Coraline – Neil Gaiman
Middle Grade Horror
Coraline’s often wondered what’s behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her “Other” parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy, black button eyes.
When they make it clear however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and the three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures…
It may be a book for kids but I personally think Coraline is one of the creepiest stories I’ve ever read. Hair-raisingly chilling, it is a total must-read story for Halloween night!
Neil Gaiman is an amazing writer who skilfully brings to life a nightmarish world that hovers just close enough to reality to be truly frightening. With rats, ghost children, a stalking dismembered hand and especially the ‘other’ buttoned-eyed people, this book had me completely captivated from the beginning to end. Not to mention the fantastic illustrations - which in truth - creeped me out just as much as the writing.
And, while it may sound strange, I think the older you are the scarier you will find this book to be. My younger self would probably have thought this story was about a girl on a great adventure to battle evil. Now at 22, I think it’s a book about a girl (who will probably have nightmares for the rest of her life) trying to escape the clutches of evil. Trust me, there is a huge difference.
Yet either way, Coraline is a fantastic read that truly stirs the imagination and rattles the nerves. It is so much more than a children’s book. Adults (and Y/As), I suggest you go find yourselves a copy and make sure you’re not in the house alone. Trust me, after reading this you will definitely want to sleep with the light on.
Have a Happy Halloween! J
*Note: there is a movie version but I have never seen it. For me the book was more than creepy enough but I would be interested to know which you guys think is scarier?