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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

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  •  
    Brett United States 09-16-13
    Brett United States 09-16-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Breaths life into the adult imagination."
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I really enjoyed the author's ability capture the true essence of the wonderment of childhood. While reading this book it is easy to be reminded of your childhood and what it was like to escape the boring day-to-day life by immersing yourself in your own imaginings.The narration was great, Neil's voice and accent are quite pleasant to listen to and I found the flow was quite adequate.


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to and why?

    I am tempted to compare it to "The Long Earth" by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett or maybe "14" by Peter Clines, because of the author's ability to create such an elaborate and amazing fantasy world. I don't often read books that I would label as "fantasy" but the way this was written makes me want more. It felt good to recapture some of my imagination. I found myself wanting to believe that magic, witches, and alternate dimensions exist.However, don't misunderstand my reference to the forementioned books. The story lines, characters, and settings are entirely different. I merely mention them because they are books that I have read that were able to create these amazingly deep and wonderful fantasy worlds that make me wish there were more to our Earth than meets the eye.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Gaiman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first Neil Gaiman book, but it will not be my last. I am currently downloading "The Graveyard Book". I also am considering "American Gods".


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

    Yes. It flowed well and kept you wanting more. The length of the book was perfrect for this type of story. I often find it annoying when a really good story gets drug on too long, it is too easy to be turned off from a story when you get lost in a sea of words. This book was not like that, I finished the book in one sitting.


    Any additional comments?

    I can't stress this point enough... if you are looking to rekindle your childhood imagination, read this book. It may not have been the best book I've read, but it was very good and any book that can move me or motivate me to buy another book from the same author, is worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    CAROL CARNEGIE, PA, United States 09-15-13
    CAROL CARNEGIE, PA, United States 09-15-13

    C Galand

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    "my fave author"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    i love the way neil gaiman reads his stories. i wish all authors would read their own stories. they emphasize all the right things and make the characters sound the way they did in their minds as they wrote. it all sounds and feels so right.


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

    hmmmmm.......i'm such a fan, that's a tough question


    If you could take any character from The Ocean at the End of the Lane out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    lettie, of course, i want to know her story


    Any additional comments?

    keep reading neil

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shannon Dayton, TX, United States 09-14-13
    Shannon Dayton, TX, United States 09-14-13 Member Since 2012
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    "I didnt expect it to be so far out there."
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    The story is like a scary and weird fairy tail. I don't care for that kind of story and didn't realize that was what it was going to be like. It did keep my attention and was well written though.


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something more grounded.


    Was The Ocean at the End of the Lane worth the listening time?

    Not for me.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynne albany, NY, United States 09-13-13
    Lynne albany, NY, United States 09-13-13 Member Since 2014
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    "Don't miss this one"

    I run hot and cold on Gaiman's work. This book, though. This book is extraordinary. Listening to the author read it is beyond extraordinary. If you buy one Audible book this year - this should be it. Especially for those of us who, as children, found comfort, safety, and a sense of home in books, this story will reawaken feelings possibly long forgotten, deliciously, with a side of ache.

    Plus also, bonus kittens.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    moe CT 09-12-13
    moe CT 09-12-13

    moe

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    "The imagination of a 7-year-old… Or was it real?"

    Neil Gaiman has written an engaging, magical story. As the narrator reflects on a strange experience of long ago when he was seven years old and met Letty, an 11-year-old girl who lived at the end of the lane and had mysterious powers. Fans of fantasy literature will certainly enjoy this book. Even though I don't count myself as a big fan of fantasy literature, I thought the story was very creative and took me on a wonderful journey through the eyes and mind of a seven-year-old boy. When I saw that the author was also the narrator I was hesitant, since authors often have more writing skills than storytelling skills. Not the case here. Neil Gaiman is a wonderful narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Oneal California 09-07-13
    C. Oneal California 09-07-13 Member Since 2012

    I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.

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    "Very strange beginning, but well worth the time."
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    The imagination of the author and the story development. The detailed imagination and I don't like stories of fantasy. Truthfully I was annoyed at first. Later I as overwhelmed wit the talent of the author of creating the details of this other dimension.


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

    The cutting and stitching in the kitchen. I could see it. The talent of the narrator matched the talent of the writer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    robert 09-07-13
    robert 09-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "I enjoyed this book, on my second Neil Gaimam book"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    I enjoyed it but it is a story that unfolds and once you know all the twists and turns it is not the same the second time. I enjoyed this book and have a feeling Neil Gaiman will turn out to be a favorite author for me. I immediately started a second one of his.


    What does Neil Gaiman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I really like the way he reads the story. Normally, it is a big mistake to have the author read the book but not with Neil.


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

    Too long for that


    Any additional comments?

    I enjoyed this book and Neil's performance. My favorite audible book ever is still "the book thief". Everyone should listen to that one!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Monica L. Sprague 09-06-13

    memonica

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    "What A Surprising Book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    I haven't read the print version. I picked the audio version for my husband who listens to book each day when driving to and from work. We've read Gaiman's American Gods and I have his children's books so I looked him up and downloaded this audio book. I fell in love with Neil Gaiman's voice and of course hearing a book read by the author gives you insight into the characters - you can HEAR the emphasis of words, descriptors, pauses, and reflections. Fabulous.


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

    The most memorable moment was the death of the main character who was saved by the protagonist who was ultimately the cause of the antagonists (both types) and the death of the main character.


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

    Ursula was my favourite character performed by Neil Gaiman. Though she was the antagonist, I could just imagine her so clearly as he spoke her lines.


    If you could take any character from The Ocean at the End of the Lane out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    I would take the main character to dinner because I would love to be able to try to tap into the mind that is so far removed from the seven year old self that he forgets the number of times that he revisits the "end of the lane".


    Any additional comments?

    I honestly had no idea what to expect of this little audio book. The descriptor did not do it justice. Still, I was so pleasantly surprised and became so enthralled that when we left Blacksburg at 9:00 pm, we were expecting to stop for the night at 11:00 but I just couldn't leave the book so I drove all the home. We arrived home at 1:40 am with the book completed and a longing to know "the rest of the story".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brittany Costa Mesa, CA, United States 09-02-13
    Brittany Costa Mesa, CA, United States 09-02-13 Member Since 2010
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    "Fantastic Fantasy and Supernatural Novel"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    I do think the audio version is better then the printed version because the author himself narrates the book. I think this gives us a better insight into how the author visualized each character.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lettie was my favorite character in the book because she was brave, creative, and insightful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tracey 08-31-13
    Tracey 08-31-13
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    "Captivating"

    The narration was great -- I love it when authors can narrate their own tales, and Neil Gaiman is a master.
    The story is captivating.
    Definitely worth the credit!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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