Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Hello Readers,

I am finally updating this review the original review reads rather stiff and like I was scared to let even an ounce of my personality sneak in. April 2023 this review is getting a redo.

Coraline is one of them books where I saw the movie first. I loved the movie that much that I ended up buying the eBook. Sadly, Coraline sat on my kindle unloved till I listened to the audiobook. I got way too excited about the prospect of the amazing Dawn French reading to me. Slight confession dear Reader, I relisten to Coraline at least twice a month it’s a good book to fall asleep too.

When I first listened to the audiobook I thought Coraline’s were parents mean as an adult I see them slightly more relatable. They’re not to busy to play with her they are working and trying to settle after moving house. Another great example of this is when Riley moves in Insideout.

Coraline amuses herself by exploring her family’s new flat within The Pink Place, but it isn’t this house that’s worth exploring. It’s the other house - the one behind the old door in the drawing room. In this other world and house Coraline has an other mother and father with black-button eyes, with a dark ulterior motive.  

This world seems a little more magical than the real world as the toys are alive, Coraline can play in the mud and the food is more to Coraline's taste. Coraline's other mother and other father shower Coraline with praise and nothing Coraline wants is too much hassle.

After a couple of visits to the other world the other mother presents Coraline with some black buttons along with a needle and thread. Coraline must exchange her eyes and soul for buttons in order to stay in the magical world, which Coraline politely declines.

Coraline returns to the real world through the door, after a couple of days Coraline realises the other mother has stolen her real parents. Coraline also discovers the other mother has the souls of the other children who entered the door before her, she decides that only she can free her parents and find the lost souls by challenging the other mother to a game.

As Coraline’s tries to free her parents and the other children’s souls, the parallel world she is trapped in grows ever more monstrous, creating some delightfully eerie descriptive descriptions. Having seen the film I thought I would have a rough idea of how the other world would turn darker, but I can honestly say in some bits I think Burton played it safe (which is something I never thought I would say).

The Other Mother is a great witchy villain, first of she’s a spider type being which plays into my arachnophobia. Secondly, she taps into a deep fear of most people have of shape shifters who look like loved ones, just me with that fear. I think The Beldam is scarier than most witches as she demonstrates the ability to create life and makes other copies of people.

If you get the chance you should jump down the Coraline theory rabbit hole on YouTube its quite interesting and worth a watch. 

L x

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