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Coraline

Narrated by: Neil Gaiman
Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
Categories: Children, Sci-Fi & Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

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Summary

In Coraline's family's new flat are twenty-one windows and fourteen doors. Thirteen of the doors open and close. The fourteenth is locked, and on the other side is only a brick wall, until the day Coraline unlocks the door to find a passage to another flat in another house just like her own.

Only it's different...

At first, things seem marvelous in the other flat. The food is better. The toy box is filled with wind-up angels that flutter around the bedroom. But there's another mother, and another father, and they want Coraline to stay with them and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Other children are trapped there as well, lost souls behind the mirrors. Coraline is their only hope of rescue. She will have to fight with all her wits if she is to save the lost children, her ordinary life, and herself.

©2002 Neil Gaiman (P)2002 HarperCollinsPublishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

  • Book Sense Book of the Year Award Finalist, Children's Literature, 2003
  • Hugo Award Winner, Best Novella, 2003
  • Nebula Award Winner, Best Novella, 2003

"An electrifyingly creepy tale likely to haunt young readers for many moons." (Publishers Weekly)
"The story is odd, strange, even slightly bizarre, but kids will hang on every word...and they will love being frightened out of their shoes. This is just right for all those requests for a scary book." (School Library Journal)
"A magnificently creepy story...for stouthearted kids who love a brush with the sinister, Coraline is spot on." (Kirkus Reviews)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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So good!

I love this book so much and the audiobook did not disappoint at all!
I’ve listened to it too many times to be normal, but as someone that has a lot of problems relaxing, this one hits the spot for me.
Neil Gaiman’s voice is a gift and his reading just makes this book one of my favourite things in my life.
I recommend it to everyone to be honest, just listen to it and relax with a cup of tea. You will not regret it.

1 person found this helpful

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great narrator and great story

the book was great a lot better then the film
narrator was on point to

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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I wished I listened before I watched.

I watched the movie before listening. Whyborn is missing from the book. I love his character in the animation. Not a bad book at all would recommend you listen.
Never watch before you listen.

1 person found this helpful

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An Engaging Tale For Both Young And Old!

I'm already a fan of Neil Gaiman and have read some of his other works of adult fiction. I downloaded this Kindle version because I adore the film version and felt it was high time I read the book.

As with all adaptations, the stop motion film varies slightly from the story in this book, however, I still found myself thoroughly engaged in Coraline Jones adventure through the door to the Other Place and even found my breath held in tension at times.

I downloaded the audio version narrated by Neil Gaiman himself and found that it also differed from the book; I think it was "Americanised" as there were little word changes (flashlight said instead of the torch that was printed, distance was narrated in imperial instead of the metric that was printed, etc) and slight sentence restructures. Having said that, I loved the way Mr Gaiman read his story, the pace of his speech and his tonal inflections; his performance helped to immerse me in the adventure.

Coraline is one of my favourite films, I watch it every Halloween and I am overjoyed to say that it's also one of my favourite books now too

1 person found this helpful

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Great story, stilted reading.

A very enjoyable book but the reader sounds a bit robotic. Also the use of american vocabulary in a british story is jarring. A girl being described as wearing underpants is just weird. Reading the book is better than listening to the audio. Nevertheless a fair listen.

2 people found this helpful

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Love this story

Listened to this because I lived the film when I was a child, and I'm not dissapointed! It's really beautifully written. Also I loved that all the little songs were sung rather than read, really good creep factor and such a heart warming ending.

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a classic

Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job of performing his books every time. its a classic, first read to me during carpet time in primary school... wonderful story and characters, only issue is the horrible music that randomly plays

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Another excellent story from Neil Gaiman

As always Neil Gaiman's narration and storytelling absolutely drew me in. I have previously seen the film (many years ago) but this did not detract from the audiobook at all. His stories never fail to leave me wanting more and Coraline was no exception. Do not be put off by the idea of it being a 'children's book' as it is still engaging and leaves you wondering what is next. I highly recommend this listen.

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He did it again..

Neil Gaiman’s storytelling is just magical, every time he manages to pull me into a world that could actually exist deep down in my own mind, except he found it first, and is showing it to me. Beautiful, for all ages.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Melise
  • 19-03-08

Scary, but interesting for both adults and kids

My family listened to this book on the way back from vacation. The group consisted of my mother (62), myself (42) and my two sons (9 and 11). This story, as is typical of Neil Gaiman, was atmospheric, lyrical and always imaginative. My mother, who can be a talker, didn't interrupt the story even once. But, the story, which is about a girl's parents who are kidnapped by a fairy tale type character and replaced with strange reproductions, is pretty dark, and scary enough that my 9 year old asked if we could turn it off for a while at one point. Of course, the next time we got into the car, he wanted to hear the rest, so although frightening, it is still an involving story. So, if you have a particularly sensitive child, I would be careful with this book, but otherwise, I highly recommend it.

60 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • AudioAddict
  • 19-09-14

Kiind of like a sinister Alice in Wonderland

STORY (creepy) - This is a very dark story about an alternate world on the other side of a door in Coraline's home. When young Coraline (probably age 10ish) discovers the door and passes through, she meets twisted versions of her parents and neighbors, talking rats, a talking cat and other strange creatures. She becomes involved in a dangerous life-and-death game of strategy against her "Other Mother" and, in particular, one of her detachable hands. Coraline is smart and resourceful for a young girl her age and manages to come up with a pretty clever way to win the game, save the day and eliminate the threat of the villainous hand!

I thought the story was unique and somewhat interesting, but I can't help wonder what Gaimon's target audience actually was meant to be. As an adult listener, I thought it was fairly juvenile but, on the other hand, I think it would be too dark or intense for many children.

PERFORMANCE - Gaimon himself reads this work, and he does a good job. Not so sure that the weird songs added anything, but they were kind of creepy.

OVERALL - As stated above, I question what age group Gaimon wrote this book for, but maybe girls around 10-12 years old would find it enjoyable, perhaps even as a Halloween listen. No adult situations or language, but quite a bit of creepy characters and events, the type that can cause bad dreams...

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Steven Casper
  • 18-06-08

Creepy Fun

I love a story that doesn't take a month to get to the point. And a thriller that gets to it is even better.

If I'm going to be creeped out, I need to really care about the character, so generally a book needs to spend some time introducing you and explaining why you like the protagonist. It's easier to do that if the protagonist is a child. Young enough that you can immediately like them and want them to win, but old enough that they aren't completely helpless (making their victory unbelievable). Gaiman has done this, and done it well.

Coraline is a nice girl. Too bad about creepy reflections of her parents that want to adopt her now that her real parents have gone missing.

The audio is fantastic. The singing rats were creepy. I loved the song that opened the reading. Kind of wished there was more to it.

22 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 21-01-17

A DEAD SPIDER THE SIZE OF A SMALL CAT

I'M YOUR OTHER MOTHER
I agree with audible addict, I question the age for this story and performance. This will cause nightmares in younger children. Once you get past that, this is a great scary, adventure story. A dark Narnia and Alice in Wonderland. Listen by yourself before sharing with younger ones, but don't ignore it, it is very entertaining.

64 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Annette
  • 20-09-07

Very Entertaining

I purchased this book for a weekend car trip with my teenagers and was worried that this book would be too childish for them. There was no need to worry. This book is quirky enough to draw kids and adults.

After Harry Potter, it is hard to find characters and worlds and books that are fun. This book gives me hope that there are many fine gems out there waiting to be found.

We did not find this book as scarey as some of the reviewers warned about. The book was strange without being too scarey.

8 people found this helpful

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  • APersonWhoBuysStuff
  • 13-03-20

THE. BEST. SCARY TALE FOR ALL AGES!

Coraline TERRIFIED me when I was little and borrowing it from the library (because the cover was so cool!) and I had nightmares for weeks but TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! As an adult, it still sends chills up my spine, especially with Neil Gaiman's unmatched performance of his wholly unique horror thriller children's book the likes of which I haven't come across before or since! ELEVEN STARS!!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Debra Tydd
  • 04-05-05

So good I read it first!

I bought this book for my 13 year old daughter, and decided to read it first so that I could make sure it wasn't too scary, and so that we could talk about it. Even though I was on vacation, I couldn't put it down. Wonderfully spooky and evocative -- and delightfully scary (but not too scary). Now I have the audiobook for my daughter, and other kids in the family. By the way, she really liked it too!

7 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K. Duderstadt
  • 18-10-06

So Creepy!

Thank goodness for the British and their love of scaring the pants off of little kids. This book is CREEPY. It's very odd, as well. People compare it to "Alice in Wonderland" with good reason. The imagery is just as vivid, and the language just as good. However, I found Coraline to be much more disturbing. The things that happen about two hours in are disturbing enough to me as a 26 year old woman that I would strongly hesitate to give it to any child under 10, and that only for children who have never been afraid of the dark, or of rats...

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jamie
  • 19-11-18

Weird.

Weird. My students love Gaiman, but I really struggle with all of his work. It just seems odd for the sake of being odd. I don't get it.
I do appreciate Gaiman's support of choice reading and libraries though! And others love his work, so buy it and support him! he loves readers!

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • William Thompson
  • 31-01-12

Coraline, A Best Listen

Although coraline is not one of my favourite Neil Gaiman books, this recording by the author is a must listen. Coraline is Gaiman???s rather dark and edgy reworking of the Alice story. Moving into a new flat with her workaholic parents, coraline discovers a door in the parlour that opens onto a brick wall. While her parents are out one afternoon, Coraline opens the door to find another flat on the other side of the door. The world she discovers is like her own but different in a way that is both dark and disturbing. Button-eyed versions of the people she knows live beyond the door and her other mother and other father care for Coraline in a way that her real parents do not. Unlike Alice who finds herself in a dream-world full of nonsense and silly characters, coraline becomes trapped in a nightmare full of grotesque creatures from which she must escape.
This book is full of disturbing images that is unlike Gaiman???s other works for young people. However, Gaiman himself reads the book, and his clean, measured performance brings it to life in an unforgettable way. I tend not to like audio books read by the author, but this one is the exception. Four stars for the book, and five stars for Gaiman???s narration.

3 people found this helpful