IR Fiction

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

So in preparation for The Graveyard Book* which absolutely everyone is talking about (and has been for months, it seems), I finally, finally read Coraline. I think I’m probably the last person with an interest in children’s literature to have done so, but there you are.

Anyway, I read it last night (I don’t often read novellas, but they do provide a great sense of accomplishment, don’t they?) which was probably not the best time to be reading a Neil Gaiman book. I’m not sure I’m as rapturous a fan as most Neil Gaiman readers are, but the man definitely does eerie extraordinarily well. It’s very spooky and also sort of fable-y, too, but mostly I think I appreciated it not so much for the story as for the ambience that Gaiman creates within his fairly limited world here. There’s little explanation of how things are happening which I found a bit frustrating, but sometimes that sort of thing has to be sacrificed for the mood – I mean, the unknown is always more frightening.

I’m not sure how I’d recommend it, though, its length and the language makes it seem as though it’s aimed at younger readers, but I think it would be too scary and a little too…intangible for them. So even though it’s usually shelved in the Independent Reader age group (though it was in YA at the shop I bought it from), I think it’s definitely meant for older readers.

My rating: B

*It’s out already, but the bookshop I went to didn’t have any copies in stock, so I haven’t managed to get a hold of it yet.