Sunday, March 1, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

I wanted to read Coraline before seeing Coraline, and now I have!

Coraline discovers a secret door in her new house that takes her to another house almost just like the one she left. Almost, but not quite the same, everything seems to have a thin veneer of dislike and bad intention and the "other mother" there doesn't intend for Coraline to EVER get back home. The trusty black cat helps Coraline find her way home in this very unsettling children's book.

Despite the label on the back that says "Ages 8 and up," this would give nightmares of one kind or another to most of the 8 year olds I know. While the "other mother" seems innocuous enough at first save for her bright button eyes, she quickly devolves into a thin, dead-skinned, spidery, vaguely carnivorous beast that reminded me of the eye-in-the-palm creature from Pan's Labyrinth. In fact, this whole story seemed like a warped combo of Home Alone and Pan's Labyrinth. The ghost children kept referring to the "other mother" as a beldam so I had to look it up. I thought it was a typo of bedlam until it kept coming up, but a beldam is a hag or ugly evil looking old woman (using define: on Google). I love a new word :) I really like this slim little volume. It took me maybe an hour to read it and it was truly a bit creepy, even for me!

5 comments:

Trin said...

I just read Coraline recently too. I didn't think it was too scary but every other review I have read does so maybe I am just off.

Alaine said...

I have it on my TBR but don't thinkk I'll be reading it to my 10 year old son. Thanks for the review.

Holley T said...

Trin-I wouldn't say scary, just creepy. The edition I read had some pencil drawings and the one of the other mother's creepy spidery hand gave me the heebiejeebies but I'm scared of spiders so that no doubt contributed :)

Alaine-You might be able to swing it with some judicious editing in the reading, but have a go at it for yourself first...

Erica said...

i loved the book, and also the movie! i would go see it again if you're interested...

Holley T said...

Erica, it's on! When can we go? ...and we need to discuss piano plans as well (if you still feel up to it)