It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.
Well, I did it. I finally made myself finish listening to it on audio book, and I am so sad it is over. This book is the creepiest thing I have ever read. Well, listened too technically, but you get the point. I loved every minute of it.
Coraline is a clever little girl. Probably one of the cleverest little girls who have ever been written. Her story begins as her family moves into an old house that has been broken up into separate apartments and let out. The man upstairs has a habit of collecting mice as pets, and may or may not have previously lived a life in a circus. The two spinsters next door are retired movie-stars who are bordering on nostalgia overload.
What Coraline is more interested in, however, is what is in the vacant apartment behind hers, and why there is a door in their sitting room that leads to nothing? And if it leads to nothing, why is it locked?
Coraline enters into a world that is exactly like her own, except everyone in it has been replaced. She has an other mother and other father, who have skin the color of bone and big black buttons for eyes. Coraline’s other mother is the smothering, to say the least, and Coraline has to find out a way to get back to her real house and her real parents.
If you don’t know already (maybe you are new to the blog), I have recently acquired a healthy obsession with Neil Gaiman. Coraline was one of the first of his books that was suggested to me after I read Stardust (thanks Tiffany!), and when I couldn’t find a print copy of it locally, I looked it up on Audible. I have kind of developed an attachment to Gaiman reading his own stuff, and was excited to see there was a version available with him narrating! If you have never heard him do a reading, just youtube it. In fact just watch this, and get listen to the first chapter too!
It doesn’t disappoint. If you are looking for something beautifully written, but terrifying at the same time, this is the book you are looking for. It is especially perfect for the Halloween season.
To be honest there were a couple parts that made my hair stand on end. There is this one bit where the other mother starts tapping her long fingernail on her button eye.
Gaiman has written Coraline’s character so that even adults will relate with her, making it a genuine all ages book. I don’t think it is too scary for younger kids to read either. It’s more of a creep-factor than a bloody/gory kind of scary. If anything, they will have serious stranger danger after reading it, which could be seen as a positive, right?
It’s not a very long book, you can finish it up before Halloween! Go pick it up! 🙂