Marcella has just moved to the puddly town of Guimpton and something is very wrong. No one else can see it - not her parents, not her spaniel, Spotbottom, not even Old Jake Suspenderson who lives in the rowhouse next door! But Marcella can feel it: the grass curls strangely under her toes, her plastic play earrings crawl up her ears, even her jelly-tots play in her hand and refuse to be eaten. It would all be wonderful, if only Spotbottom wasn't turning so mean..."
There. That's my approximation of all the twee-and-crumpets crap that Neil Gaiman has written with this book. I've just read Coraline. Perhaps I was put off Gaiman years ago by someone who, er, used to influence me, shall we say? But lord knows, I've tried. I really tried with this book, because PHILIP PULLMAN is quoted on the front. (However, he just says to "applaud" for Coraline is "the real thing", by which he might mean, well, anything.)
The only original element in this book is the buttons. Read it and you'll see what I mean. Everything else is so derivative. When it's not derivative, it's plain and cliched. Blarf. I'm ready for a fight, all you Gaiman-worshippers.
Read Lewis Carroll. Read Pullman. Read C. S. Lewis. Read Beatrix Potter. Heck, I'm a big fan of Good Omens. But Coraline? Bah. I'm sure it'll be a nice little animated film one day, but please stop calling it a "classic".