A few weeks into the Fall semester of 2014, I had the crazy and not particularly well-thought out idea that I should write a series of reviews featuring four horror stories by authors I had never read before. The reviews would have been up on the blog in time for Halloween month, but as is usual with crazy plans like this, it didn’t work out. I was only actually able to write one review which made it to City Streets: Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood. School had taken me by then into its all-encompassing embrace, and sadly, the themed review series had to be postponed.
But while I was researching for possible books to feature on the scare fest, I came across a couple of individuals who said that Coraline the book was infinitely darker – and loads creepier – than Coraline the movie. I’d seen the movie and loved it, so I decided that it wouldn’t hurt if I gave Neil Gaiman a try.
I do not regret the decision to read it! If anything, this has enhanced my enjoyment of that dark little film even more. Coraline didn’t scare me to the point of nightmares, but I did pull my blanket a little more snugly around my shoulders while I was finishing the story. If I had encountered this book when I was in my Narnia phase from nine to eleven years old, I would have been thoroughly scared. The Other Mother, especially, gave me the heebie-jeebies.
“How do I know you’ll keep your word?” asked Coraline. “I swear it,” said the other mother. “I swear it on my own mother’s grave.” “Does she have a grave?” asked Coraline. “Oh yes,” said the other mother. “I put her in there myself. And when I found her trying to crawl out, I put her back.”
(Excerpt: Coraline, by Neil Gaiman. This book freaked me the fuck out, it’s so much creepier than the movie made it seem!)