A to Z Challenge Day 15: Other Mother (the Other-World Evil)


I have a literary confession to make: I have read precisely one Neil Gaiman book, and only because it was made into a movie. I’ve been brought under the impression that someone who fancies herself both a reader and a writer should have, at some point, read a couple of Neil Gaiman books, but to be perfectly honest none of them ever really appealed to me. I don’t know why, they just didn’t.

So it came to be that the first time I ever so much as picked up a Neil Gaiman book was when Coraline was first advertised as the newest 3D movie to be coming to theaters. I’m a sucker for kids movies (hey look, two confessions in one post!) and this one looked quite different and interesting, so I was moved to look up the book that it was based on. I grabbed a copy of Coraline and devoured it in one setting.

My favorite aspect of the book (and the movie) was the villain (are you starting to notice that I have a bit of a thing for villains?), the “Other” mother. Everyone in the “Other” world is a creepy duplicate with buttons where their eyes should be, and Other Mother is ruler of that land. She is (obviously) a duplicate of Coraline’s mother, and she’s a sneaky, creepy monster if ever there was one. At first Coraline adores her Other Mother because she gives her the love and attention that the girl feels like she’s not getting from her real mother, but as time goes on Coraline realizes that there’s something not quite right about this “Other” world, or the woman who seems to run it…especially when Other Mother reveals her intention to sew buttons onto Coraline’s eyes!

When I first came across the ads for the movie, and subsequently the book, I assumed that it was a kiddy-story, but I have to say that if I had read this story (or watched the movie) when I was a kid, I probably would have had nightmares for weeks. The story isn’t necessarily of the horror genre so much as a kind of fantasy, but Other Mother may just be one of the creepiest villains I’ve ever come across, the kind that gives you chills up your spine and makes you think twice about anyone who appears to be a little bit too nice. Definitely worth a read or a watch, trust me on this one.


17 thoughts on “A to Z Challenge Day 15: Other Mother (the Other-World Evil)

    • i watched the movie stardust before reading the book (always a bad idea), and i was sad about the book ending. I rather like the one in the movie. of course, i didn’t know it was a book until someone got it from another library. if i had read it before watching it, i know the movie ending would have made me even happier.

    • Well it’s nice to know I’m not alone! lol I’ve not read a lot of authors that you would think are big necessities, but who has the time to read EVERYTHING, am I right? πŸ™‚

    • It’s KINDA for kids, I guess, but the impression that I got from reading it is that Gaiman has a lot more faith in the ability of children to handle the big bad scary stuff than most people do. Imagine the Goosebumps books, but taken in more “genuinely frightened for my life and soul” kind of way. πŸ™‚

  1. I’ve never read Neil Gaiman either…might have to look in to that. Coraline’s other mother is pretty damn creepy!

  2. You might try reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s a short book, and reads beautifully. It has a very literary feel, but toss in a bit of fantasy and Gaiman’s spin on things… you might really like it!

    (I’m also crazy stocked because next March he is coming to speak in my town. I can hardly wait!!)

    • Thanks for the suggestion! I’ll definitely add it to my list…I should really try to read Anasi Boys first, since it’s been on my bookshelf for about three years…lol

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s