Coraline by Neil Gaiman
Author: Neil Gaiman
Reader: Neil Gaiman
Short Review: A stunning story beautifully read by the author. Coraline’s boredom leads her to a place just beyond our reality. What at first seems just odd and fun becomes creepy and worth escape, but only by delicate inches. Gaiman’s voice lulls and tantalizes. He is just so good at painting images with the combination of words and his own voice.
Long Review: This audio book painted such a vivid picture for me that I haven’t been able to force myself to see the movie. Yes. You read that right – I am an incredible Coraline fan who has not yet seen the (by all reports) stunning 3D masterpiece of a movie.
This otherworldly story transported me first to the land of childhood boredom filled, as it so often was, with distracted grownups with poor suggestions for self entertainment. After I was almost as restless as Coraline, I was pulled into a parallel world full of oddity and people and creatures who were not quite as one might expect. Initially Coraline is pleased by all the new diversions and entertainments, but it soon becomes quite clear that this is not a place she wants to remain and that returning to her boring home and inattentive parents is easier said than done. To add to the challenge, there are others to rescue and plenty of roadblocks in her path.
Between the beautifully crafted story and Gaiman’s talented reading, Coraline falls solidly into the “I don’t want to stop listening” category of audio books.
What age is this book appropriate for? There are a lot of very creepy bits to this story. Some listings I have seen claim that it is for ages 8 and up… others pitch it a few years older. I expect it really depends on the child in question. Does he or she like creepy? Or are they prone to nightmares?
If you would like to get a feel for this recording, the opening minutes of Coraline are available for your listening pleasure. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. If you have seen the movie and loved it I suspect that this audio book could give you a way to extend your Coraline joy.
And no, I still don’t want to see the movie. I think I will just stay home and listen to Mr. Gaiman’s voice reading Coraline to me again instead.