Somehow Neil connects with what made us children before we are spoilt with adulthood: all fears logical and illogical, naivete, trust, honesty and shame, beauty and egoenrtrism. His lyrical writing style comes second only his magical narration. I wanted him to read us stories after recess!
The Ocean at the End of the Lane was my introduction to Neil Gaiman, who is my current favorite author. I listened to the Audible version and loved it. Gaiman’s narration is spellbinding. It’s like listening to the best bedtime story ever. The Ocean at the End of the Lane has a fairy tale quality, but is definitely an adult story.
Told in flashback format, the middle-aged narrator looks back at his childhood while visiting for a funeral. The story is suspenseful and dark, yet deeply moving. It evoked memories of childhood longings and fears. Gaiman’s writing and narration were totally engaging. Even though a seven-year old boy was the main character, I loved the Hempstock women. Their strong maiden, mother and crone characters were central to the story for me. There was a lot of suspense and several major twists. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a great introduction to Neil Gaiman and left me wanting more!
Neil Gaiman is a skilled author and narrator, so The Ocean at the End of the Lane is both well written and well read. That said, I don't think Gaiman was quite up to his usual standard--the balances of real/unreal, scary/funny/poignant, etc were all off for me. The whole thing was one long nightmare, with very little in the way of humor or plot to balance it out. The big ideas and morals we were supposed to take away seemed heavy handed, and I found the ending disappointing. Clearly lots of people love this book, but if you're looking for something similar to American Gods or Coraline, this isn't it.
Yes! This is a well plotted, compelling story.
I enjoyed the suggestion that all is not as it seems, and how other worlds interact with ours.
There is something about an author reading his work aloud. You get to experience first hand how he it sounds in his head.
The main character's conflict with his father - I remember thinking how can you ever recover from that?
The time just flew by as I painted my fence. I finished the fence before I finished the book, and afterwards I sat down for an hour, unable to turn it off. What a pleasure!
I expected more. After Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, & American Gods, I hoped for a really amazing and gripping read.
To be fair, it's not a bad book; it wasn't a struggle like his book, Anansi Boys. I guess I've just come to expect more from Mr. Gaiman...
The story was entertaining enough to keep me listening. It didn't bog down anywhere, it just felt...lacking.
If you like Neil Gaiman, definitely give it a try. Just don't expect to be blown away. I have the feeling this would translate onto the screen much more interestingly than book/audio book form.
I don't know how many times I've read this book, but it's rich and wondrous and new every time. I'm so glad Neil himself read it because I can't imagine anyone else doing it. I miss the Hempstocks like they're people I've always known but can't get to at the moment. I would love to know more about their lives and how they became themselves, and to be able to settle in for dinner in their kitchen.
I'm a professional painter and love ennobling, enlightening literature
I have. It wasn't bad, but not another.
main character was a child and he spoke as one would
What a wonderful story! The first few chapters were a little difficult for me, Whether because of my head or the reading or the store itself I don't know. but before I knew it I was hooked. So much of this story took me back to my own childhood, and remembering how things seemed to me, and I was lifted up and transported into a place where there was magic, fear, the kind of injustice children experience all the time from adults, and a deep and rare friendship I found myself envying. This is one of those stories I I may buy for the pleasure of reading to myself later and knowing it is sitting on my bookshelf for when I'm ready.
Using books to teleport.
Neil Gaiman does a fantastic job of portraying both young and old, male or female. He also has a wonderful accent that makes it enjoyable to listen to. Since he is the author, he truly gets how to read the emotions and quotes by the characters.
I loved the women in this story, they are all very strong and independent. I would love to have a long conversation (or several) with the old woman of the house. She is mysterious, "older than the moon" and seems to have magical powers she passes on to her daughter and granddaughter.
An imaginative escape from every-day life, I found this book to be like a childhood fairytale, but meant for any age. There are monsters, magic, and child heroes. I enjoyed getting pulled into the eyes of my inner child.