Six Impossible Things

A Blog About Fiction and Reading

Coraline

CoralineCoraline by Neil Gaiman

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I had to take a road trip earlier this week, for work, and figured that a good audiobook would help pass the time during the three-hour trip.  Late the previous week, I had been checking the library system for new Neil Gaiman stuff, and I wandered across Coraline, and old favorite, which I’ve read once before, and listened to once before, also.  I figured it would be good to take an old friend along with me to keep me company on the trip.

The coolest thing about the audiobook is that Neil reads his own work.  I’ve been fortunate enough to have seen Neil perform his own work (and even to meet him, and he’s as kind and generous and gracious a person as you’ve probably heard), and I’m pleased to say that he’s as much a teller of stories as he is an author of stories.  He understands the nuances of a character’s voice, and really gets in to the parts.  He’s funny, spooky, endearing, and charismatic, and I really ought to just invest in a copy of the audiobook, as much as I enjoy listening to it.

Because, really, Coraline isn’t just a great Neil Gaiman story, it’s a fantastic example of what makes good horror fiction good.  There’s no blood, no gore, no offal, but with the easy placement of a few black buttons, some isolation and desperation, and a touch of bravery and courage, the story accomplishes so much more than any in-your-face remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The Hills Have Eyes, or what have you.  Reading the story is an incredible experience, and the purist in me will tell you to read the book for yourself before you have Neil read it to you, but the audiobook experience is one worth having, as well.

Whether you read it or listen to it, though, do so.  This is a wonderfully creepy story, suitable for children and adults (and if you have a mix of both in your house, maybe the audiobook is the way to go).

August 26, 2007 Posted by | Juvenile Fiction, Reviews | Leave a comment

Strangers in Paradise

StrangersStrangers in Paradise, Book 5 by Terry Moore

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So, I’m working my way up to the conclusion of the Strangers in Paradise storyline, and I’m glad to say that the author keeps me guessing. I mean, half of the story in this series is the “Will they or won’t they?”, on again, off again sort of relationship that takes place between Francine and Katchoo. Anyone remotely interested in this series is probably rooting for “Will!” and “On!”, but that the author keeps that tension going, and makes it believable, is part of the attraction to this story.

In the latest collection, there’s less of a focus on that relationship, on the surface, but much of what’s happening now is a furthering of their characters. The whole Parker Girls understory takes an interesting twist (and — MAYBE — is concluded? Who the hell knows?), and there are a couple of moments within the collection that are handled with the same sort of tact and panache that Katchoo is known for (which, of course, means a total lack of), but for the most part, this is a transitional volume.

All of this isn’t to say that this is a poor collection. It maintains the sort of artwork, story, and comedy that fans would expect, even if the “Molly and Poo” stories threw me for a loop. I understand that the entire series is about the end in a couple of months, and that the final pocket book will follow, and I only hope that the story will end the way that I hope it does. But if it did, then the author wouldn’t be surprising me, now would he?

August 26, 2007 Posted by | Graphic Novels, Reviews | Leave a comment