I walked away from this story thinking- wouldn't it be wonderful to believe in magic, and an ocean that looks like a pond, and to trust so fully in friendship.
I don't pretend to know or understand the full the full depth of this story, but I'm going to keep reading your reviews -such a great story. I ordered the book for my daughter, but I imagine that I'll get to get to it too :)
a dedicated dilettante
Mr. Gaiman draws us into our past, our fears and hopes, our homely comforts and all too frequent pain of relationship and how our childhood impacts our lives. He draws in with his simple language hiding some interesting constructs. He draws us in with images of our own past and our own reflections on it. For those that listen to the audio book, he draws us in with his voice and pacing. He draws us home only to realize that home is on the other side of the looking glass, down the rabbit hole and more warped than we like to remember.
Say something about yourself!
“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.” - The Ocean at the End of the Lane
There is so much longing in this novel: the longing of a child to be understood and believed and accepted; the longing of an adult to remember those things that would give a life context and meaning; the longing of the individual to know that his/her life is worth all of the sacrifices (both those recalled and those forgotten) others have made in order to make it possible. But, as Ginnie Hempstock says in this story, "You don't pass or fail at being a person, dear." We can't justify our own existences. We can only try to be better today than we were yesterday.
I love Neil Gaiman's writing, and I loved this novel. Although the majority of it takes place when the narrator is a seven-year-old boy, the whole of it is infused with his (the narrator's - and, for that matter, Gaiman's) middle-aged awareness of his own weakness, mortality, and confusion. Growing up doesn't mean growing suddenly omnipotent or omniscient, and as I fortysomething reader, I share that vague sense of outrage and disappointment that the years did not make me more than I am or make the world more explicable to me. Fortunately, Gaiman leavens his bittersweet tale with that true sense of wonder that is his hallmark, and we are left with the consolation that there are wiser and stronger beings about, even if they aren't us grown-ups.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane isn't my favorite Gaiman work. It never achieved the same bone-chilling connection for me as Coraline or the masterful sense of place of American Gods or the intellectual thrill of the brilliant (brilliant, I say!) A Study in Emerald, but it's a haunting adult fairytale, beautifully drawn. I suspect it will follow me around for a long time.
Gaiman's sensitive narration really makes this book. Highly recommended.
Lots!.. I am so dumbfounded by this book that I can't even really articulate a review for it. I get it, its a memory that came back to him of this really weird couple of days he had where he got a peek at the secret world that Lettie and the Hempstock women live in; but the novel as a whole left me feeling so incomplete. I enjoyed the author as narrator, I though he did a great job. The writing style was fine too, but the story... sigh... I just don't have the words to properly describe how it made me feel, overall it was a let down. The only thing that kept me listening through to the end of the book was that it was only a 5 hr recording. I don't get how this story has so many rave reviews. While writing my review I took a break to look for someone else who may have found this novel less than perfect. I found a review on Goodreads that summed up my thoughts very well..."while this one is as readable as the others, it doesn't mean anything, doesn't relate to anything we know in life." (thanks Paul on Goodreads)... This was my problem with the story. What was the point????
No, and I am not sure that I am interested in any more of his books after this one.
I am an amateur ethno- botanist, an Apple evangelist and an avid consumer of audio books. Audio- books have given more choices of what to have in my head while I am doing mindless tasks. Audible has become more important now than when I first joined since I have limited shelf space in our new apartment.
I would listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again. It is a surprisingly deep piece of fiction that deals with a nameless narrator experiencing the feminine mysteries as a child.
I really don't know.
That would give too much away.
Yes. I listened to this book in one long rainy day.
This has become my second favorite Neil Gaiman's book. I highly recommend the tenth anniversary edition of American Gods.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
When I selected this book after listening to the free preview, I expected to enjoy a story full of Gaiman magic and whimsy, narrated to perfection by the expressive author. I got that and so very much more. This is a truly magical exploration of dreams and nightmares, fear and courage, youth and timeless age, and the ultimate sacrifice for things that matter more than one’s own life. What might at first glance appear to be merely a fantasy of childhood, for me was deeply moving, woven together with almost mystical wisdom and heart, and the often asked question "is it really true . . ." Children can be so very wise.
I rarely re-read books once I’ve finished. I think this will be an exception. There are layers to be re-examined, and I really loved these people, especially the children, not simply written, but created, inhabited by Gaiman. His words and his voice in my ears made them real. He IS the little boy. He is a master craftsman and this is a work of art.
My favorite genres are absurdist humor, Sci-fi & modern fantasy, but, as you can see, I'll read just about anything. Don't mind the typos.
Gaiman does a great job narrating his tale. The story is a little flat and a little short. Great author just didn't hit the mark.
I liked this book from start to finish! I usually listen to lengthy books because I like the charactor development the length allows. This was a marvelous exception. Wonderful imagination from the author and I loved the characters. Well worth the read.
I love books.
I think when an author like Neil Gaiman is also a brilliant narrator, it definitely adds to the story to listen to it being told.
Gaiman has a wonderful reading voice, and is a brilliant story-teller. You can feel assured that when he narrates his own story, you are hearing it in exactly the way it is intended.
This story is engaging and unique. It easily takes the listener into the world of the characters and provides for an entertaining experience.