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The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel | [Neil Gaiman]

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. 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. 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. 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.
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Publisher's Summary

Audie Award Finalist, Narration by the Author or Authors, 2014

Audie Award Finalist, Fiction, 2014

Sussex, England: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. 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. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet sitting by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean), the unremembered past comes flooding back. 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. A stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

©2013 Neil Gaiman (P)2013 HarperCollinsPublishers

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (4809 )
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4.5 (4445 )
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Performance
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  •  
    maria Fana, Norway 08-28-13
    maria Fana, Norway 08-28-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    4
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    Story
    "Imbuing the world with magic!"
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lettie Hempstock. Because she has been eleven years old for a very long time.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    It's perfect. Very pleasant voice, and since he's the author, he knows exactly how to present his story to the listener.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and why?

    The Hempstock Women; I can't really separate them, because they're essentially three aspects of the same character. They set the story in motion and see our hero through his dangerous journey.


    Any additional comments?

    Neil Gaiman contnues to animate the world with his stories.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Denise Sudbury, ON, Canada 08-22-13
    Denise Sudbury, ON, Canada 08-22-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    5
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Story
    "I want more!"
    If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

    Different, Joyful & Compelling


    What did you like best about this story?

    The "worm hole"


    Any additional comments?

    An excellent read, great way to spend an afternoon. Gaiman narration was, as usual, wonderful!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cindy Gloucester, ON, Canada 08-22-13
    Cindy Gloucester, ON, Canada 08-22-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    7
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Story is a little confusing and hard to follow"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    If I had known more about the book, I likely wouldn't have purchased it. It was alright but I found it hard to follow at times.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I didn't care for the ending. I expected more of a wrap up of how it started.


    What didn’t you like about Neil Gaiman’s performance?

    I found him a little hard to listen to and hard to get interested in the characters.


    Could you see The Ocean at the End of the Lane being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I suppose some type of fantasy...a TV movie, possibly. I likely wouldn't watch it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, United States 08-20-13
    Tina POUGHKEEPSIE, NY, United States 08-20-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    Yes, it's lovely that Neil Gaiman himself was the reader!


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    All of it, the whole story was great all around! Classic Neil Gaiman if you're a fan :-)


    Which character – as performed by Neil Gaiman – was your favorite?

    Lettie was one of my favorites...can't say anything since I don't want to give any spoilers :-)


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, and it's actually a short book so you get through it very quickly due to the great story line and reading!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 08-19-13
    Melinda Citron Agoura Hills, CA, United States 08-19-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    31
    12
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not for me"
    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    It may interest a young reader...middle school or late grade school.


    Any additional comments?

    I found the book akin to Dr. Seuss the words read aloud were sing songey.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Hilary Ely, NV, United States 08-17-13
    Hilary Ely, NV, United States 08-17-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    21
    13
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    0
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    "Magical!"

    I found this mystical and fun. I love that he narrates his own books, that makes it special. I feel like I could sit down and have a cup of tea with him.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janice Saint John, NB, Canada 08-16-13
    Janice Saint John, NB, Canada 08-16-13 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    3
    Overall
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    Story
    "Loved this Story!"

    It was hard to put this down! I couldn't wait to see what would happen next. It really was a great fairy tale story for adults.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer SAVANNAH, GA, United States 08-15-13
    Kindle Customer SAVANNAH, GA, United States 08-15-13 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    10
    8
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    "Wonderful story!"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Oh, I am afraid I am becoming a Neil Gaiman groupie! I am amazed at his ability to create a realistic portrayal of a fantasy world, through the eyes of a seven-year old boy. The unbelievable story becomes understandable in the simplistic wording of a child's perspective.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I adore Lettie Hemstock and her mother and grandmother. What wonderful characters! Gaiman said the Hemstocks had been with him for many years, so I hope we will see them again.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes, though I didn't allow myself to do that, as I wanted to savor it and enjoy the story as long as I could. It's kind of like a rich, dark chocolate; if you eat it all in one setting, you won't enjoy it as much.


    Any additional comments?

    The story is so intriguing and Gaiman's reading is brilliant, as ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew J. Lackovic Erie, Pa 08-15-13
    Andrew J. Lackovic Erie, Pa 08-15-13 Member Since 2012

    Al of Spears

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    24
    2
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    Story
    "So much better when read by the author"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Gaiman's storytelling has always been top notch, and this novel balances brilliantly the ephemeral nature of memory with the passage of time, and hearing the whole thing rendered by Gaiman's voice just added to the beauty of the whole piece. This is the first audio book I listened to more than once, and I can see myself playing this one again in a few years.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 08-14-13
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2013

    I am a writer who loves reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    50
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    2
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    "A Slow Burn"

    If you love gorgeous descriptions of English countryside and mouthwatering depictions of farm food, this book is for you. The action/adventure aspects of this story felt like they were overpowered by the gorgeous descriptions and the excellent characterization of the main character and his companion. It has only a small portion of the darkness contained by Gaiman's earlier works, along with the childish optimism encapsulated by The Graveyard Book. I really enjoyed this combination - I couldn't stop listening.

    Not only was the story wonderful, Gaiman's mellifluous voice is the perfect accompaniment to this very British story. All in all, it was a great experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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