Monday, November 25th, 2002
Told you I’d finish it tonight.
Neil Gaiman has long been a favorite of mine, and while I do miss his work on Sandman, I have accepted he’s moved on from comics, though he does come back and dabble occasionally. And he still promises to finish Miracleman whenever the legal bullshit with king buttmunch Todd McFarlane is taken care of…
Anyway – Coraline is a Gaiman story for children, though I don’t know if I’d actually let a child – a small child, anyway – read this. Drawing inspiration from Lewis Carroll, it’s about a young girl, the title character, whose family has just moved into a new house with some typically Gaiman-esque eccentric neighbours. Bored and ignored, she eventually finds a doorway to an ersatz parallel house to her own, populated with sinister doppelgangers of everyone from her own house. I won’t get into any more detail on the plot, as it’s a quick read and any further synopsis would be pretty much the same as retelling.
It’s typical Gaiman – when you’ve been reading him long enough, you can easily pick out his devices and archetypes – but that also means it’s richly textured and cleverly told, with the little details like the Mouse Circus giving it that extra bit of charm. I don’t know how desensitized kids are these days, but to me, there are scenes that might be construed as frightening for smaller children… but that keeps in line with the fine tradition of fairy tales, and Gaiman is the master of the modern fairy tale. Overall, Coraline is slight, but enjoyable.
np – The Feelies / Crazy Rhythms