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Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Coraline Discussion

I will first qualify that, as many of you know, I am a pretty big fan of Neil Gaiman's work. I've read the first of his Sandman series, American Gods and Stardust besides reading Coraline. I enjoyed each and every one of them, inlcuding Coraline.

I liked the creepiness of this story. It's not too creepy, which usually frightens me away. I'm a big baby. But what I really respected was that he did an astounding job seeing this world through the eyes of a 10 year old. Some descriptions he gives as if off-handed but strike the heart of me and would have done so even more as a girl. For instance when he said, "and, in the bath, a dead spider the size of a small cat." It was just thrown there but can you picture that? Do you even want to?

Coraline's realization that she didn't want everything she wished for all the time adds the moral of the story element, which I like. It reminds me of all the old stories, passed down by word of mouth or written down to scare children into doing the right thing. The 'teaching story' is such a long tradition and really who of us, even a child, doesn't enjoy being frightened now and then?

I am now excited to see the movie.


Anonymous said...

Not ever having had a cat, I thought about that for a moment, and decided that even a small cat was much too big for a spider. Eeewww.

I read Coraline in two sittings. The first night, I had a nightmare. Obviously, I thought this was a pretty scary story & it would have terrified me as a child. I think I stopped reading right after the other mother sent the rat in for the key and I was stunned that Coraline did not secure possession of the key. It was, clearly, THE KEY, after all.

I liked that everything is laid out for the reader; hints are given and you have to wait in anticipation for Coraline to figure out what to do. For me, that adds to the suspense. I don't like it when plot is wrapped up with some fantastical new information - that seems like a short cut/cop out to me.

The "real" characters were nearly as frightening as the "others." In fact, I found the other father rather amusing. Overall, a satisfying novelette that left me wanting more & after checking out the embellished film, I think I'll enjoy it. I put it on top of my netflix queue .

Clowncar said...

I read this about a year ago, and enjoyed it immensely. I thought it was more quietly creepy rather than outright scary, which I appreciated. Having adopted kids, the whole "other mommy" thing has a special extra-creepy zing to it. Cuz that's what they call their bio-Mom.

I agree that he gets into Coraline's head very well. A kid's POV is hard to pull off, and he does it - you see the story through her eyes.

The movie is excellent too. Try to do the 3-D version. It's very trippy, adds a very dream/nightmare-like quality to it.

jaded said...

I suspect the graphic novel (I ordered by mistake) was a diluted version of the author's intent. I thought the plot was age appropriate for kids and checked all the requisite boxes for good versus evil, and it isn't always good to get everything you want, and people aren't always as they seem.

I like the way Gaimon's imagination works and appreciate how well he though out the story's details. I will consider the sandman series for future reading.