A young girl, Coraline, goes through a bricked up door into a world where
her other mother and other father and other house wait. This is not a good
If I were a truly great writer,
instead of merely good, I would be Neil Gaiman. His writing style, his
vision, the breadth of his knowledge, the wryness of his wit. I could and
can and have listed what I like about his writing, This is however about
Coraline, a wonderful new addition to the Gaiman-verse.
Itís a childrenís story.
In the best tradition of childrenís stories. A little dark. A little strange.
Scary in terms of implication and things out of the corner of your eye.
Childhood is when shadows were monsters. When you imagined that there were
worlds behind mirrors and bricked up walls. When everything was an exploration,
because everything was new.
Coraline is a great main
character. Not too cute-precocious like some child characters. Occasionally
cranky, always imaginative and occasionally brave, she is a pleasure to
read. Not an ounce of treacle on her.
Another character that deserves
mention is the Cat. He doesnít have a name. You see people donít know who
they are. Thatís why we have names. Catís know who they are and therefore
donít need them. He manages to be catty/sarcastic and yet a useful friend.
Itís not a long read. Its
complexity lies in simple sweeps of statement. Brush strokes of words.
An excellent book for anyone looking to remember (even if youíre still
there) the twilight light and dark of childhood.