a coraline weekend

It’s funny how sometimes you go from hearing nothing about a writer to suddenly not being able to avoid him/her.  That’s the way the last few weeks have been with Neil Gaiman.  I’d been completely unfamiliar with his work until hearing he won the Newbery Medal for The Graveyard Book.  And then I started seeing/hearing things about this movie Coraline all over the place, which, it turns out, is based on a book of Gaiman’s by the same name.

To rectify my previous ignorance regarding Gaiman’s books, I requested both The Graveyard Book and Coraline from the library right away, and was able to pick them both up last night.  My initial focus is on Coraline because my husband is excited to see the movie.   In order to not disappoint him but also remain true to my “read-the-book-first” policy, I am in the midst of an effort to finish the book by tomorrow evening. 

Fortunately, an advantage of books written for 10-year-olds is that they tend to be quick reads.  I’m 40 pages in already, so the chances of finishing it in the next 24 hours look good.  And so far, my impressions of Gaiman are positive.  His writing style is clean and simple, but in no way condescending to his juvenile readers.  Coraline, as a character, is a no-nonsense explorer.  She wants nothing to do with what she calls her father’s “recipes,” has little patience for television, and when warned about a well in the yard of her family’s new apartment “…Coraline set off to explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly.”

The book is starting to take a fairy tale-like turn.  It’ll be fun to see where it goes, and then to see how it’s translated to film.  There’s also a certain darkness to it, which makes it perfect for reading on Friday the 13th –particularly for someone like me, who’s such a wimp when it comes to scary stuff that a dark children’s fairy tale is about as far as I’m willing to go in the fright department.

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~ by Molly on February 13, 2009.

One Response to “a coraline weekend”

  1. […] graveyard book As I mentioned a few weeks ago, Neil Gaiman is a writer who wasn’t on my radar at all — until he was everywhere all at once.  His […]

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