Saturday, March 15, 2008
Review: Coraline
Coraline Book CoverBy Neil Gaiman. ISBN 0380977788. If I've read a creepier children's book than Coraline, I certainly don't remember it. Like C.S. Lewis's Narnia prequel The Magician's Nephew, Coraline begins with its young protagonist trapped in a strange old house, bored and neglected by the distracted adults around her. Just when Coraline (not Caroline!) Jones thinks she can stand no more, she finds a previously blocked doorway into a part of the house that is a mirror image to her own. At first everything seems like it's the same, only better. But gradually, Coraline comes to understand that it is in fact much, much worse. Gaiman's imagery is only slightly skewed from reality, a fact which helps explain the world's disturbing power, but his sense of humor is gentle and clever and fun. By the time the story reaches its horribly eery conclusion, I was half-convinced that Coraline began as the best campfire story ever.

Adam Lenhardt is a print journalist from Albany, NY. He currently reviews films from Boston.
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