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on 17 December 2015
As with many examples of classic children's literature over the years, 'Coraline' offers the younger reader a few measured doses of mystery, suspense, and fear - and particularly the latter, though in moderation, since children absolutely adore being a little bit frightened, as we must surely all remember!

The story, of course, centres around the summer holiday adventures of its titular heroine - young Coraline Jones - who, along with her mother and father, has moved into one of the flats in a ramshackle old house in the wilds of the country. Coraline's parents work from home but are busy people; and as I suspect is the case with many youngsters nowadays, they just don't seem to have enough time in the day to spare their daughter the attention she craves. Her mother automatically buys Coraline 'sensible' clothes - never the clothes her daughter actually wants to wear; and her father - a worryingly clueless sort of 'home husband' - is an experimental but terrible cook, and never serves anything to table that Coraline wants to eat.

The upstairs flat is occupied by the eccentrically acrobatic Mr Bobo - a moustachioed Eastern European with a penchant for training a troublesome musical mouse circus; the downstairs flat is shared by two ageing but rather highly strung former thespian spinsters - Miss Forcible and Miss Spink - together with their phlegmatic Highland Terriers: Hamish, Andrew, and Jock. But diverting though these neighbours may at first appear, is it any wonder that a bold and curious young girl like Coraline should want to go adventuring - exactly as a haughty black cat asserts his right to go wandering far and wide about the place, as though he owns it?

It's then that Coraline becomes captivated by the carved, brown wooden door in the drawing room - a locked door, which when released shows only a plain brick wall... Or does it...? In fact, the door leads to another world entirely - and to another house, which looks very much like her own. It also leads to another kindly father and another doting mother, neither of whom can seemingly do enough for lonely little Coraline - providing her with feasts of delicious food and the brightly coloured clothes she has always most desired; but just one thing:

Why do these alternative parents both have large and shiny-bright black buttons, sewn into place where their eyes must once have been...?

I won't go into much more detail about the plot because that would surely spoil the experience for those coming to the novel afresh. Suffice it to say that Coraline has quite a torrid time of it in trying to escape from her 'Other Mother' (otherwise known as the mysterious 'Beldam'), and that - with the help of one very formidable black cat, as previously mentioned - tries endlessly to return to her real mother and father, with whom she now desperately longs to be reunited.

'Coraline' is, of course, a typically imaginative piece of fiction from the distinguished and individual mind of Neil Gaiman. What really works in its favour, I think, is that Mr Gaiman thankfully refrains from those sensational excesses that too often find their way into his adult fictions for no better reason than their shock value, but which often end up being something more of a blight than a blessing. 'Coraline' can, in fact, be rightly celebrated for being a joyously restrained creation - a book about which no parent need concern themeselves too much when it comes to letting their children read it independently. I must also commend the illustrations by Chris Riddell, which grace the 10th Anniversary Edition that I bought - though perhaps the confined reading medium of my Kindle didn't quite do them justice!

A guaranteed page turner!
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on 27 November 2015
Excellent read!

I had no idea that the film 'Coraline' was actually based on a book until a couple of months ago!

The book is more detailed and paints a better picture than the actual film.

Whether you've seen the film or not, this book is definitely a must read!

Would I recommend? Yes!
Would I read it again? Probably only once or twice more, but that's mainly down to personal taste than there being anything wrong with the actual story!

Since purchasing this book, I have started a Neil Gaiman collection!
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on 12 January 2013
This is a story we are studying with year 7s at school. As a TA I am required to know about the story but I am not in every lesson, so it's difficult. I decided to buy the audio version so I could listen whilst in the car. It's brilliant. It's so easy to just put in and listen to on journeys and rewind if you miss a bit. I would recommend this as even my own year 7 boy, who goes to a different school to me, has asked to borrow it and he listens to it at night before he goes to sleep.
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on 1 November 2017
10 year.old son loved the film and was excited about reading this. He read it all the day it arrived and said it was brilliant.
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on 2 November 2015
I watched the film (which I love) before I read the book. The book is stripped back but still very dark, if not more so. A gleeful read which I will happily revisit again & again. Can't write enough good things about Coraline, read it and smile.
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on 18 April 2017
This book is one of Neil Gaiman's lighter works, suitable for fairly young readers, yet it loses nothing of his magically grim charm. A quick yet satisfying read, Coraline is very to-the-point in it's simple, magical story. An evening well spent and highly recommended!
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on 13 March 2017
Bought for a literacy class. Gaiman is a great story teller.
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on 17 November 2017
It's Neil Gaiman, so what can I say? Great book.
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on 23 June 2017
for my daughter. she is very happy
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on 23 May 2017
Neil makes you feel like you are there,every thing is real,difficult to put down.Luv his books because I am a fantasy fanatic.
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