CORALINE – A book by Neil Gaiman


Books / Sunday, September 16th, 2012

This is 1 of 2 lovely birthday presents I got this year (2012) from my two darling (not to mention super creative) friends Mikey Kirkpatrick and Chiara Ambrosio. The second gift I am saving for when I need it (much like the magical hollow stone that features in this book).

As I write this I look right out of the window from where I am sitting and catch a glimpse of the fairly still and shimmering Thames beyond Waterloo Bridge.  It’s astounding. Totally random observation. Back to the book.

When I first saw it I thought I had read it growing up. I was very excited about a re-visit.

On the cover it has a blurb from Lemony Snicket saying ‘This book tells a fascinating and disturbing story that frightened me nearly to death’.

Surely not, if you’re over 10 years old, I thought. But if Mr Snicket says so, then . . .

As I read on, I realized that I hadn’t read this book before – I think I had only heard of it. Both the adult and the kid in me loved it.

If like me you have a very active imagination and have had one too many nightmares and daymares that feature subtly dark alternative realities (i.e. beyond the average senseless bad dream and which lingers into wakefulness), you will find this delightful, disturbing and engaging.

I think Coraline showed the simple hopeful courage that only a child could have, faced with life’s challenges and horrors.

It may also challenge or strengthen the question of whether seemingly incoherent mumblings/ramblings from some eccentrics (euphemism here) are just that, or an overspill from a valid actuality they can see/hear and that we don’t (Re; the Misses Spink, Forcible and Mr Bobo).

A good story told refreshingly well. I will read it again and that’s no chore at 180-odd pages.

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