, not just illustrate it.
However if your child is of a sensitive nature and is easily frightened I would recommend reading the book for yourself first.
Coraline is a strong and inspirational character for children. She is intelligent and armed with street-smarts but also a approachable character.
The book also carries an important, albeit subtle, point namely beware of strangers; a point made poignant by the ghost children - a reminder that children do die from abduction.
My main criticism is that the narrative is a little distant - a bit movieish and The language is a little ambitious in part for children to read alone - I had to look up a few words myself!
All in all a strong children book piece. A very dark fairy tale as all good fairy tales should be. If you are interested in this kind of book to encouage sytaxical and lexical growth I also can recommend Haroum and the Sea of Stories by Rushdie.
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Coraline
Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Perfect Paperback - Feb 2009)
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