Review From User :
I've read this book many different times in many different ways.
I read it off the page when it first came out. Later, I listened to Gaiman's narration of the audiobook when I was sequestered in the north woods of Wisconsin in a desperate attempt to finish book two. I watched the movie and enjoyed it.
My most recent experience of the book was listening to it with my little boy on a long car ride. I wasn't sure he'd be able to get into it. Not because of the vocabulary. He's very sharp for being 4.5. He's good with words. But sometimes he gets a little scared.
Despite my worries, he seemed to enjoy it. He paid attention, attention, asking for us to turn it back on after we stopped by the side of the road. A day later, he excitedly told me all about the story, apparently forgetting I'd been in the car too.
All of that was months ago. Fast forward to now....
* * *
"Dad," Oot said. "Do you know the guy who wrote Coraline"
The question caught me by surprise. The two of us were driving to a party together, a friend was having a bonfire and I was amazed that he was thinking about anything other than smores.
"I do," I said. "His name is Neil Gaiman."
"Do you have his phone number" he asked.
"No," I said.
"Do you know where he lives"
"I do," I said.
"Are you his friend"
That brought me up short. For Oot, that's a simple question. If you meet someone and play with them, they're you're friend. Easy.
For adults these things are harder. And it's doubly hard for me these days. My life has changed so much over the last five years, and my previously established metric for friendship doesn't work very well any more.
You see, for the majority of my life, a friend was someone who would, say, help me move a couch. Someone you could bum 10 dollars off of if you needed to. A friend was someone who felt comfortable enough to come over to my house without calling first. Then, if I wasn't home, they would let themselves in, eat out of my fridge, and start watching TV.
While I'm terribly fond of him, Neil Gaiman has never done any of these things.
Then again, neither have any of the other authors I've met over the last few years. I'm painfully aware of the need for new friendship metrics, but I haven't managed to develop a good set yet.
That won't make any sense to my boy, but still, I try to be honest with him whenever I can. "I don't know if we're friends," I say. "But we're colleagues."
"What's a colleagues" he asks, right on cue.
"That means we know each other and do the same job," I explain.
"Oh yes," he says. "You're both authors."
It makes me proud when he says that. I'm proud that my boy knows I write books.
"Do you know his address" Oot asks, and it takes me a while to realize that he's returning to his previous line of questioning.
"I do," I said, not bothering to point out that knowing where someone lives and knowing their address is pretty much the same thing.
"Can you send him a letter"
"I could," I say.
Oot pauses for a moment then, and I realize that this has been the point of the whole conversation. He wants to send Neil Gaiman a message.
"What would you like me to write to him" I ask.
"You should tell him he *sure* knows how to write a scary story...."
* * *
So there you go. You don't really need me to tell you how I feel about one of Gaiman's books at this point. You know I love his writing.
Instead, I'm offering up my boy's unvarnished opinion. Did he think the story was scary Absolutely. But he still wanted us to turn it back on as soon as we were back in the car.
What's more, he was still thinking about Coraline months later. And it was the first book where he's ever shown any interest in contacting the author.
So. Bravo, Neil Gaiman. You've managed to win over two generations of the Rothfuss household.
Unabridged by HarperAudio. Read by Neil Gaiman.
Like most children of a certain age, Coraline is somewhat dissatisfied with her life. Her parents are dull and don’t pay enough attention to her, no one pronounces her name correctly, and – most of all – she’s bored! For awhile, she’s able to content herself with exploring the extensive grounds surrounding her new home, but when the weather turns rainy and Coraline finds herself shut up indoors, her youthful curiosity will lead to more excitement than anyone would wish for.
The rest of the book is here http://vk.com/audios-50747477?album_id=44587547