Coraline

July 25, 2016 at 6:00 pm (Reads) (, , , , )

coralinesCoraline by Neil Gaiman

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Coraline is one of my favorite books. I’m an unabashed fan of Neil Gaiman, so it’s hard to be objective about his work in general, but Coraline has remained a favorite of mine since I first read it. The story is a remarkably well-done horror tale (spookier than a lot of adult horror, even), which goes a long way toward me liking it, but the fact that I listened to this as an audiobook shortly after reading it for the first time didn’t hurt, either.

Gaiman is wonderful as a speaker in general, but when he reads his stories, he’s even better. He knows the story and the characters, and he knows better than anyone else how the story should flow, where the emphasis belongs, how the characters speak, and what the proper pace is to keep the listener engaged. I think there’s more to it than just that familiarity — I’ve heard Stephen King read his own work before, and it’s missing something in the telling — but it’s certainly a benefit.

Thanks to the movie, most people already know the story of Coraline, but as is often the case, the story for the movie is much changed from the one in the book. The broad strokes are there, and the director did a great job of bringing the characters to life, but nothing compares to the story as Gaiman reads it. If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading it yet, do yourself a favor and listen to it instead.

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