Saturday, February 7, 2009

Coraline by Neil Gaiman

No, Neil Gaiman is not a personal friend of mine. I've never even met him face to face, only seen him at the occasional con. But I do have a writer friend story about him and his book Coraline. My friend Carrie Vaughn went to a reading of his at a con several years ago, expecting to hear a short story. Mr. Gaiman said that instead he'd like to read part of a new novel he'd written for his daughters. He said he'd wanted to write something for them before they got much older. So he started on Coraline, and read the entire book that night. Several times he offered to stop, and the audience urged him on. I guess that was the first public reading of the novel, before it even came out.

Yesterday, Trevor and I went to see the movie. I'd heard from the reviewers that it didn't much follow the book at all, so I didn't expect it to. I was rather surprised at how much it did. It kept a lot of Gaiman's weird, totally freakish imagery, which means I agree with several reviewers that it isn't really for kids, or it at least depends on the kid. Much of the story is still in there, intact. In the book, though, it's Coraline who needs to change to appreciate her parents. The movie's a little different; the parents have some real issues too. Hence, the end didn't feel like a complete resolution because the parents don't change much. But, I still had fun. Trevor wanted to make sure to get a date night in while we still can.

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