Book Reads: Coraline (Neil Gaiman) [☝]

November 26, 2016

This book was one of those titles I just randomly pulled out of the shelves of a bookstore. For this one, I'm quite glad I did it.

*read with caution, as this post contains spoilers!*


It was not a hard decision actually, because Coraline is written by one of my favorite authors, Neil Gaiman. I'm drawn to dark creepy stuff, and Gaiman's literature perfectly captures my taste. A quick Google search tells me that this book was published in 2002 (why didn't I hear of this before?) and this is his first book for children. I've already read his other children's title The Graveyard Book and I thoroughly enjoyed it, so I had high expectations for this book. 😃

Praises from other authors were written in the first few pages, most of them saying that Coraline is thrilling and a spine-chilling story. It so happened that I only had time to read the book every night before bedtime. I thought this might be a bad idea (as the story might make me spawn nightmares), but well I still went for it.

I was in for a dreamy eerie ride.

Like the plot of the Narnia books, Coraline gave off that same feeling of thrill for an out-of-this-world adventure. Curiosity as a child sometimes leads us to wander off to some places, and it happens that for our heroine, it's a place she's in danger and needs to get out immediately.

But the danger was not imminent - she had her choice to accept it, and that's what really gets me. That "other mother" treated Coraline the sweetest way possible, presenting her the offer to be her child. She just had one condition - Coraline has to stay in that other world forever.

After reading the book, I wanted to tell Gaiman - really, this story is for kids? 😨 As an adult, I see this book as a bit disturbing, in so many different ways. But of course for children, I guess, they would also comprehend the book in a totally different way.

I'll have to commend Coraline - she was an extraordinarily brave girl. If I got to be in her position, I don't know what might have happened to me. I might have been hypnotized by the other mother the minute she saw me on the other world, and I won't be able to get back to my own world. 😅

I really like Gaiman's writing style, especially those subtle points teasing the audience that the protagonist is in danger, and that this "sweet" person has other dark motives in mind. It makes the readers uneasy, making them hooked on what would happen next in the story. Also, just when you thought Coraline was already safe back on the other side of the door, something further haunts her. That part really just gave me the creeps.

If ever this story makes it to a big screen adaptation, I hope Tim Burton directs it.
(UPDATE: OMG, wish granted! The film was shown in 2009! 😃)

Really, just be careful on what you wish for. 😊

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