Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cats, Bats and Rats, Oh My!

Professor Carl Sederholm is coming to spend a spooky night at the library. 

Carl Sederholm

There will be Halloween fun at the library on Wednesday, Oct 12 at 7:00 p.m. Book Bash for Boys is going to have a scary good time as Carl leads their book discussion on Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The night will also include fun activities and treats for all.

Carl is a popular professor in the BYU Humanities Department. He co-authored   Poe, The House of Usher, and the American Gothic with Dennis Perry, researching and developing the affect of gothic horror novels on the humanities. 

Coraline is about a girl who has often wondered what's behind the locked door in the drawing room. It reveals only a brick wall when she finally opens it, but when she tries again later, a passageway mysteriously appears. Coraline is surprised to find a flat decorated exactly like her own, but strangely different. And when she finds her "other" parents in this alternate world, they are much more interesting despite their creepy black button eyes. When they make it clear, however, that they want to make her theirs forever, Coraline begins a nightmarish game to rescue her real parents and three children imprisoned in a mirror. With only a bored-through stone and an aloof cat to help, Coraline confronts this harrowing task of escaping these monstrous creatures. 

Neil Gaiman has delivered a wonderfully chilling novel, subtle yet intense on many levels. The line between pleasant and horrible is often blurred until what's what becomes suddenly clear, and like Coraline, we resist leaving this strange world until we're hooked. Unnerving drawings also cast a dark shadow over the book's eerie atmosphere, which is only heightened by simple, hair-raising text. Coraline is otherworldly storytelling at its best.

Neil Gaiman

 Neil Gaiman was born on November 10, 1960 in Portchester, Hampshire, England. Gaiman was able to read at the age of four. He said, "I was a reader. I loved reading. Reading things gave me pleasure. I was very good at most subjects in school, not because I had any particular aptitude in them, but because normally on the first day of school they'd hand out schoolbooks, and I'd read them--which would mean that I'd know what was coming up, because I'd read it." 

The first book he read was The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien  from his school library, although it only had the first two books in the trilogy. He consistently took them out and read them. He would later win the school English prize and the school reading prize, enabling him to finally acquire the third book in the trilogy. For his seventh birthday he received The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis and later he read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and they became favorites and led to his desire to write books himself.  He also enjoyed reading Batman comics.

Gaiman was educated at several Church of England schools. He is now a novelist, graphic novelist and screenwriter. He writes Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction, and Dark Fantasy. He is the first author to win both the Newbery and the Carnegie medals for the same work which is The Graveyard Book.

Gaiman lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota in an "Addams Family house" and has lived there since 1992. He is married to Amanda Palmer and he has three children from a previous marriage.

Craig Russell, a 35-year veteran of comics and frequent collaborator with Gaiman, offers an adaptation of Gaiman’s 2002 novel Coraline (illustrated by Dave McKean), a tale of childhood nightmares. As in the original story, Coraline wanders around her new house and discovers a door leading into a mirror place, where she finds her button-eyed “other mother,” who is determined to secure Coraline’s love one way or another. This version is a virtuoso adaptation, streamlining passages that function best in prose and visually highlighting parts that benefit most from the graphic form. A master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness. The adaptation loses none of Coraline’s original character; she’s clever, resourceful, intrepid, and highly determined when it comes to doing what must be done. Comics fans will delight in this version, and readers familiar with the previous book will greatly appreciate the opportunity to explore the story in a successful new way. You can find this entertaining graphic novel at the library.

Coraline has also been made into a movie that is especially fun to watch for Halloween. The DVD is available for check out at the library.

No comments:

Post a Comment