Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Review: Coraline the Graphic Novel

Coraline: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman and adapted by P. Craig Russell

Coraline is a book that’s been around long enough that most avid readers know the story, even if they haven’t read it. But for those who are new, here’s the idea:

Coraline and her family have just moved to a new flat, which is part of a larger house that’s been converted into several apartments. Shortly after moving in Coraline finds a door that leads into another world, where she finds a woman who calls herself Coraline’s Other Mother. Although this new world has everything Coraline is missing from her current (and boring) life, Coraline eventually decides to return to her own world. But the Other Mother isn’t so ready she wants to give Coraline up, and she’ll stop at nothing to have Coraline…permanently.

So now that’s over, it’s time for my review. First of all, I have to admit that Coraline was one of those books where everyone else raved about it (they even made a movie of it) but when I finished it I didn’t think it was that great. It was an interesting story, for sure, but I didn’t understand where everyone was saying it was such a wonderful book.

I’m happy to say that reading the graphic novel partly changed my opinion of the story. Although it still isn’t one I’d consider to be one of my favorite books. One of the big things missing for me when I read the book initially was I just didn’t think it was scary. I’m sure the situation was quite scary for Coraline, but as a young adult I wasn’t impressed. Reading the graphic novel put a whole different spin on that opinion. There’s something about actually seeing the other world that made it a lot more creepy. And the Other Mother was definitely creepy.

I do have to admit that the artwork was not my favorite, and so I might have enjoyed it a little more if that hadn’t been a factor. But the art certainly doesn’t distract from the story. And it did give the story that air of foreboding that I didn’t find from reading the words alone.

Those of you who enjoyed Coraline should pick this up, even if you are wary of graphic novels or adaptations of your favorite stories. As far as I can tell this version follows the book almost word for word. Minus the description of course, which is portrayed by the artwork. But every other important sentence is certainly there.

Shady Glade Rating: 6/10

Copy provided by the publisher


Cecelia said...


Interesting. I never actually finished Coraline the novel because it freaked me out. Maybe I'm just a huge pansy, or maybe it was the mood I was in...

But then I watched the film a couple of weeks ago and loved it. What does this mean? Probably that I need to give it all another try on a sunshiny fall day. :) I love Neil Gaiman, so I imagine I'll eventually love Coraline.

Great review!

Anonymous said...

The book was great. I hated the movie! I have 5 kids and almost freaked out when they saw the old ladies in pasties! That was NOT in the book! I can not for the life of me guess why they would put that in a kids movie! Needless to say, I will not purchase another movie (even if I have read the book) until I read a detailed review!

Kate said...

I want to read the book/watch the film. Thanks for the thoughtful and honest review!