Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by: Neil Gaiman

Rating: 5/5

Publisher: William Morrow Books

Publish Date: June 18, 2013

Origins:  From Publisher for Review

Format:  Hardcover

Order Links:  Amazon / Barnes & Noble

Synopsis: THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman. 

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. 

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Review: ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ is a beautiful and haunting short story which reminded me a lot of ‘A Wrinkle in Time’. Admittedly, I haven’t read much of Mr. Gaiman’s work, but when I do I am always impressed. A lonely little boy, who is not well-liked or understood by his own family, meets a little girl named Lettie Hempstock on the day a man commits suicide in his father’s car. Lettie and her family are unusual to say the least, as well as quite powerful, and struck me as the Triple Goddess (Maiden, Mother, and Crone). The little boy is drawn into a fight against an ancient evil who escapes its’ bonds, comforted by Lettie’s promise to keep him safe. As he and Lettie try to combat the evil presence, it will take more than any of them imagined to come through their battles unscathed. ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ is not a children’s fairy tale by any stretch of the imagination, but it will captivate you and make you think back on strange events in your own childhood which you may have long forgotten. Mr. Gaiman has a poetic way with words and the ability to draw readers in for an epic adventure. ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ is a book I will definitely treasure and take pleasure in reading many times over.

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  1. I hadn't read any Gaiman before, but I listened to the AB as soon as this one came out.
    It was just astounding. Beautiful book.

  2. This is the first book that I have read by Neil Gaiman and the beauty of this book lies not in the characters, pacing, world building or the story line itself but the sheer way in which it is written. It tugs at your mind and grows slowly so that you end up thinking about it even when you are not reading it.


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