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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 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 May 2017
Book Review
Title: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Children’s
Rating: ***
Review: The opening to Coraline was good and very different to its movie counterpart, we meet Coraline after she moves into her new home and she is adjusting the way any child would be exploring and generally getting under foot. It is right at the beginning of the book that she uncovers the door that goes nowhere and isn’t really to curious about it even when there are strange noises in the night she doesn’t really think much of it. When Coraline discovers the other world for the first time she isn’t really surprised or even curious about the people living there and how the brick wall just magically disappeared, some of this can be put down to a child’s imagination but I didn’t immediately connect to Coraline the way I did with the movie version of her.
As we cross the ¼ mark in the novel we see Coraline’s parents disappear for two days before she even thinks about calling for help. She first calls the police who aren’t any help and she realises that she has to go back to the other world despite being afraid of the other mother. One of my favourite characters in this novel so far is the cat because he offers advice to Coraline which she doesn’t understand at the time but it will become clearly like telling her to bring protection and to challenge the other mother in order to get her real parents back.
As we cross into the final section of the novel we see Coraline prepare to face the beldam after she learns the truth of the other world and how she fits into it. I loved how the ghost children helped Coraline almost continuously during her struggle with the beldam although I did feel she found all the souls too quickly and it was over before it had really begun. This is where I feel the movie was better because Coraline really struggled to get all the souls and win her freedom back into her own world. I also felt the movie provided more backstory with Wybie because she gives Coraline backstory on the house aka the pink palace and provides her with the curiosity to go looking for the other world, so I was disappointed that he wasn’t included in the book. I also felt the movie had better imagery and portrayed the beldam’s evil nature better despite the book having some great illustrations you don’t get a full sense of how the other world works and what the beldam is and what she wants.
Overall, the pacing was a little off as everything seems a little rushed and there was no breathing space between events and I feel it would have been better if the novel was a little more drawn out to allow the reader to process all the information they are being fed. The character though were great and I would have liked to see more of them especially the beldam and her history and how she captured and killed other children before Coraline. I also wondered about if the children died in the other world, they would have gone missing from the real world so how could no one like Miss Spink and Miss Forcible who presumably have lived in the house for a long time not know about several children going missing in the past. I do recommend Coraline for it fun story and creepy nature but there are some flaws with the book in general.
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on 23 June 2014
Coraline is 10 and she's bored with exploring her new flat. She discovers a door that opens to a brick wall, which piques her interest. One day, it opens to a hallway, and a mirror of her own flat. Of course she goes through it, and soon discovers that the flat is not the only thing that is mirrored...

Gaiman writes with a keen grasp of a child's perspective, and although the narrative is not in the first person (thus making it possible for a more adult omniscience), the way Coraline interacts with her weird neighbours, and her reaction to a suddenly-talking cat, among other discoveries, are decidedly realistic for a 10-year-old. She does not pause to wonder (for too long) how a hallway could suddenly appear, for instance, and accepts not just the fact that the cat talks, but its explanation of why it doesn't have a name: "Now, you people have names. That's because you don't know who you are. We know who we are, so we don't need names."

The story builds up very quickly, and beyond the usual children's fantasy tale where the protagonist meets with personal danger and has to fight it, Coraline finds that she has to rescue her parents. In some ways, this is a frightening book for children because it demands that the child look beyond facing his/her fears to actually deal with forces that even people they could count on would fail, and need to be bailed out.

Coraline is not unusually brave, but she knows what being brave entails; which is "when you're scared but you still do it anyway, that's brave". And that makes it all the easier to root for her, because we all know what that's like, and it's a fine reminder for us scaredy-cat adults to re-examine what real courage is.
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on 7 April 2017
The condition of the book I can't fault, excellent delivery, however I didn't realize it was in German so it's no good to me
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on 3 May 2017
Amazing quality however in German Language we think. This wasn't stated on description so had to buy another book in English. however received full refund without having to return it. Thanks.
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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 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 23 June 2017
for my daughter. she is very happy
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