Sunday, 5 October 2008

A Neil Gaiman Double Whammy!

So much for an afternoon marking, I devoured 2 Neil Gaiman books, both for the RIP III Challenge and both were great.

I've read Coraline before, but last time it just kind of passed me by, this time I was in the right mood and I loved it.

Coraline is a modern fairytale. She is a young girl living in a house, with two overly busy and unattentive parents. The holidays are dragging and Coraline's life as an explorer is starting to get a bit boring. In the back of their flat is a locked door which leads to a brick wall. Well, being a fairytale we know that doorways such as these only lead to danger, and that our heroine will have to go and explore.

Behind the locked door, is Coraline's other family, all scarily with buttons for eyes (despite being grown up, one of the pictures I had to cover as I read the page, her eyes were just too freaky!). This alternative world is created by the mother, who appears to steal children's souls. And that's the intention she has for our main character, but as this is a fairytale we watch Coraline in her war against this adult.

I want to get the graphic novel version of this in the near future.

Other Reviews:

The second Gaiman book was a gorgeous graphic novel which I spotted in the library and had never even heard of. Creatures of the Night includes 2 stories, The Price and The Daughter of Owls.

In The Price the narrators home is basically a home for stray cats, all manner of cats turn up to stay in the house, and all settle in fine. Until the Black Cat arrives, he sleeps on the porch but every night he is covered in cuts and welts. Once brought into the house to protect him from whatever is harming him, everything goes wrong for the family, from losing work, to accidents and srguments. When he is returned back outside, his owner sets out to discover just what it is that is attacking him.

The Daughter of Owls is a strange little tale, about an abandoned child believed to be the daughter of an owl. She is feared by the villagers and banished to live in the old convent. As with all feared female children she grows up to be a beauty and her actions cause havoc for the village which rejected her.

The pictures in this book are stunning, not at all like cartoons. The picture I really want to show you I can't find on the net, and I have no digital camera or scanner to capture it with.


Nymeth said...

I'm glad you enjoyed Coraline this time around! I've read the stories in Creatures of the Night, but not in their illustrated versions. The art sounds really beautiful. I have to get this book sometime.

katrina said...

My copy is borrowed from the library, but I'll definately be buying a copy to keep

Carl V. said...

Coraline certainly strikes me as the kind of book a person would have grow on them. Although I liked it the first time I read it both Coraline and Anansi Boys were books I liked much, much better on a second read through and have subsequent times I've either read or listened to them.

The Price is one of my favorite Gaiman short stories. It gives me chills at the end every time I read the last line even though I know it from multiple readings.