The amazing book I read this summer was Coraline by Neil Gaiman. I found this book so enjoyable because there are so many surprising twists. This book starts with a curious and adventurous girl named Coraline Jones and her family moving from Pontiac, Michigan to the Pink Palace, an extremely old building in Ashland, Oregon. Coraline keeps whining to her parents that she is so bored until one day, there is a horrible thunderstorm. With her parents busy working on a garden catalog, she finally decides to explore her new house. She keeps exploring until she tries to open the large carved door in the drawing room. The door was locked so she takes the iron key and unlocks the door. She expects a new room but surprisingly, there is just a pile of bricks. That night, she quietly walks to the same door and opens it. However, this time, instead of a pile of bricks, there was an unusual hallway. She keeps walking down and when she opens the door, she sees her mother cooking. Or was it her mother? When her “mom” turned around, Coraline noticed something weird about her. Instead of human eyes, there were black round buttons! There, she met her button eye dad and for the first week, they were very nice to her. However, one night, her mother tried to persuade her into replacing her normal eyes with buttons. Since I do not want to spoil the book, I’ll just say that throughout the story, there are many surprising and chilling twists that will make you jump out of your chair.
I think that the book, Coraline, is both dark fantasy and fairy tale. Coraline, in a lot of ways, is a fairy tale. A fairy tale is a story with magical elements and some of its common characteristics include enchanted settings (such as forests, and weird castles/buildings), and clearly defined good and evil characters, a completely understandable problem, climax, and resolution. Coraline has all of those characteristics. Coraline and her family lives in a creepy, old building and a significant part of the book occurs in Coraline’s garden. Also, clearly, the good characters are Coraline, and Coraline’s parents and the evil character is Coraline’s fake mom. Lastly, Coraline’s problem, climax, and resolution is so clear. However, Coraline is not a Disney fairy tale but is more of a Grimm fairy tale. The reason I am saying I think Coraline is both dark fantasy and fairy tale is this reason: As I said, Coraline is similar to the Grimm fairy tales. Grimm fairy tales are very dark, creepy, and has a lot of twists. Coraline has all of those traits. Dark fantasy is mainly explored in Coraline through the setting of both the real world and the other world. Though both settings can be very different at the start, when all the sacred truths are revealed, both settings are very similar. They have very unusual, mysterious, and chilling settings, which are definitely primary elements of dark fantasy. Even until the end, Coraline’s setting remains a supernatural atmosphere. Throughout the book, scary and surprising twisted parts come out, making it more of a dark fantasy. As you can see, this is why I think Coraline is a dark fantasy and a fairy tale.
In conclusion, Coraline was a very amusing and super enjoyable novel. Though it scared me so much and sometimes gave me nightmares, this would definitely be a book I would recommend to people. In addition, I would recommend this book to people who are over 10 years old and people who are not scared of horrors. The reason is that this book can really shock someone and terrorize someone’s mental state. If you can not see, read, and imagine scary things, then, please be alerted. However, if you liked Alice in Wonderland, you will enjoy reading this book. Those who plan to read this book, you are in for a scare!
Coraline by Neil Gaiman. HarperCollins, 2002. Buy the book here and support Stone Soup in the process!
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