Saturday, February 10, 2007

Audio Book Review: Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

This is the story of Coraline: a girl, an explorer, and a bit bored being banished indoors due to rain. She discovers a door to nowhere in her flat, which is part of an old house that has been divided into several flats. There is nothing but a brick wall behind the door. But one day, she finds that behind the door is a world that mirrors her own - with another mother and father who wish her to leave her own world and live with them. But of course, things are not what they seem and the evil other mother wishes to trap Coraline with her forever. Coraline must save herself, her true parents, and other lost children through her courage and wits.

My Thoughts
A wonderful story: creepy, mysterious, and with a good ending. The other mother, the villain in the story is wonderfully written - self-centered, creepy, and remaining wrapped in mystery even at the end of the book. Coraline is a terrific heroine and a good female character. She is brave and self-reliant, but still seems like a real girl. And there is no boy or man that rescues her, which I liked a lot.

The recording of the story was wonderful. It was read by Neil Gaiman. Now, I usually do not like books read by the authors. Often, at least in my experience, they do not have voices I like to listen to or their reading is flat. Neil Gaiman, however, was an excellent narrator. His voice is amazing and his pacing and characterizations were perfect. There was also music used in the recording. This is something else I typically dislike in audiobooks. In my past experience the music is often played over the reading of the book. And the music often does not "go" with the words or it makes me feel manipulated, like, this is an important and poignant part of the book, so let's play music to highlight this. I don't need that from a book. But the music in this book was played only at the beginning and ending of each disk and it did not play over the reading. And, the music was a perfect fit for the book.

If you like children's fiction and spooky stories or you are looking for a good female character, I highly recommend this book.

1 comment:

Irene said...

Oooh, I really like Neil Gaiman's stuff. I'll have to check out Coraline. Jennifer, you would like Stardust if you haven't read it already - it's a great fairy tale. You might also like Neverwhere, though it's much darker. Same with his short story collection, Smoke and Mirrors.