Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

UntitledTitle: Coraline (film-tie edition)

Author: Neil Gaiman

Pages: 185 p

ISBN: 978-0-7475-9730-8

Publisher: Bloomsbury, 2002

Coraline has her own mother, her own father, her own house, and her neighbours. There is one door in her drawing room blocked by the red bricks. Mother said it is just a door but turned out is not. Through the doorway, she found her other mother, her other father, with button eyes. And her other house, and her other neighbours…

… with button eyes.

After one short visit, Coraline came back to her house and the parents were missing, the parents were hidden by her other parents. Not only the parents, the souls of three other children whom she met in her other mother’s cupboard were also missing . Coraline knew it is time for her to take the challenge, to take the games and challenge with her other mother. Even she knew she was scared, even she needed to sacrifice herself.

The old man leaned down, so close that the bottom of his moustache tickled Coraline’s ear. “The mice have a message for you,” he whispered.

Coraline didn’t know what to say.

“The message is this. Don’t go through the door.”  (Page 25)

Her other mother said she loves Coraline but Coraline knew the love is just like a dragon loves the gold and she didn’t need it at all. Her other mother wanted to keep Coraline in her house but Coraline knew she’s not her mother, she’s just a beldam.

This is my second Gaiman’s children book after that milk. I expected quite a lot since many people love Gaiman. The story idea is very nice. Although it seems like a horror story but actually so many lessons that kids can learn. I love when Coraline convinced herself that she’s an explorer (many times) and to face her fear no matter what will happen.

I’m an explorer, thought Coraline to herself. And I need all the ways out of here that I can get. So I shall keep walking (Page 87)

I’m not frightened, she told herself, and she thought it she knew that it was true (Page 137)

“When you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.” (Page 72)

Coraline is a very lovely character, but my favourite is the snob cat. It is very hilarious and cynical I chuckled almost every time it talks. Gaiman’s also detailed and indeed it’s a very well written. Very smooth, very easy to understand, and cute. But just like that milk, Gaiman’s not that memorable for me. Maybe it is just me thinking there is something I can’t explain missing or I just haven’t got the chemistry with him because I couldn’t feel the UWHOAAAHH (of whatever it is).

Of course it is very recommended. I gave 3.5 out of 5 for the story, another 0.5 for the pretty illustration.


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