Best 2002 Adventures (1)
January 6, 2021
One in a series of 10 posts identifying Josh Glenn’s favorite 2002 adventure novels.
Neil Gaiman’s children’s fantasy novel Coraline.
“Don’t go through the door,” Mr. Bobo, one of her oddball new neighbors, warns Coraline Jones — after she and her parents move into an old house that has been divided into apartments. He is referring to a small door that links Coraline’s apartment to the unoccupied one next door. Nevertheless, Coraline goes through it… and discovers a kind of through-the-looking-glass version of her own life, in which an “Other Mother” and “Other Father,” who have black buttons for eyes, pay more attention to her than her own parents. Also: The food tastes better, the toys are more fun, the neighbors are more entertaining, and the local stray cat can talk! Things quickly turn sinister, though, and Coraline must challenge the Other Mother in order to rescue her real parents, herself, and the ghosts of other children her age, from the beautiful lady without pity. The penultimate contest is reminiscent of the hen Billina’s versus the Nome King in L. Frank Baum’s Ozma of Oz. The final contest is even more terrifying.
Fun facts: Winner of the Hugo and Nebula Awards for Best Novella. The 2009 movie adaptation, directed by Henry Selick and voiced by Dakota Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, and Dawn French, is one of the most successful stop-motion films ever.
JOSH GLENN’S *BEST ADVENTURES* LISTS: BEST 250 ADVENTURES OF THE 20TH CENTURY | 100 BEST OUGHTS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST RADIUM AGE (PROTO-)SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TEENS ADVENTURES | 100 BEST TWENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST THIRTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST GOLDEN AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FORTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST FIFTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SIXTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST NEW WAVE SCI FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST SEVENTIES ADVENTURES | 100 BEST EIGHTIES ADVENTURES | 75 BEST DIAMOND AGE SCI-FI ADVENTURES | 100 BEST NINETIES ADVENTURES | NOTES ON 21st-CENTURY ADVENTURES.