Saturday, August 26, 2006

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

(hb; 2002)

From the inside flap:

“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...”


Author Gaiman has created a stunning children's book – possibly one of my instant all-time favorites – with Coraline. It's full of childish whimsy, nightmarish (but not too nightmarish) corollaries, excitement and memorable characters, like the “crazy old man upstairs” and his mouse circus, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible (spinster-former actresses who live downstairs), a sarcastic black cat, and her “other” parents (who ooze black-button-eyed creepiness).

This is a lean read, with deadpan-funny lines, inspired descriptions, and riveting situations.


The animated film version is scheduled for stateside release on February 6, 2009.

Dakota Fanning provides the voice of Coraline. Dawn French voices Miss Spink; Teri Hatcher, Coraline's Mother/Other Mother. Keith David voices The Cat. Ian McShane voices Mr. Bobinsky. Jennifer Saunders voices Miss Forcible.

Henry Selick, who co-wrote the film, is set to co-direct.

1 comment:

natalie_eve said...

Coraline is amazing. I hope the movie doesn't ruin it.

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