Friday, January 9, 2009

Coraline, by Neil Gaiman

Title: Coraline
Author: Neil Gaiman
Illustrator: Dave McKean
Published: 2002-----Made into a movie: 2008
Pages: 162
Chapters: 13
Pages per Chapter (on average): 12.5
Date Started: Jan. 9-----Date Finished: Jan. 9
My Reading Speed: all 162 pages in one day, or all 13 chapters in one day.
The Main Characters: There's really only Coraline (not to be confused with Caroline), all the others are supporting characters. Her age is unknown in the book, but in the movie it's said that she's 11. She calls herself an explorer.
My Brief Synopsis: It's a very short and simple story about a girl who explores a new house and finds an "other" world behind a door. A world more interesting than the one she left behind, or so she thinks.
The Conflicts: The only remotely evil character is Coraline's "other mother", who created the other world so she can keep Coraline for herself, for some unknown reason.
My General Comments: I really don't have much to say about this book, because, to tell you the truth, I didn't really like it. For one thing, the book is thin, and I like really thick, "juicy" books. The story is also, I don't know... too simple. Too 2-dimensional, if you know what I mean. Like, if really well-written books with good driving plots and characters you care about were 3-dimensional, then this book was 2D. It was like the eqivilant of only a "drawing" of a story. That's the only way I can describe it.
My Favorite Part: If I had to have a favorite part, I guess it would be wherever the talking cat in the story was. He doesn't have a name, he's just a black talking cat. He's one of Coraline's friends. He's a little witty, a bit like the Cheshire Cat in Alice in Wonderland.
My Favorite Things About the Book: I'm sorry, but since I didn't like the book all that much, I don't have anything to say here. The only reason I picked this book up in the first place is because of hearing about the Henry Selick directed movie of the same name (he directed The Nightmare Before Christmas, in case you didn't know). That at least seems interesting. The book wasn't interesting at all, in my opinion. It would be one of the few exceptions to the rule "the book is better than the movie." Of course, I haven't seen the movie yet, but I hope to do so soon.
A Personal Shout Out to Neil Gaiman: If you happen to be reading this, Neil, I'm really sorry to be putting down your book like this and criticizing it so much. I really expected better, though. I've read your book Stardust too, which I liked reasonably well, but I think that movie was better than the book as well.
Here's the link to Coraline's Wikipedia Article.
Below is Neil Gaiman's own website:
Below is a trailer video for the Coraline movie. That, at least, is more interesting than the book, I think.

Do you disagree with my harsh review? If you've read this book, happen to like it, and think I was too unfair, then you may freely comment and make your arguement. You probably won't change my mind, but at least you'll give me another reader's point of view. If you haven't read this book, sorry for all the spoilers, but if you're like me, you probably wouldn't want to read it anyway. It was a waste of time to me, personally.


J.N. Future Author said...

hm, i still think reading the book would be pretty fun (i just watched the preview, and now want to see the movie)

Magenta said...

Yeah, the movie looks like it's going to be good. But really, the book isn't like it at all. You'd be better off simply looking forward to the movie coming out. But hey, if you like it, tell me about it.