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Coraline

An Adventure Too Weird for Words
Narrated by: Dawn French
Length: 3 hrs and 34 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (54 ratings)

Non-member price: $12.01

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Publisher's Summary

Coraline has been made into an animated feature film directed by Henry Selick, director of Tim Burton�s The Nightmare Before Christmas, with a cast including Teri Hatcher, Ian McShane, Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders and Dakota Fanning.

Shortly after moving into an old house Coraline discovers a big, carved, brown wooden door at the far corner of the drawing room. And it is locked. Curiosity runs riot in Coraline's mind and she unlocks the door to see what lies behind it. Disappointingly, it opens onto a brick wall. Days later, after exploring the rest of the house and garden, Coraline returns to the same mysterious door and opens it again. This time, however, there is a dark hallway in front of her. Stepping inside, the place beyond has an eerie familiarity about it. The carpet and wallpaper are the same as in her flat. The picture hanging on the wall is the same. Almost. Strangest of all, her mum and dad are there too. Only they have buttons for eyes and seem more possessive than normal. It's a twisted version of her world that is familiar, and yet sinister. And matters get even more surreal for Coraline when her "other" parents seem reluctant to let her leave.

©2002 Neil Gaiman (P)2002 Bloomsbury

Critic Reviews

"I think this book will nudge Alice In Wonderland out of its niche at last. It is the most splendidly original, weird, and frightening book I have read, and yet full of things children will love." (Diana Wynne Jones)
"This book will send a shiver down your spine, out through your shoes and into a taxi to the airport. It has the delicate horror of the finest fairy tales, and it is a masterpiece. And you will never think about buttons in quite the same way again." (Terry Pratchett)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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It was amazingly creepily amazing

Neil Gaiman must be a VERY clever man to come up with this unique story that kept me intrigued

Me

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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amazing

the most amazing book I've ever read. definitely worth it. perfect for ages 9-14. so great.

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french was amazing reading gaiman's vivid world ♡

loved it so much even when it got scary or tense with the high adventure

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    4 out of 5 stars

Do not expect the movie...

This is very different from the movie, but still interesting and spooky - if I didn't know the movie I would still love this. And Dawn French....

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🗝🔮🚪👻 They're go na get ya .......RUN!

Don't go there . Don't open the door. .....got ya! I made the mistake thinking relax with a children's book for a change. Can't be too scary a tale Dibleys vicar is telling the story. My heart is still racing after 2 days and I can't look at our old moggy with out thinking he is going to start speaking.
I found myself wide eyed with hands gripping onto the pillow. Wonderfully narrated. A children's story for all ages. Just when you thinking is over and your beta blockers have prevented your heart from bursting out your chest. Take a breath THE HAND with a much needed manicure comes a tap tap tapping........wanting some.....one.🗝👻

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  • Siri
  • 17-07-2013

Ah hahaha

What a lovely story this is, I see that this could have bin one of my favourite story when I was a child. But I was 26 when I heard it the first time. But it is a good story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 07-08-2019

Incredible narration

Those who have heard the author's narration of his own story are easily forgiven for believing that to be, literally, the best possible version. I believed that myself - until I heard Dawn French tell this story.

It is, quite simply, a masterclass in narration, one of the best examples of the art I have ever heard.

Strongly, highly, thoroughly encouraged.

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  • Mariana
  • 15-07-2019

Such an entertaining and beautiful story

I loved the story and even more the performance. The incredible performance gave life to the complex and interesting characters. Perfect!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-12-2017

A creepy and funny read

My kids and I adore this book! It speaks to kids and keeps adults entertained, with a perfect blend of creepy story and humour.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • ATE
  • 16-08-2016

Perhaps I'm biased

I feel like I probably would have enjoyed it more had I read this when I was younger. I kept expecting it to be scary but it never got that far for me and I have to say that disappointed me a bit. Coraline is a good character however, and despite her constant repetitions that she is an explorers, she manages to not get tedious in the way other child protagonists do.

As for the storyteller, I'm pretty certain that the way this story was meant to be read was somewhat blandly in the beginning to underline Coraline's boredom and partial isolation. Seeing as Neil Gaiman is bad at dynamic storytelling and the storyteller became quite lively with all her voices and enjoyment of the text later on. However, I was very much regretting my purchase up until the first meeting with Coraline's Other Mother.

I quite enjoyed the audiobook regardless.

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  • Henriette
  • 22-06-2012

Eerie

A disconcerting book for an adult to read. An excellent book for a child who is contemplating the consequences of its wishes and actions.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Maria Helena
  • 09-11-2010

Excellent!

I watched the movie, and loved it. Then, I thought the audio would be nice, too. But, in fact, I think I'm in love with the whole story, in any possible way, since I'm listening all over and over again. The narrator is excellent, so I recommend it a lot, even to adults (I'm 30).

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  • Nina
  • 24-12-2016

Like a Stephen King novel for kids...

What a gem! This imaginative and frightening story keeps you on your toes till the end. Coraline is an extraordinary girl who fights back against the scary things, while the cat provides twists of the kind only Neil Gaiman could come up with. This book is wonderfully original.

Having read most of Neil Gaiman's books I can't say it's my favourite, however I cannot imagine anyone being left with a hint of disappointment. It's scary, dark, charming and enjoyable.

Dawn French narrates well as the main character is female, it is great to listen to this book being read by a woman in a gentle way, as it feels that the story is so strong, it does not need a further dramatisation.

Thank you Neil Gaiman for sharing your imagination. It is truly beautiful!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Crispin
  • 13-07-2009

Great story, OK reading

Wonderful, macabre stroytelling - Gaiman at his almost best (The Graveyard Book is better). If you like Dawn French, no problem: I've always found her irritating and this didn't change that. I can't fault the storytelling though - Neil Gaiman makes the Brothers Grimm look like writers of -- well -- fairytales. Pitch black and wonderful.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • SuzyBT
  • 12-01-2016

Brilliant

Great story and brilliantly narrated. Very easy to listen to and enthralling. I'll be buying more of Neil Gaiman stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Ron
  • 31-12-2015

To be honest I struggled with this

Normally I'm a fan of Neil Gaiman but I found this hard going, Dawn French was good, but perhaps at middle age I'm too old for this particular story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • westerbaanken
  • 09-12-2015

Dark & Delightful

This book is like an onion. With layers & stuff. Highly enjoyable on so many levels. I love Coraline Jones. So i do.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • val
  • 06-12-2015

a joy

Where does Coraline rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

a short but entertaining listen. just right for a car journey one of my top 10

What did you like best about this story?

I do enjoy Neil Gaimen stories and this is no exception, a creepy tale, make sure you appreciate your parents!

What about Dawn French’s performance did you like?

The voice really complements the book, just the right amount of menace in it, very easy to listen to

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I did want to but had to return to finish it the next day

Any additional comments?

a modern classic that I could listen to several times without losing interest

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Snook
  • 05-12-2015

The film better than the book?

Yes, strange but true. I actually felt that the animated adaptation was better than the original book, and I feel dirty for saying that! However, it is still a great, fantastical tale that is scary and delightful in equal measure.

Curiously, I felt Dawn French's narration was laboured and almost patronising. It felt too slow and as though she was talking to a group of four year olds sat around a picture book. It made me want to scream "Get on with it!"

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Justin Coyne
  • 19-05-2009

Excellent

Neil Gaiman is a fantastic story teller, and has an imagination that just explodes from his books. This book is an instant classic!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Cerys Thomas
  • 08-11-2019

B R I L L I A N T!

'An Adventure Too Weird for Words' is literally the most perfect summary for Coraline.

If you haven't seen the movie, then you won't know that this standalone follows a young girl named Coraline who, when her parents are too busy for her and she is restless, finds a hidden door that leads to what is basically another dimension of her new home where not only is everything better, but her Other Parents have buttons for eyes, and there's a cat who can talk. She much prefers this strange version of her home given that here, her parents are giving her the attention she desires; yet when she returns to her world and finds that her real parents are missing, it's when she tries to find them that she discovers there's more to the Other House and her Other Parents than meets the eye.

As a child, the movie freaked me out with its animation, so much so that I never could make it to the end of the film (what can I say? I scare easily). As an adult though, I was intrigued by the story and wanted to delve deeper into this dark fantasy horror by reading the book, and as a HUGE fan of Dawn French, I knew that the only way I'd be reading this story was by listening to the audiobook.

And just as I knew it would be - the story, the narration - it was all AMAZING!!

Dawn French made it so easy for me to lose myself in Neil Gaiman's words. Her narration was spot on, with clear enthusiasm, fear, happiness, and awe in her voice, and the WAY she changed her voice - the pitches, the tones - made it even easier for me to at least know who was saying what and when whenever my mind wondered. Though my mind very rarely wondered throughout this three hour long audiobook; it was SO captivating that I was hooked from beginning to end, listening to the entire thing in one sitting.

I do wish we had more knowledge about how it is this other dimension with these Other Beings came to be, but given that this is a children's book, I'm not surprised nor that annoyed that we don't have more knowledge into the Other House and how it's possible to exist in the first place. All in all though, Coraline was flawless and a thrill to read, and I'd definitely recommend this story - most especially this brilliant audiobook - to anyone of any age who's currently looking for a unique, unexpected, quick, creepy, and an overall very enjoyable story to experience.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy. h
  • 23-10-2019

Good

So far so good , I like dawn French as the narrator. Look forward to full book.