Welcome to Weekly Wonder, a series in which we introduce the cream of the literary crop to your TBRs.
This week’s wonder is:
CORALINE BY NEIL GAIMAN
SO, WHAT’S UP WITH THE STORY?
Coraline is an intelligent, witty girl who seems dissatisfied by her mundane life until she discovers a door that leads her to a world strangely similar to her own but much better. The Other Mother she meets there may have buttons for eyes but she is more caring and warm than her real mother and she does not have to compete with a computer for her Other Father’s attention but when she is given the choice to stay in the Other World forever if she allows her Other Mother to sew buttons in her eyes, how will she respond? Read the book to find out!
A GLIMPSE BETWEEN THE PAGES
“I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted just like that, and it didn’t mean anything? What then?”
“Because,’ she said, ‘when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.”
“We…we could be friends.’
We COULD be rare specimens of an exotic breed of dancing African elephants, but we’re not. At least, I’M not.”
“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.”
“The sky had never seemed so sky; the world had never seemed so world.”
“Nothing’s changed. You’ll go home. You’ll be bored. You’ll be ignored. No one will listen to you, really listen to you. You’re too clever and too quiet for them to understand. They don’t even get your name right.”
“Mirrors,’ she said, ‘are never to be trusted.”
WHAT I LOVE ABOUT IT
- This is one of those rare children’s books that an be read and enjoyed by anyone at any age.
- While being a children’s book, it is scary and it gives you a chill up your spine.
- Gaiman seems to realize that children are not as fragile as we think they are and he manages to write a book for them that is amazingly not condescending.
- The Other World has an aura to it that I can only describe as the feeling that everything is perfect but there is something always lurking at the corner of your eye that suggests otherwise.
- True to being a children’s book, it has a clear precise moral regarding the grass being greener.
- However, additionally, it is a two-pronged cautionary tale for both parents and children to not take each other for granted.
- The cat is an amazing character that manages to be condescending, arrogant, know-it-all and still a great friend to Coraline.
- The epigraph amazingly sets the pace for the entire book. G K Chesterton’s quote is so apt for this book, it might as well be written especially for it.
- The book does not end with a traditional THE END implying that contrary to how things might seem, perhaps all thread have not been tied with a bow at the end of the book.
- While the Other Mother is described in copious detail, there is still an aura of mystery around her. While we are exposed to some details of her past, we are never given a back story, never exposed to the extent of her powers or anything else. While is most fantasies, I would consider this lack of information laziness of the author’s part, in Coraline, it gives her the necessary enigmatic quality that is so much better than the details I usually look for.
- Coraline is quintessentially a modern fairy tale.
- As Gaiman’s daughter, Holly said, “I don’t think you can be too old for Coraline.”
- This movie:
I hope you read it! Please let me know what you think of it.