I immensely enjoyed Gaiman’s “Books Of Magic” and “Sandman” , however this would be the first novel i’ve read of his. In “Coraline” Gaiman’s usual dark and dry sense of humor translates beautifully into a children’s tale, lending a gothic feel.
Anyone who has seen the eponymous move, would know that Coraline is not what is usually expected from a protagonist in a children’s story. Coraline provides a very unique perspective throughout the story, a child’s view of the world lacking most of the naiveté. Coraline’s defines bravery as performing an action, in spite of fear as opposed to without it. It’s not an original notion, but it is one that is not often seen in a children’s story. Coraline is promised to have her dreams and wants granted to which her response is “ I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does really”. The parents are polite but distant, they seem to have little time or interest in Coraline’s activities. The plot touches on a lot of ideas, that catch the attention of an adult reader.
The books illustrations are done by Dave Mckean, they are creepy as hell. They compliment the book extremely well and lend to the the atmosphere. Gaiman also writes a few genuinely chilling songs, presented to us by singing rats.
“we have eyes and we have nerveses
we have tails and we have teeth
you’ll all get what you deserves
When we rise from underneath”
Coraline struck me more an adult novella disguised as a children’s book. The fact the story also involves the subjective nature of reality, doppelgangers and a helpful if aloof talking cat also helps.