Neil Gaiman: Coraline
Normally I don’t read books that are translated from English – when I do, I spend too much energy translating the book “back”, wondering what the original sentences look like. This book I read i Norwegian, though, because I got it really cheaply at a book sale (sorry, Neil). Years ago, I was deeply fascinated by the Sandman comic series, and Gaiman’s works still carries a bit of that same fascination. It’s one of the reasons why I read his blog.
Coraline has the same odd magic. It’s really a children’s book (and I know I would have loved reading it as a kid), but like all the best children’s books it’s good reading for adults, too. Actually it’s more than a little scary (in a good way), and the uncanny feeling is hard to shake off, but then I’m easily scared. The illustrations are fantastic and often even scarier than the text. The girl Coraline enters a parallel world through a blocked door, but the magic is closest in two everyday objects: A cat and a stone with a hole in it.
The translation unfortunately has some annoying errors, and the lack of proofreading leaves the impression that the Norwegian publishers never really took their time to care for the book, which hopefully only flaws the experience for pedantic readers like me. I hope many libraries has this book, and that many children will fall over it on the shelves, because this is a book that wants to be found accidentally by its readers, like a secret.