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Coraline

An Adventure Too Weird for Words
Narrated by: Dawn French
Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (326 ratings)
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Summary

Coraline has been made into an animated feature film directed by Henry Selick, director of Tim Burton�s The Nightmare Before Christmas, with a cast including Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Dakota Fanning.

Shortly after moving into an old house Coraline discovers a big, carved, brown wooden door at the far corner of the drawing room. And it is locked. Curiosity runs riot in Coraline's mind and she unlocks the door to see what lies behind it. Disappointingly, it opens onto a brick wall. Days later, after exploring the rest of the house and garden, Coraline returns to the same mysterious door and opens it again. This time, however, there is a dark hallway in front of her. Stepping inside, the place beyond has an eerie familiarity about it. The carpet and wallpaper are the same as in her flat. The picture hanging on the wall is the same. Almost. Strangest of all, her mum and dad are there too. Only they have buttons for eyes and seem more possessive than normal. It's a twisted version of her world that is familiar, and yet sinister. And matters get even more surreal for Coraline when her "other" parents seem reluctant to let her leave.

©2002 Neil Gaiman (P)2002 Bloomsbury

Critic reviews

"I think this book will nudge Alice In Wonderland out of its niche at last. It is the most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love." (Diana Wynne Jones)
"This book will send a shiver down your spine, out through your shoes and into a taxi to the airport. It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece. And you will never think about buttons in quite the same way again." (Terry Pratchett)

What members say

Average customer ratings

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  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Like a Stephen King novel for kids...

What a gem! This imaginative and frightening story keeps you on your toes till the end. Coraline is an extraordinary girl who fights back against the scary things, while the cat provides twists of the kind only Neil Gaiman could come up with. This book is wonderfully original.

Having read most of Neil Gaiman's books I can't say it's my favourite, however I cannot imagine anyone being left with a hint of disappointment. It's scary, dark, charming and enjoyable.

Dawn French narrates well as the main character is female, it is great to listen to this book being read by a woman in a gentle way, as it feels that the story is so strong, it does not need a further dramatisation.

Thank you Neil Gaiman for sharing your imagination. It is truly beautiful!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Great story, OK reading

Wonderful, macabre stroytelling - Gaiman at his almost best (The Graveyard Book is better). If you like Dawn French, no problem: I've always found her irritating and this didn't change that. I can't fault the storytelling though - Neil Gaiman makes the Brothers Grimm look like writers of -- well -- fairytales. Pitch black and wonderful.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Great story and brilliantly narrated. Very easy to listen to and enthralling. I'll be buying more of Neil Gaiman stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

To be honest I struggled with this

Normally I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman but I found this hard going, Dawn French was good, but perhaps at middle age I'm too old for this particular story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Dark & Delightful

This book is like an onion. With layers & stuff. Highly enjoyable on so many levels. I love Coraline Jones. So i do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • val
  • wolverhampton, United Kingdom
  • 06-12-15

a joy

Where does Coraline rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

a short but entertaining listen. just right for a car journey one of my top 10

What did you like best about this story?

I do enjoy Neil Gaimen stories and this is no exception, a creepy tale, make sure you appreciate your parents!

What about Dawn French’s performance did you like?

The voice really complements the book, just the right amount of menace in it, very easy to listen to

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did want to but had to return to finish it the next day

Any additional comments?

a modern classic that I could listen to several times without losing interest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

The film better than the book?

Yes, strange but true. I actually felt that the animated adaptation was better than the original book, and I feel dirty for saying that! However, it is still a great, fantastical tale that is scary and delightful in equal measure.

Curiously, I felt Dawn French's narration was laboured and almost patronising. It felt too slow and as though she was talking to a group of four year olds sat around a picture book. It made me want to scream "Get on with it!"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

Neil Gaiman is a fantastic story teller, and has an imagination that just explodes from his books. This book is an instant classic!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline
  • Swepstone, United Kingdom
  • 10-10-18

Supremely enjoyable

Dawn French does a fantastic narration for this story. It was a pleasure to listen too and her various voices for the characters were great.

Having not read the book before, I was surprised at how different it was from the animation. It seemed even darker. All good though and I really enjoyed both. I’m a little late getting into Neil Gaiman’s books, but they are quickly becoming firm favourites.

All in all, I’d thoroughly recommend it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Weird & Twisted Children's Horror Fantasy Story

Thoroughly enjoyable, twisted and bat-sh*t crazy. Neil Gaiman's imagination never ceases to amaze me.

Would recommend for a fast and darkly delicious read.

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  • Siri
  • 17-07-13

Ah hahaha

What a lovely story this is, I see that this could have bin one of my favourite story when I was a child. But I was 26 when I heard it the first time. But it is a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-12-17

A creepy and funny read

My kids and I adore this book! It speaks to kids and keeps adults entertained, with a perfect blend of creepy story and humour.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • ATE
  • 16-08-16

Perhaps I'm biased

I feel like I probably would have enjoyed it more had I read this when I was younger. I kept expecting it to be scary but it never got that far for me and I have to say that disappointed me a bit. Coraline is a good character however, and despite her constant repetitions that she is an explorers, she manages to not get tedious in the way other child protagonists do.

As for the storyteller, I'm pretty certain that the way this story was meant to be read was somewhat blandly in the beginning to underline Coraline's boredom and partial isolation. Seeing as Neil Gaiman is bad at dynamic storytelling and the storyteller became quite lively with all her voices and enjoyment of the text later on. However, I was very much regretting my purchase up until the first meeting with Coraline's Other Mother.

I quite enjoyed the audiobook regardless.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Henriette
  • 22-06-12

Eerie

A disconcerting book for an adult to read. An excellent book for a child who is contemplating the consequences of its wishes and actions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Maria Helena
  • 09-11-10

Excellent!

I watched the movie, and loved it. Then, I thought the audio would be nice, too. But, in fact, I think I'm in love with the whole story, in any possible way, since I'm listening all over and over again. The narrator is excellent, so I recommend it a lot, even to adults (I'm 30).