Coraline by Neil Gaiman

Rate: 3/5

Medium: Audiobook

Overview (No Spoilers):

A friend has mentioned for years now that I should read Coraline as it is one of her favorite books by Gaiman. I’d delayed until now under the arguably false impression that Coraline was a children’s novella. A short read, the audiobook was only four hours long and finished in a day. Based on my assumptions going into this read I was surprised at how dark the story was and the elements of horror that were present as Coraline’s adventure took shape. While it was interesting as an adult to read, I can only imagine how my mind would have ran with Coraline when I was younger.  While this novella only contained a handful of characters, Gaiman brings surprising depth to them in a very short amount of time, serving to have each interaction significantly enriching the story.  Someday (If I have children) I look forward to introducing my children to this dark tale of exploration with its detailed world building and character development.  Overall, Coraline was a fascinating read that successfully walks the fine line between dark horror and children’s literature.

Additional Insight (Spoilers Abound):

  • Will the Other Mother’s hand stay in the well? Should have Coraline used the actual key as bait? Would the hand have known that it was the real key if she had swapped it out with a look alike? The severed hand creeping around was terrifying!
  • Will Coraline actually get to see the mice perform their instruments?
  • It was interesting Coraline didn’t get unnerved by the mice warning her of the danger by using her actual name.
  • How did the Other Mother capture Coraline’s parents? Did the Parents go through the door after Coraline?
  • Will Coraline learn to communicate with the black cat on her side of reality?
  • Did the children that Coraline found come from other worlds? How long had they been trapped? Their poor families that never knew of their fate!


  1. I’ve only watched the film – we watch it every Halloween season since it came out! Perhaps I should read the book too (or use my credit to listen to it on Audible).
    n.b. your questions about the other children are answered in the film – Other Mother caught them like she wanted to catch Coraline; she lured them with a doll.

    Liked by 1 person

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