Thursday Book

Coraline - Neil Gaiman

I've carefully avoided the film version of Gaiman's Stardust because I loved the book so much I don't want to risk changing my memories of it. Which is kind of the opposite from my relationship to Coraline. As a fan of Henry Selick, I saw the film version first, and was surprised to find the book comparing unfavourably, at least during the beginning and middle. In this version, Coraline isn't really much taken in by the "other" house and family that she finds through a bricked up door in her new home, and while most film adaptations leave things out, a lot of the coolest parts of Selick's vision are clearly his own, and not Gaiman's.

But then the book comes into its own in the final act, charting quite a different course of creepy scares and ghostly resolutions. And there's also the simple fact that this is here a culturally British story, despite its Americanisation for the silver screen (after Harry Potter, I thought Hollywood had gotten over that?) And yet, while this is an excellent read, I have to admit that, for me, the film took it to another level.

1 comment:

Zhoen said...

I'd read the book long ago, at the insistence of a friend. Really liked it, but also looked forward to the film. I don't remember the book in sufficient detail to make a real comparison, but I loved the movie. Especially the Cat.

I don't know what it is about US filmmakers that they seem to think audiences can't relate to any non-American characters. On the other hand, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.

Especially liked the TMBG song in Coraline.