I did the unthinkable here, and I saw the movie before I read the book. Gasp!!
But honestly, I don't think it mattered this time. I LOVED the movie, it was so creative and creepy and hysterical too. And I really enjoyed the book. This was my first time reading one of his children's books, so it was a bit different for me anyway, and it was so different from any other children's book I'd ever seen.
For those of you who are living under a rock, and don't know the story, here you go: Coraline Jones moves into a flat in a large house with her writer parents, who are often much too busy to play with her and entertain her. All of her neighbors are strange, plus they all call her Caroline, not Coraline, Caroline. She has to find ways to enjoy herself in this new place, so she decides to go exploring. In her exploration of the house she finds that it has 14 creaky doors, 13 of which actually open, but one of them does not. She gets her mother to find the key, then opens it to find a brick wall behind it. She goes back to that door later to find that there is a long tunnel through it, where she finds that she has a set of "other" parents; they look kind of like her parents, but they are also very different from her real parents. Creepiness and danger ensue as Coraline must get herself permanently away from her "other" mother, save the souls of three dead kids, and rescue her own real parents from the clutches of her other mother.
I really liked this book; it was different and inventive just like all of Gaiman's other books, but like all good children's books, included many keen insights into morality, and some unexpected wisdom. If I had kids, I would read this to them in a heartbeat.
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