Reviews

Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Mini-Review

Featured Image - Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Hello Avid Readers. Welcome to another book review. Today, I’m sharing my thoughts about Coraline by Neil Gaiman. A standalone paranormal tale written for children but loved by adults too.

Last year, I decided that mini-reviews were the way forward for this particular book blogger. 😉 This means that I only write full detailed reviews for the books I receive from authors, publishers and PR organisers (ARCs).

What’s Coraline about?

This post contains affiliate links (marked *). If you buy the book using that link, I'll receive a small commission from the sale.

Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Mini-ReviewMy Rating:
Title: Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Published by Bloomsbury Childrens on 2 November, 2009
Genres: Fantasy
Narrator: Neil Gaiman
Length: 3 hours 35 minutes
No. of Pages: 212

The day after they moved in, Coraline went exploring....

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close.
The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different.

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom, books whose pictures writhe and crawl and shimmer, little dinosaur skulls that chatter their teeth. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits and all the tools she can find if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

Critically acclaimed and award-winning author Neil Gaiman will delight readers with his first novel for all ages.


Source: Bought
Formats Available: eBook, Audiobook, Paperback
Purchase Links: Books2Read - Universal Link ¦ Audible* ¦ Book Depository* ¦ Waterstones*

I actually downloaded and listened to Coraline back in 2018 but didn’t post my review to my blog! What an oversight! 🙂

What did I think about Coraline?

An Engaging Tale For Both Young And Old!

I’m already a fan of Neil Gaiman and have read some of his other works of adult fiction. I downloaded this Kindle version because I adore the 2009 film by Laika and felt it was high time I read the book.

As with all adaptations, the stop-motion film varies slightly from the story in this book. However, I still found myself thoroughly engaged in Coraline Jones’s adventure through the door to the Other Place. I even found my breath held in tension at times.

I downloaded the Audible version narrated by Neil Gaiman himself.

Strangely, it differed from the book at times. I think it was “Americanised” as there were little word changes (flashlight said instead of the torch that was printed, distances were narrated in imperial instead of the metric that was printed, etc) and slight sentence restructures. Having said that, I loved the way Mr Gaiman read his story. The pace of his speech, his tonal inflections and his performance helped to immerse me in the adventure.

Coraline is one of my favourite films.

I watch Coraline every Halloween and I am overjoyed to say that it’s also one of my favourite books now too.

About Neil Gaiman

BEGINNINGS

Neil Gaiman was born in Hampshire, UK, and now lives in the United States near Minneapolis. As a child he discovered his love of books, reading, and stories, devouring the works of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, James Branch Cabell, Edgar Allan Poe, Michael Moorcock, Ursula K. LeGuin, Gene Wolfe, and G.K. Chesterton. A self-described "feral child who was raised in libraries," Gaiman credits librarians with fostering a life-long love of reading: "I wouldn't be who I am without libraries. I was the sort of kid who devoured books, and my happiest times as a boy were when I persuaded my parents to drop me off in the local library on their way to work, and I spent the day there. I discovered that librarians actually want to help you: they taught me about interlibrary loans."

EARLY WRITING CAREER

Gaiman began his writing career in England as a journalist. His first book was a Duran Duran biography that took him three months to write, and his second was a biography of Douglas Adams, Don't Panic: The Official Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy Companion. Gaiman describes his early writing: "I was very, very good at taking a voice that already existed and parodying or pastiching it." Violent Cases was the first of many collaborations with artist Dave McKean. This early graphic novel led to their series Black Orchid, published by DC Comics.

The groundbreaking series Sandman followed, collecting a large number of US awards in its 75 issue run, including nine Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards and three Harvey Awards. In 1991, Sandman became the first comic ever to receive a literary award, the 1991 World Fantasy Award for Best Short Story.

ESTABLISHED WRITER & CREATOR

Neil Gaiman is credited with being one of the creators of modern comics, as well as an author whose work crosses genres and reaches audiences of all ages. He is listed in the Dictionary of Literary Biography as one of the top ten living post-modern writers and is a prolific creator of works of prose, poetry, film, journalism, comics, song lyrics, and drama.

Gaiman has achieved cult status and attracted increased media attention, with recent profiles in The New Yorker magazine and by CBS News Sunday Morning.

SCI-FI, FANTASY & SOCIAL MEDIA

Audiences for science fiction and fantasy form a substantial part of Gaiman's fan base, and he has continuously used social media to communicate with readers. In 2001, Gaiman became one of the first writers to establish a blog, which now has over a million regular readers.

In 2008, Gaiman joined Twitter as @neilhimself and now has over 1.5 million followers and counting on the micro-blogging site. He won the Twitter category in the inaugural Author Blog Awards, and his adult novel American Gods was the first selection for the One Book, One Twitter (1b1t) book club.

WRITING FOR CHILDREN

Neil Gaiman writes books for readers of all ages, including collections and picture books for young readers.

Gaiman's books are genre works that refuse to remain true to their genres. Gothic horror was out of fashion in the early 1990s when Gaiman started work on Coraline (2002). Originally considered too frightening for children, Coraline went on to win the British Science Fiction Award, the Hugo, the Nebula, the Bram Stoker, and the American Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla award. Odd and the Frost Giants, originally written for 2009's World Book Day, has gone on to receive worldwide critical acclaim.

The Wolves in the Walls was made into an opera by the Scottish National Theatre in 2006, and Coraline was adapted as a musical by Stephin Merritt in 2009.

WRITING FOR ADULTS

Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere (1995), Stardust (1999), the Hugo and Nebula Award-winning American Gods (2001), Anansi Boys (2005), and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett, 1990), as well as the short story collections Smoke and Mirrors (1998) and Fragile Things (2006).

His first collection of short fiction, Smoke and Mirrors: Short Fictions and Illusions, was nominated for the UK's MacMillan Silver Pen Awards as the best short story collection of the year. Most recently, Gaiman was both a contributor to and co-editor with Al Sarrantonio of Stories (2010), and his own story in the volume, The Truth Is A Cave In The Black Mountains, has been nominated for a number of awards.

American Gods has been released in an expanded tenth anniversary edition, and there is an HBO series in the works.

FILM AND TELEVISION

Gaiman wrote the screenplay for the original BBC TV series of Neverwhere (1996); Dave McKean's first feature film, Mirrormask (2005), for the Jim Henson Company; and cowrote the script to Robert Zemeckis's Beowulf. He produced Stardust, Matthew Vaughn's film based on Gaiman's book by the same name.

He has written and directed two films: A Short Film About John Bolton (2002) and Sky Television's Statuesque (2009) starring Bill Nighy and Amanda Palmer.

An animated feature film based on Gaiman's Coraline, directed by Henry Selick and released in early 2009, secured a BAFTA for Best Animated Film and was nominated for an Oscar in the same category.

Gaiman's 2011 episode of Doctor Who, "The Doctor's Wife," caused the Times to describe him as "a hero."

THE GRAVEYARD BOOK

First published in the UK at the end of 2008, The Graveyard Book has won the UK's Booktrust Prize for Teenage Fiction and the Newbery Medal, the highest honor given in US children's literature, as well as the Locus Young Adult Award and the Hugo Best Novel Prize. The awarding of the 2010 UK CILIP Carnegie Medal makes Gaiman the first author ever to win both the Newbery Medal and the Carnegie Medal with the same book. The Graveyard Book, with its illustrations by Chris Riddell, was also shortlisted for the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal for illustration -- the first time a book has made both Medal shortlists in 30 years.

"Twenty-three years ago, we lived in a little Sussex town in a tall house across the lane from a graveyard. We didn't have a garden, and our 18-month-old son loved riding a tricycle. If he tried riding in the house he would have died because there were stairs everywhere, so every day I would take him down our precipitous stairs, and he would ride his little tricycle round and round the gravestones. As I watched him happily toddling I would think about how incredibly at home he looked. I thought that I could do something like The Jungle Book with that same equation of boy, orphaned, growing up somewhere else, but I could do it in a graveyard. I had that idea when I was 24 years old. I sat down and tried writing it and thought, "This is a really good idea, and this isn't very good writing. I'm not good enough for this yet, and I will put it off until I'm better."

The film adaptation of The Graveyard Book is in production.

Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read my thoughts. I hope I’ve sparked your interest and that you add Coraline to your groaning TBR piles. Have you read any books by Neil Gaiman? Which ones would you recommend? Drop the titles in the comments.

Of course, I’ve now added Neil Gaiman to my favourite authors’ page. Before you go, check out which other amazing authors are on my list. 😉

signature graphic. Happy reading from flora image sitting on books

Bye for now,

Flora x

About Me

I'm in my late forties, my interests are varied but since menopause hit a few years ago, I find myself becoming a "grumpy old woman" all too frequently - where has my infinite patience gone!?! Lol!
I bought a Kindle in the summer of 2013 and haven't stopped reading since. If you want to know more about me, check out my blog - www.florasmusings.com

(2) Comments

  1. Izabel Brekilien says:

    I haven’t watched the film or read the novel, but I want to – love Neil Gaiman 🙂

    1. Flora says:

      It’s a wonderfully chilling children’s story, Izabel.

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