Monday, July 22, 2013

[Review: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman]

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane"
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 181
Genre: Adult, but could be read by YA audiences, Fantasy
Date Published: June 18th, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Format Read: Bought finished hardback


Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

My Thoughts:

I've said it about 1,000 times and the fact is, I'll say it over and over again for the rest of my life!  Neil Gaiman is my author spirit animal (or something like that).  The Ocean at the End of the Lane blew my mind in it's hidden truths and subtle story telling.  I think one of my favorite things about Gaiman's writing is that he blends the line between reality and myth so seamlessly that you are transported into whatever world he decides to pull you into.  Before you know it, a story about a man reminiscing about his life as a child turns into an adventure filled with darkness and magic and things that go bump in the night.

It's amazing to me that Gaiman can create a main character and never even give him a name, but that you don't care.  This boy and the man he turns into will stay with you.  He's one of those characters that you root for.  Seeing the world that Gaiman created through his eyes was a journey that I'd be willing to take again some day.  It also shows the strength that Gaiman has in giving you just the right amount of detail and yet still letting your brain fill in the blanks. 

Lettie and the older women in her family were also amazing, strong female leads!  I can't tell you much about them, but they are some of the most bad ass women that I've read in awhile.  I wanted to cheer for them along with their sharp wit and mindful eyes!

In all honesty I don't really want to go into any more of the details of this book.  I think that once you've read the summary that is all you need to know going into this book.  I could tell you about all the moments that I loved and the ones that made me want to cry, but then the magic of the story might be ruined for you, and I could never forgive myself for that.  This is one of those stories were "the less you know going into it, the better."  But trust me when I say that I loved every ounce of this magical story and highly recommend it!

5 Unicorns = Get your hands on this one now!


Alexia Boesen said...

I've had my eye on this book for awhile and yours is the first review I've seen of it. It tells me that I definitely need to put this one on my upcoming buy list.

Nicole said...

I have yet to read anything by Neil Gaiman. I think that needs to change.

Anonymous said...

This is on my 'To Read'-list. After reading its description on Booksdepository, I was intrigued. Even the name of the novel sounds somewhat mystical.

redhead said...

This is definitely near the top of my "books I need to read right away!" list. Loved your review!