by Neil Gaiman

Reviewer Rating:


The annoying thing about watching a movie before discovering the book it was based on is that your favorite images and moments from the movie linger in your head and distract you from properly enjoying the book for itself once you get around to reading it. So it was for me in reading Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

I loved the 2009 movie adaptation of the book. I loved its quirky-dark imagery and its slightly humorous take on what is, when you think about it, a rather terrifying story (Seriously. Would you want to battle a creature who wants to sew buttons into your eyes if you lose? Would you really want not just your soul but the souls of at least five others, including your parents, to be the prize at the end of the battle? Really?). So, naturally, when I discovered Coraline was based off a book I could could hardly wait to get my hands on it to read it.

The book version still has a bit of the quirk I loved in the movie, but there are some (for me anyway) major differences; something important gets lost without the visuals. Whether that's a failing of my imagination or a side effect of watching the movie first, I don't know. What I do know is, if you want to see the movie and haven't yet, read the book first! And if you have already seen the movie, maybe try P. Craig Russell's graphic novel version instead, which still has Gaiman's at times breath-taking prose, but whose illustrations provide the extra creepy factor the text alone slightly misses. 

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