31 October 2011

Audiobook Review: Coraline

2¢ Worth: Back when I saw Coraline the film for the first time I remember thinking, "Goodness this weird and creepy. I don't see why people like it so much." Then recently, under the recommendation of Books for Ears, I decided to try Coraline the audiobook. What I found is that Coraline IS creepy but in good, hard to stop listening, full of subtle messages sort of way. Neil's story telling of a girl who inadvertently brings darkness upon her family and how she goes about saving them is captivating.

Words aloud: Coraline is read by the author himself Neil Gaiman. Even though Coraline is a first-person story read by an adult male, Neil does a fantastic job reading it. I found myself excited to hear more. As only the author can do, he knew exactly what parts to emphasize and how to sing the scary little tune the rats chant. He even rocks the voices of the other characters. Honestly, it felt like listening to a scary story by a bonfire.

Wooed: I adored the pompous proud cat and his ingenious quips. Something he was robbed of in the film.

Whippersnappers: Had I listened to Coraline as a child, it probably would have scared the daylights out of me. Therefore, I recommend parents listen to Coraline first before deciding to share it with their children. This will help each person decide if their little one is brave enough to handle the spirits and monsters. When Neil was asked if the book is for children or adults here is what he answered:
"If it has to be put into a box that's the sort of stuff you'd find in the box it goes into: books with young protagonists, with stories that children enjoy and that adults enjoy and they seem to be enjoying different things. As a general sort of rule, kids seem to read it as an adventure. Adults get nightmares. Does that help?"
Word to the wise: This is a perfectly eerie quickie for those looking for something Halloweenesque or for a short interesting audio.

What about the film?: Ah the film. So many unnecessary changes and additions. In some ways the film is creepier. In other ways it isn't creepy enough. One thing I do know for sure, the audiobook is WAY better and more entertaining. This is one of those of cases where I believe the audio is the best format to enjoy this story. Why you ask? Because it leaves the visuals up to your imagination.

Wind-up: Coraline is a novella written by Neil Gaiman. The audiobook is read by the author and consists of 3 discs (3 hours and 36 mins). Audiobook rating: 4 stars. Narrator rating: 5 stars.

Review Copyright © of Tales of Whimsy.com

49 comments :

  1. I was JUST watching this one a couple of nights ago. It is kind of creepy. I was surprised that Tim Burton didn't have a hand in it(I don't think anyway). It did make me want to read the book, though.

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  2. This movie scared me! And I thought it was a kid's movie. So it is interesting to read Neil's thoughts on that. I'll have to read/listen to the book soon!

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  3. I thought this was creepy too, but Neil says it right also I think - kids probably look at it as adventure, while adults pretending to be kids look at it as horror. At least that's what I heard someone tell me, though I felt it was still creepy. :)

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  4. I love his comment, adults get nightmares. This sounds like the perfect audio book but I get distracted or fall asleep, I may try to read it next year for halloween.

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  5. I've read the book, but I absolutely must hear Neil Gaiman read it! Sounds like he did an amazing job. And I haven't seen the movie--the illustrations in the book freaked me out enough!

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  6. I love that the author was the voice for the audio, honestly, who knows their book and the ins and outs of it better? I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but it definitely sounds very creepy. I'm a wimp so I don't know that I'll give them a try, but maybe...

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  7. I love Coraline--I'll have to try the audio version. You should read Niel Gaimon's "The Graveyard Book", You will like it as well.

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  8. I'm not a huge fan of audio books but you sold me on this one so I'll try the audio. I loved the movie!

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  9. The book and the film are different, but I loved them both. I bet this was a real treat with Gaiman reading it.

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  10. Bluerose: Oh yah I can totally see what you mean :) It does have Burtonesque feel to it doesn't it?

    Aylee: I hope you do :)

    Aths: I feel ya :)

    Carrie: :)

    Marce: Try it! I loved it when doing chores around the house :)

    Meredith: Definitely! I haven't read the book but from what I have seen, the illustrations look too creepy for me too ;)

    Jenny Snark: Amen. It was my first time listening to an audio read by the author, but I really liked it. Oh and I'm a wimp too. So I definitely recommend you try the audio. Instead of giving you creepy images it leaves it to your imagination :)

    Kaye: I've heard I should try that one. That will definitely be my next NG. :)

    Cari: Yah! *high five*

    Bermuda: Did you? Did you prefer one to the other?

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  11. Oh look...you changed you're background picture again. Always something new here, always. ^_^ Now see, I'm not an audiobook person but it does sound like this one came out rather well. Movie versus book, hands down book for this one...much creepier indeed. *-* Happy Halloween and thanks for the spooky share!

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  12. GMR: Ahhh thanks for noticing. I love it :) Definitely an audio everyone should try. Happy Halloween darling :)

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  13. Great review! I'll put this one down as one to get as an audiobook. :)

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  14. I didn't know the author read it himself for the Audiobook. That's very cool! Now I want to give the Audio a try even though I've already read this one. And I agree - I liked the cat way better in the book than the movie.

    Great review, Juju!

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  15. Ooo. I still haven't read this one, but audio might be a good way to go when I get around to it. Fun review, Juju!

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  16. I have always wanted to see the movie but for whatever reason just never got around to it...but now I know the audiobook is so good I will go that route! Thanks for the heads up!

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  17. I started and stopped the movie...don't know why...and I have not actually read the book...don't know why...

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  18. Shannon :)

    JessicaBookLover: Yay! And I was amazed how unlikeable the cat was in the movie.

    Wendy: Why thank you! :) And thanks for coming by.

    Stacy: Yay! :)

    Patty: Try the audio. I tell ya, it's the best format.

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  19. Ooh, I didn't know Neil himself read it! I have such a nerd crush on him! It's actually verging on creepy...;) Seriously though, I loved his reading of The Graveyard Book, so I'll absolutely check this one out. Thanks for the excellent review, Juju!

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  20. Sarah: How funny ;) I had no idea. I must check out The Graveyard Book. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your secret crush with us :)

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  21. I've never seen the movie or read the book, although I really want to!!

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  22. Great review! I had no idea that he read the audio book version! How cool! I need to get into more audio books and this seems like a good place to start.

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  23. BB: I hope you do :)

    Christina: Absolutely :)

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  24. A rats chant? Interesting. I wonder what that sounds like. I especially love audiobooks that are read by the author, so this one sounds like a win!

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  25. Neil is a great pick for the Spooky season!!

    MS

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  26. Geez how appropriate for Halloween. Sorry I havent been around much honey, back on track now xx

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  27. Others have told me that the movie is not enjoyable. I'm glad to hear that the audiobook works out. I'll put this on my list of audios to check out. I especially like that it is short.

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  28. I read the graphic novel of Coraline and didn't think it was that creepy. I guess I'll have to either read the book or listen to the audio book instead.

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  29. Oh my gosh, I love Coraline! I hadn't watched the movie yet but the book is definitely a favorite of mine and my sister.

    Great review and happy reading:)
    -leslie

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  30. Missie: Yes they chant. It's creepy but adds to the story :)

    Mad: Thanks :)

    BeachVintage: Oh no worries darling :) So glad to see you doing so good :)

    Alexis: Yay! :) Me too

    Jenny N and Chelley: Right on :)

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  31. I haven't seen the movie...but it definitely sounds like I'd prefer the audiobook...and how awesome that it is read by the author himself!!

    ♥ Melissa @ Melissa's Eclectic Bookshelf

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  32. I read Coraline as an adult, but you're right, I think if I'd read it as a child it probably would have terrified me! I haven't listened to the audiobook but I can only imagine it'd be pretty creepy with Neil Gaiman reading it (since he wrote it!) The story itself is deceptively simple, yet manages nonetheless to be rather unsettling.

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  33. Oh, and thanks so much for all of your lovely comments on my blog! :)

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  34. Danya: Yes! What a great way to put it. It's simple but definitely unsettling. Brilliant summary :)

    And no prob! It was my pleasure ;)

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  35. Like you, I wasn't crazy about the movie. I love Neil Gaiman's books, so I'll give a shot at reading/listening to Coraline.

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  36. Alyssa: So glad to hear :) What's your favorite Gaiman?

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  37. This wasn't my favorite movie/book from Gaiman, but I would have liked to listen to the audiobook, especially since Gaiman read it himself. Lovely review! :)

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  38. Lily: I think you'll find the audio much better :)

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  39. I thought the movie was creepy. I had forgotten that I read the book and I thought it did a good job conveying creepiness. Nice to hear the book is narrated by Gaiman. I'm sure he does a good job!

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  40. I haven't seen Coraline the movie yet but I was planning to... maybe I ought to get the audio instead... :)

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  41. Cherry: Definitely. It's quick and I really think you'll like it :)

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  42. The movie was good, but when I read the book, much better. I can imagine how amazing is the audio book, because I love listening to Neil Gaiman's voice, & he's such an amazing author :) When someone asks me about my favourite author, the first one I name is Neil Gaiman :)

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  43. Alek: His voice is so great. :) You must try the audio. So what's your favorite NG?

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  44. Hard to choose, but let's say Stardust because that was the first of his books I read & the one I've re-read it the most times, although I love The Graveyard Book & Anansi Boys just as much. He's such a brilliant storyteller. Still haven't gotten around to American Gods, but all other I've read, except for the Sandman graphic novels.

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  45. Alek: Right on :) I look forward to trying The Graveyard Book and need to look into Anansi Boys :)

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