Saturday, December 14, 2002
Santa's little helpers - Coraline by Neil Gaiman (Bloomsbury, $14.95) is the coolest novel for teens this year. It is also very stylish and very creepy. Bored and frustrated during yet another long, wet school holiday, curiosity gets the better of Coraline and she opens a mysterious door into a nightmarish and twisted parody of her own familiar world. For here lives the other mother, a bitter figure that would trap Coraline with promises of unknown pleasure in a shadowy shape-changing world. There is also a comic edge to Coraline borne out perhaps best in the talking book version read by Dawn French. Though not for the faint-hearted, Coraline is a scary, beautiful book for mature children, teenagers and even adults.