Coraline (2002) – Neil Gaiman

It’s always a delight to dig into a Neil Gaiman story, and I have come to this one after seeing the movie a number of times. I knew going in it would be slightly different, so I was eager to see what the original text would bring me.

And what it brought me was a delightful tale that was at once familiar, because of my knowledge of the film, and a new experience that once again illustrated to me how masterfully Gaiman can tell a story.

Coraline is a little girl, who, with her mom and dad, has just moved into a new flat. They share a house with an elderly pair of stage actresses, and an old man who worked in the circus. She wiles away her days as best she can, exploring her new surroundings, interacting with her neighbours, none of whom get her name right, and occasionally getting upset with her mom.

When she discovers a door that has a brick wall behind it, her curiosity is piqued, especially when strange things begin to happen. Stealing the key that unlocks the door, she finds a passageway that leads her to a mirror image of her own world.

Here she encounters her other mother, a creature with black button eyes, that becomes more and more terrifying as the story continues. She proclaims that she loves Coraline, and will do everything to make her happy, giving her whatever she wants.

But the other mother is devious and evil, and Coraline will have to outwit her, and find her now missing parents.


The story is completely engaging, is darker than the film, though both are definitely aimed at the family. It ends up being a solid, and very enjoyable read, that is magical, a little scary, and has a wonderful female lead in young Coraline.

I love how the film brought the story to life, and I understand why some of the changes were made, but the text itself makes for a great book to curl up with and simply enjoy.

It’s a perfect rainy day book.

Neil Gaiman has a way with words, and storytelling that I just find myself completely wrapped up in each of his tales. They are engrossing, drawing me in, and constantly transporting me into the pages and adventures of the characters he creates.

As soon as I finish one book of his I want to pick up another. Unfortunately, there’s a huge pile of books on my bedside table I want to work my way through.

But, in the interim, if you haven’t read this one, pick up a copy, and enjoy.



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