The day of his father's funeral, a man starts driving randomly between the end of the funeral and start of the post-funeral reception at his sister's house. He winds up in the neighborhood they lived in as kids, and specifically he winds up not where they house they lived in was, at the top of the lane, but at the end of the lane.
At the old farmhouse where Letty Hempstock lived.
And he starts remembering long-buried events of his childhood. That Letty always said that the quiet little pond near her house was in fact an ocean is the least surprising of those memories.
This is an utterly charming little story, terrifying in all the right places. The Hempstocks are a remarkable family, but the narrator, while young, naive, and lacking in sold knowledge of the fantastic, proves to have a strength of character unsuspected even by himself.
A very rewarding, quiet read. Recommended.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is written and narrated by Neil Gaiman. The unabridged audiobook is a short one, just over 5.5 hours of listening. The book was released several years ago, ergo there are thousands of reviews. It is, after all, a Neil Gaiman novel. I purchased as an Audible Daily Deal because … well, it is, after all, a Neil Gaiman novel.
Not much I can add to the mix, so some brief opinions. I liked this book. It is typical of Gaiman’s excellent writing - lyrical, poetic in places. Gaiman also simply tells a story - not paying much attention to current publisher conventions or mantras regarding the use of particular parts of speech - like adverbs. He writes from the heart, says what he wants to say … and readers are sucked in. I particularly liked the fact that Neil Gaiman is the narrator. The story is presented in the way he intended, no guessing regarding the reading or inflections.
This is a coming age, fable, fairy tale. But also a perspective of friendship, loyalty … the ability of a child to interpret and wonder - and the distant view of an adult reminiscing. I’m sure young adults would like, but The Ocean is also something a seasoned writer or adult reader would enjoy.
What I didn’t like? Nothing that I can think of…..
Like all Gaiman books, be prepared to let your imagination stretch and enjoy the ride.
Do you read the book before you dislike my reviews?
I am totally speechless as I write this review The Ocean at the End of the Lane." What a wonderful piece by Neil Gaiman. Even as adults, we all have recurring dreams that hunts us through the night. These dreams gives us cold sweats and make us fear to go back to sleep. Neil Gaiman wrote this book as a recurring dream. Not so much as a fear monger, but to remind us there is a child still inside of all of us and we still fear our subconsciousness.
I like history and biography, novels too. I do have a thing for zombie books as well. I need crappy thrillers now and then.
Gaiman creates a memorable world here, made from memory and perhaps magic. It's a story that doesn't always come together, but that didn't trouble me. Elements of mysteries to be revealed create suspense, and there are some evil people/creatures, but there is never really much threat to our protagonist. That might be the weak point in an otherwise pretty beautiful book.
Neil Gaimans works have a way of making me feel around 10 again--when I was obsessed with the folklore of witches, fairies and vampires. I felt giddy and nostalgic listening to this read. I loved that it was read by him, as he knows exactly how he wanted everything delivered.
This is a wonderful story, magical and exciting. The author captures the child's thinking so well.
I live for books. Audible makes my drives through LA traffic a pleasure.
I had no expectations about this book. I really not heard of it and did not know the Author, but I am very happy to have met him.
This book was well written and so enjoyable. It made me open my imagination, I loved how free that made me feel. The Letty character was wonderful as were the rest of Hemstead ladies. Every child who is having difficulty fitting in should have the Heamstedas in their lives.
I really liked this book a lot. I think I would listen to it again in another six months or so.
I don't really want to give anything away for those of you who haven't read the book, but I really liked the ending. It evoked a lot of different emotions, and I really liked that a lot.
I thought Gaiman was really great at performing the main character, who isn't named in the book. I almost felt like he was telling me a story from his own childhood. He was really good at emoting how a child would.
I thought the most moving moment in the book is what Lettie did for the main character. Again, I'm not throwing in any specifics in case you haven't read it yet...
Just read this book. It may seem a tad boring right at the beginning, but it picks up quickly. It's fascinating and magical.