Neil Gaiman's Coraline

Hello. Longtime lurker and newbie poster here.

I know there are Gaiman fans that post here. I just finished reading Coraline last night. I thought it was brilliant and was looking for other opinions/admirers.

I loved the fact that, despite being a kid’s book, it still had enough creepiness and clever turns of phrase (Coraline referring to her dolls as “protective coloring”) to appeal to adults.

Whaddya think?

I just read it too. I liked it. Very Gaiman, I felt, with just the right combination of humor and eerieness. The imagery was very good, especially the “dough-man” in the basement that had been her other-father.

As a side note, Terry Pratchett’s recommendation on the back cover, brief as it was, was also very entertaining.

It’s sitting on my nightstand right now. Planning on reading through it this weekend, and it’s good to hear that I didn’t waste my money on a “kid’s” book.

(Read the first page and it was enough like Stardust to already have convinced me of that, but it’s still nice to have verification.)

Speaking of recommendations, I also liked the Lemony Snickett (brief hijack of my own thread: who is this person?) blurb.

:: walks off to make small animals out of yarn ::

I loved it (and I even have a signed copy, since the author lives in my city). I’d agree that it’s very Gaiman-- lots of absolutely great turns of phrase and a pretty good grasp on how kids think and process information. I think some of my favorite descriptions were of the lime soda (something like, “tasted bright and chemical and nothing at all like lime. Coraline liked it enormously.”) and of spiders (something like, “Spiders made Coraline intensely uncomfortable.”). Great stuff.

Wish I knew if the Beldame was based on older mythology, like so much of his work, or if she’s purely a Gaiman creation.

Lemony Snickett is the (purported) writer of a series of childrens/young adults books called “The Series of Unfortunate Events”. A most excellent series. Hilarious.

Go here to find out more.

Another yea vote here. I am in the process of reading it to my kids and my only fear is that Claire will pick up on Coralines “Oh Daddy, you made a recipe” line and use it in her never ending struglle to avoid eating what I prepare:)

I’ve been waiting for Coraline since he talked about it at a convention a couple years ago.

Glad to hear it’s as good as I’d hoped. I’m going to try to pick it up this weekend.


From Roget’s II The New Thesaurus, Third Edition 1995

NOUN: An ugly, frightening old woman: crone, hag, witch. Slang : biddy. Archaic : trot. See BEAUTIFUL.

D*mn! Left out - that’s the entry for Beldam/Beldame.

Look it up, you say. <rubs chin> Yes, I can see how that might lead to useful information.

Heh heh. It never occurred to me that it was a real word. Thanks for the info!

I’m just sayin’, I was seriously freaked for weeks (I bought the audio version, which came out a couple weeks before the hardcover) about the soggy thing at the back of the theater. Y’know, the thing that was the other Mizzes Spink and Forcible. Yikes.

Oh, yeah. Gaiman is a very visual author. His descriptions of the house and the …things are excellent and creepy. Particularly that thing on the theatre wall.

Quite! I love that series, and I love reading it to my girls. Of course, one realizes fairly quickly that the persona of Lemony Snicket is a key part of the inventiveness of the Unfortunate Events series. My wife and I were briefly theorizing that Gaiman and Snicket may be one and the same, which is a stylistic possibility, though practically very unlikely. Anyone who’s read The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish can see how we entertain the idea, even if we know it’s not true. The author who created Snicket has his own name (though I’ve seen it I can’t remember what it is), and has supposedly made a number of “real” appearances as Snicket.

So’s it’s not a complete hijack… I just picked up Coraline this evening, after drooling over the Dave McKean illustrations. Looking forward to reading it. Gotta love a book that gets its title from a “treasured” typo. grin

I have Coraline sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me to finish one of the books I’m currently in the middle of. I actually shouldn’t have bought it–I forbade myself to buy any more books until I had read all my unread ones–but I couldn’t resist. And, of course, it got put at the top of the “to-be-read-next” list.

Lemony Snicket is Daniel Handler’s nom de plum. He’s written two adult novels, as well, and they’re both really good and really twisted.

I finally got to Coraline… I started it on the way to work this morning and finished it on the way home. It was wonderful… the main character reminded me of my own daughters (especially the fact that she doesn’t like “recipes,” just like my girls), and the story was one of Gaiman’s best. Some very creepy things in it as well, such as the “other mother” tapping her long fingernails against her black-button eyes. That one’s sticking with me, I think. Chilling imagery, and elegant prose.

I’m looking forward to reading it to my girls, starting tonight when they go to bed. I think they’ll enjoy it as much as I. They love the Lemony Snicket books, and though it’s been a while, I remember that they also liked when I read The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish for them.

Well worth reading, for children or adults, I should think.

Avalonian, that was my favorite image as well (the tapping, that is).

It’s interesting that you say that Coraline is one of Gaiman’s best, as he says that it’s the book he’s proudest of as well. (Of course this may have just been a publicity thing.)

Personally, I’m still holding onto Neverwhere as my favorite.

Picking a favorite Gaiman work is very hard for me, and really depends on the genre we’re talking about.

I really liked Neverwhere as a BBC movie, but as a novel it lacked something for me. Looking forward to the Jim Henson Productions movie, as I think it works better visually than in prose.

His best adult novel, for me, was American Gods. I put that one right on a par with some of the best dark fantasy novels, such as Clive Barker’s Imajica or King’s Dark Tower series.

Of course, there’s his comic work. Hard to pick favorites even within that, as Sandman can be seen as a complete work in itself or several (perhaps 10, perhaps 75) shorter works. I suppose, if I had to choose, my favorites among his comics would be “Dream of a Thousand Cats” from Sandman, or the original four-issue Books of Magic series. Or maybe The Dream Hunters, the last Sandman story.

Short stories… hmm. My favorite collection is Angels and Visitations, and my favorite prose story… perhaps “Chivalry” (which is best when he reads it live) or “Murder Mysteries.”

So, when I said Coraline is one of his best, it’s sort of up there somewhere with all of those, under the category “Children’s Story”. It is one of his best stories in general, but I’d be hard-pressed to choose a “favorite.”

Sorry, that was longer than intended…