Book 8 – Coraline

Book – Coraline
Author – Neil Gaiman
Year – 2002
Genre – Dark Children’s Fantasy
Pages – 192

A quick little search shows me that I have never reviewed a book by Neil Gaiman here.  As I think through it as well, I realise that I have not really read many of his books overall.  Stardust was part of the original challenge before I kept the blog, but thinking about it, the only other Gaiman book I have read is Neverwhere many many years ago.  Something to rectify there.

Coraline is probably most famous for its stop motion film adaptation of a few years back.  I am not particularly a film person, so it is therefore probably unsurprising that I have not seen that, and would rather read the book first. Well I got round to it, and it was not quite what I was expecting.

Following a young girl called Coraline who has moved to a new neighbourhood, this book follows her to another world where everyone she knows is replaced with weird versions of themselves with buttons for eyes.  A strange concept for a kids’ book, and yes, it really does come across as that odd when you read it!  I was surprised at the dark tone of what is a children’s book, although the content is not particularly edgy.  All in all, a brave move for this kind of fiction, and one that has paid dividends with a critically acclaimed film coming off the back of it.

The only problem is that it wasn’t really that interesting.  Maybe my age is to blame – if I’m honest I was reading it more for the Gaiman name than because it is aimed at me – but whilst there was no particular problem with it, I was simply not enthralled by what I was reading, and had it not been so unusually dark, I think it may have been something that I would not really remember even this short time after reading it.

6/10

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