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4.3 out of 5 stars
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4.3 out of 5 stars
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on July 30, 2002
The story is quite basic: about a young girl just moved into this new big house with her parent. She likes to explore and found a door way to another dimension. A world that looks exactly like ours, except... everything else is strange and different. She struggles to escape and rescue her parents from her other mother of the other world. Of course, the ending is happy and she learns that her life is not so boring.
Before I read the book I thought it is going to be scary and frightening or even creepy like Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events", but turns out the illustrations of McKean is really what keeps up the scariness. From the book I expected scary subjects and gruesome imageries...but I doubt some talking mice and walking hand is going to scare any nine-year-old. I feel that Neil Gaiman is putting too much limit in his creativity. As if he is too afraid to make the story too scary or too "not scary".
Overall, I think the book is scary or frightening due to McKean's illustration. So don't be afraid to read this book to your kids or students. It is a short story for a biweekly read, and the plotline is interesting... but don't expect anything in the book to get you goosebump.
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on July 29, 2002
Coraline is a smart, sassy heroine who finds herself in a lot of trouble when she does as she was told not to and goes through the forbidden door. She has to think quickly, take care of herself and help others when faced with some seriously creepy creatures.
This book has great suspense and is a joy to read. Dave McKean's drawings perfectly complement the atmospheric weirdness of the story.
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on July 28, 2002
I heard this book, in its entirety, before it was published. At the 2000 World Horror Convention in Denver, Gaiman showed up unexpectedly and volunteered to read the novel to any conventioneer who would come to listen. He started to read at 11 p.m. and he read the whole thing! I was there, transfixed, until 3 a.m., but it was worth every minute of lost sleep.
This book works on the strength of its characters: the cat is especially engaging, but Coraline herself is a masterful image of how kids (brave, intelligent, but still very young kids) really think and act. And the images are the things of nightmares -- nightmares that you have had and vaguely remember. It speaks to subconscious fears.
This is a great book for children aged 8 to 12, but not for all children of those ages. Know your child and consider carefully before letting him or her read this book. It's a great adventure and imagination expander, but if your child is prone to nightmares, this book will bring them out!
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on July 27, 2002
Neil Gaiman's Coraline is on par with Neverwhere, some of the same imagery appeares in both stories, w/Coraline being the more creepy version.

Written in sparse language but not losing any of Gaiman's descriptive prowesse, the story reads like a dark Alice in Wonderland. I thoroughly enjoyed this first foray into children's lit by Mr. Gaiman and look forward to future endevors.
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on July 22, 2002
I note that Amazon lists "reading level 9-12" for Neil Gaiman's newest book, while the New York Times Book Review currently carries an ad for it proclaiming "for all ages." In the sense that fantasies like "Alice in Wonderland" are for all ages, that enticement is valid.
Gaiman writes a clean, flowing narrative, in a style in which each word is carefully chosen. Although the book could be frightening, it will certainly appeal to younger readers. In true fantasy style, anything can happen, any character can appear/disappear, and surprises lurk everywhere. As a reader not particularly fond of this sci-fi fantasy mode, I was not enthralled by "Coraline", but I cannot fault Gaiman's ability as an exceptionally good writer.
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on July 22, 2002
oh, and everyone else too :)
I must say that I went into this book expecting way too much. Neil Gaiman is a great writer, and on the strength of his other works I picked this one up with HIGH expectations. But, don't get me wrong it is a good little book, and one I would have loved to have read as a child. It will not, though, by any standards, dethrone Alice in Wonderland. However, I do recommend it to anyone and everyone who likes to read, and I think any child would be thrilled to read Coraline.
The world of Coraline is wonderful and mysterious. The characters are intriguing and the cat is simply splendid, but the plot is a little thin and predictable. I know that it is a children's book and therefore should not be held to highly strenuous standards of plot development, but if it is to be compared to Alice then it needs to be able to stand on the same pedestal.
When I first reviewed this book I felt it deserved a 3 star rating: a good book, one worth spending your time on, but not great. But, the more I thought about it, the more the book stayed with me. The world in which Coraline enters and the characters she meets are fascinating and the story is good, so, on those merits, I decided to change my 3 star rating to a 4.
Caroline, I mean Coraline, is a nice book that anyone should enjoy reading, so pick it up and give it a read. Just don't let her take your soul in the process...
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on July 20, 2002
Coraline is no exception from the wonderfull books that Mr. Gaiman has written. It has a very creepy, eerie, scary feel to it. At times I could feel my heart beating against my chest as the author continued to write about Coraline's search for the children's lost souls. It has the feel of an old Grimm's fairy tale mixed with Alice in Wonderland, and a touch of Gaiman's twisted dark fantasy thrown in for good measure.
I definitely recomend buying Coraline.
Why are you still reading? Buy it already.
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on July 17, 2002
it's neil gaiman. apparently this man can do no wrong. while Coraline isn't particularly thought-provoking (nor is it meant to be), it's twisted enough to creep you out just as well as any Stephen King book, and i've read em all, so i know. Coraline is well worth the [item price]. Buy it. Now.
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on July 16, 2002
Being a huge fan of Neil Gaiman (which my boyfriend says is nerdy, but i don't care) for years... i got this book as soon as i heard about it. "Neverwhere" and "Stardust" are both incredibly magical adult fairy tales. The "Sandman" graphic novel series is legendary in its genre. And "American Gods" was an amazing epic.... it just went on and on, with interweaving plots and characters.
"Coraline" is a very sweet, simple, Alice-in-Wonderland type tale. It seems like it should be a short story, but keeps going!
It's sweet, dark, fun, beautiful....
The limited edition version has notes and drawings in the back by Neil Gaiman - worth the extra money!
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on July 15, 2002
Coraline had to have been one of the worst books Ive read. I dont know, maybe Im to old for this type of book but I am a huge fan of Gaiman and I read everything by him. Its hard to believe that Mr. Gaiman wrote one of my favorite stories, the Sandman, and turns around and writes this mess. Ive read American Gods wich was about a 3 star, Good Omens, wich I liked alot, probably a 4 1/2 star and every Sandman book out there. Mr. Gaiman really accelerates in the comic world. His death series, Murder Mysteries along with the sandman series are definetly looking into if you have not read them.
Someone said on the back cover I believe that "Coraline will finally surpass Alice in Wonderland" must have lost his marbles. Not even close!!! If I wasnt such a Gaiman fan, I would have rated this a 1 star.
Gaiman spends to much time building up the story only to disappoint you with a short plot. I could go on and on but like I said, not a book for adults.
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