Concerning Coraline

Monday, February 09, 2009 at 2:42 PM

"It was a story, I learned when people began to read it, that children experienced as an adventure, but which gave adults nightmares. It's the strangest book I've written, it took the longest time to write, and it's the book I'm proudest of." - Neil Gaiman on Coraline

For US fans of author Neil Gaiman (and anyone who likes a good, creepy story), this weekend's release of the film version of Coraline was cause for big excitement. If you haven't read the book, it's a quick and satisfying read — a young-adult novel that's just as scary and fun for adults. Coraline tells the story of a little girl who opens a secret door in her parents' home which leads to a parallel world. At first, this escape seems like a dream come true, until she realizes that her "other mother" may not be as inviting as she makes herself out to be...

If this piques your curiosity, you can preview the book on Google Book Search and then buy it using the Buy This Book links on the right side of the screen. I spent some time last week reading more about Gaiman in a cool book I found called, "Prince of Stories," and then watched Gaiman's talk as part of the Authors@Google series (skip to about the 24:30 mark to hear him talk about the writing of Coraline - pretty fascinating).

The film adaptation was directed by Henry Selick, the man behind dark and awesome kid classics like The Nightmare Before Christmas and the film version of Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach. From the trailers I've seen online, the interplay of Selick's style of animated storytelling and Gaiman's fantasy world hints at a movie that might actually be as good as the book it's based on.

So, for all of us who love Gaiman works like Stardust (also recently made into a film), American Gods, and The Wolves in the Walls, this should be a great movie. Happy reading (and movie-going)!


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