Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 In Book Review, Books

Coraline by Neil Gaiman, A promising dark fantasy!

Coraline by Neil Gaiman is a dark fantasy novella that, presumed by its cover, is a queer that creeps into one’s mind, as it shows a keyhole with a young girl standing in it and has decor of flowers, and buttons and mice, the reason of which is revealed in the book, around the keyhole. The girl is holding a key in her hand, and there it begins, the first hint of a mystery the book holds.

The novella tells the story of a young girl named Coraline Jones. Coraline and her parents come to stay in an old mansion, that has been rebuilt into various apartments, without affecting the mysteries the old mansion holds. The story of Coraline creates a grasp right from the first page. Coraline is portrayed as a lonely girl whose parents are unable to find time to play with her.

In days of loneliness, she develops her own set of interests. One such reason to feed her curiosity is unrolled by a day when she discovers a door in her living room to which she strongly urges her mother to unlock. She opens the door and to their surprise, they find a bricked wall next to the door, which at one time led to another flat in the apartment.

Coraline is already warned to not cross the door by her neighbors. One of her even gives a lucky stone to Coraline saying it will help her overcoming bad things.

One day when she is all alone in the flat, she decides to reopen the door. When she does she is startled to witness the absence of the bricked wall next to the door but has a long hallway that ends into flat identical to her own. She steps into the other flat, which turns out to be an identical yet a mysterious world.

There in the other flat, she confronts a woman and a man who are much like her own parents but with a slight oddity. Coraline’s other mother is a bit taller than her real mother she notices, but the most freakish thing about both of her other parents is their eyes. It was buttoned.

Though she finds everything in her new flat a little weird, she soon starts to enjoying it. Coraline gets absorbed into the new world for numerous reasons, prominently is her other parents who have time to play with her, care for her and, later, even try to convince her to stay with them on a term. And the term is the Coraline has to allow them to sew buttons into her eyes to which disagrees. Her dreams of staying in the other world only shatter in a moment and she, dreadfully scared, returns to her real world.

As she comes back she finds that her parents are missing. Her search for her parents is assisted by her cat who makes her stand in front of a mirror, the other side of which is taken by her real parents who are kidnapped by her other mother. Her parents captured in the other world asks Carolina to rescue them through writing on a glass saying “Help us”.

Now Carolina has no choice but to step again into the other world and confront the other mother in order to release her real parents from her confinement.

Final Word!

The story plot of Coraline is so engrossing that you just can’t resist completing the book in one sitting. Thrills and suspense are essential elements of the book that keep one engaged till the end. Coraline is one of many reasons that make Neil Gaiman, one of the finest fantasy writers in the world. The book is already adapted to a movie under the same title.

Book Details

Book titleCoraline
Author(s) Neil Gaiman
GenreFantasy Thriller. Dark fantasy
Publisher(s)Bloomsbury Publishing Private Limited and Harper Collins.
Published in/on24 January 2002
No. of pages163
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