Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Coraline by Neil Gaiman
A total masterpiece. What is so wonderful about Gaiman's stories is not only are they fabulously creepy, but the writing is beautifully, richly descriptive. Here is one example from the beginning of the book: "It wasn't the kind of rain you could go out in - it was the other kind, the kind that threw itself down from the sky and splashed where it landed. It was rain that meant business, and currently its business was turning the garden into a muddy, wet soup." Coraline has moved into a flat in a large house with her parents. The other flats house an old man who claims to be training talking mice for a circus, and two elderly women who used to be actresses. The fourth flat remains empty and there is a door in Coraline's drawing room that used to lead to it, but is now bricked over. And there is where Coraline is drawn into a strange, parallel, mirror world indwelt by her "other mother" and "other father" who look just like her parents except they have black buttons for eyes and paper white skin and they never want her to leave. Coraline realizes that only she has the power to save her parents, who are trapped behind a mirror and the other children who had been previous victims of the "other mother". Totally excellent story!