Quotes from ‘Coraline’ by Neil Gaiman

Read the review for the book

These are a few excerpts from the book with a little commentary from moi (okay, more than a little).

On the first day Coraline’s family moved in, Miss Spink and Miss Forcible made a point of telling Coraline how dangerous the well was, and they warned her to be sure she kept away from it. So Coraline set off to explore for it, so that she knew where it was, to keep away from it properly.

Hahaha.. ‘properly’ it seems :-)

Coraline went over to the window and watched the rain come down. It wasn’t the kind of rain you could go out in—it was the other kind, the kind that threw itself down from the sky and splashed where it landed. It was rain that meant business, and currently its business was turning the garden into a muddy, wet soup.

Personification at its best!

“They used to send flowers to my dressing room. They did” Miss Spink said. “Who did?” asked Coraline.

Miss Spink looked around cautiously, looking over first one shoulder and then over the other, peering into the mists as though someone might be listening.

“Men,” she whispered.

This is why I loved this book. So clever! So delightfully clever!

Coraline tried drawing the mist. After ten minutes of drawing she still had a white sheet of paper with ‘MIST’
written on it in one corner in slightly wiggly letters. She grunted and passed it to her mother.

“Mm. Very modern, dear,” said Coraline’s mother.

Hahahaha.. That woman!

“We …we could be friends, you know,” said Coraline.
“We could be rare specimens of an exotic breed of African dancing elephants,” said the cat.”But we’re not. At least,” it added cattily, after darting a brief look at Coraline, “I’m not.”

Another gem :-)

“Cats don’t have names,” the cat said.
“No?” said Coraline.
“No,” said the cat.”Now, you people have names. That’s because you don’t know who you are. We know who we are, so we don’t need names.”

Humans, searching for identity and uniqueness in all the wrong places since.. forever. Apparently the cats have it all figured out.

She walked into the drawing room and looked at the door. She had the feeling that the door was looking at her, which she knew was silly, and knew on a deeper level was somehow true.

Well, it’s out of context here,  but read it in the book and this will send shivers down your spine.

..when you’re scared but you still do it anyway, that’s brave.

There’s an endearing flashback before this line where Coraline tells of an incident where her dad risked his life to save hers. But that’s not what she’s talking about here, she’s talking about something that happens after he had saved them both. Read the book to find out what exactly that is (hehehe).

There was a tiny doubt inside her, like a maggot in an apple core.

Oh the analogies! Brilliant!

Coraline was woken by the midmorning sun, full on her face. For a moment she felt utterly dislocated. She did not know where she was; she was not entirely sure who she was. It is astonishing just how much of what we are can be tied to the beds we wake up in in the morning, and it is astonishing how fragile that can be.

Take a moment and think about that. No really. Take a moment and let that sink in.

“There are those,” it said with a sigh, in tones as smooth as oiled silk, “who have suggested that the tendency of a cat to play with its prey is a merciful one—after all, it permits the occasional funny little running snack to escape, from time to time. How often does your dinner get to escape?”

You know a book is good when it uses philosophy as filler.

She said, “You know that I love you.” And, despite herself, Coraline nodded. It was true: the other mother loved her. But she loved Coraline as a miser loves money, or a dragon loves its gold. In the other mother’s button eyes, Coraline knew that she was a possession, nothing more. A tolerated pet, whose behavior was no longer amusing.

Those analogies again!

Coraline sighed."You really don't understand, do you?” she said. “I don't want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn't mean anything.

Coraline sighed.”You really don’t understand, do you?” she said. “I don’t want whatever I want. Nobody does. Not really. What kind of fun would it be if I just got everything I ever wanted? Just like that, and it didn’t mean anything.

Apparently, nobody wants utopia.

The sky was a robin’s-egg blue, and Coraline could see trees and, beyond the trees, green hills, which faded on the horizon into purples and grays. The sky had never seemed so sky, the world had never seemed so world.

I don’t know why, but this sounds so much like Dr. Seuss to me.


  1. amarllyis · · Reply

    Very, very nice. Would totally like to read this book now. Got an e-copy?


    1. As a matter of fact, I do :-)

      I’ll send it to you when I get home tonight.


      1. amarllyis · · Reply

        Thank you!


    2. Also, Neil Gaiman would have gone ‘tsk tsk..’ at the usage of ‘very’. He’d like to see something more adventurous :-P

      Even I’ve given up the usage of ‘very’. I use ‘incredibly’ or ‘extremely’ or some other word instead of that. It really makes your compliments stand out.


  2. this page stinks it does not give you spicy stuff that is written from the book


    1. I totally agree with you and I speak from personal experience! Read the book.. much better than reading this crappy quotes page.


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