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
This is not one of those grand stories like Dune or The Lord of the Rings. This is the kind of story that has keeps you curious the whole way through about where the story is going. It also reminds me of a question Stephen King has asked about whether or not the telling of the story is enough or whether it really has to be about something or have an answer at the end. This is a book in which the telling of the story is enough. It is a fairy tale. It is about life. Full of wonder and imagination. Well developed characters that you bond with.
I picked this book because I wanted something shorter to read between heavy books. It was perfect. A balance of light and heavy without a load of sequels.
This was my first Neil Gaiman and I get why he is a phenomenon. He is also an excellent narrator. My opinion is that a book should be narrated by the author or a single, very talented, professional narrator. Mr. Gaiman's narration is a wonderful example in support of my argument.
I listened, relaxed and allowed my mind to venture to the ocean at the end of the lane right alongside Mr. Gaiman! He has the perfect voice to read this book, it's only natural!!
Fantasy meets reality and makes you want more!
I thought Neil Gaiman narrating his own book was outstanding........my most memorable moments are the lessons Lettie taught the nameless boy
When Lettie brought the ocean to the nameless boy in the bucket
The past can never truly be forgotten
I have never read anything by this author and bought this on a whim. I normally don't like when authors read their own work however I loved this one and loved the narration. highly recommend.
Neil was a fabulous narrator. I loved the Graveyard and this has the same feel, a creepy premise. In fact, now I want to listen to the Graveyard again.
I would, because Neil Gaiman's narration was so intriguing to listen to, compounded with a great story. I absolutely loved this book!
I enjoyed the fairy tale-esqueness of it.
He has a fantastic voice, a lovely accent, and as the writer, no one knows the characters better for performance purposes.
Some things are not as they seem.
I dare you NOT to love this!
The point-of-view character is, for most of the book, 7 years old. So there's a bit of childish whimsy that makes this book more fun than American Gods and other things Gaiman wrote. He's a fairly good reader, too. I liked this book, a lot more than other works of his.
I'm sick of all the "Born a Crime" and "Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo" audio book ads!!!
This story ranks right up there with the worst of them. It just did not make any sense at all and was completely unbelievable. It was, however, well narrated by the author, who I could tell thought he was reading something very profound and creative. But in reality the story was just ridiculous.
Quite high up!
I'd say it compares to most of what Gaiman writes. If you're a Gaiman fan, you'll most likely enjoy this book. If you're not a Gaiman fan, then I guess you haven't read any of his books... :)
There's something special about authors reading their own books, particularly when they do it as well as Gaiman does.
Yes. I almost did.
Time and time again Neil Gaiman shows what an good writer he is. This is no exception.
"In fear of Neil Gaiman's voice"
I was afraid to hear him read it himself because I already had a voice in my head that I attributed to him and I didn't want to be disappointed and find that my expectations had been too high. I have that fear no more. The story swept me away and his voice was the swell and ebb of the waves. Thank you sir for offering me a safe place of imagination .
Its an incredible story that could only possibly be improved by being narrated by the author himself.
I loved that I had not read anything about it beforehand so everything was a total surprise and such a treat. I loved the lush description of food throughout the story. It really brought you inside the story.
Having this narrated by the author seemed to add a richness to the story.
Yes - no spoilers!
"Neil Gaiman is brilliant"
Neil Gaiman is normally praised for his creative stories, which is deserved, but what I really appreciate is when he narrates them himself. In addition to speaking in his own agreeable voice, he does all manner of Anglophone voices and accents across time and space, which really brings the characters alive. And his timing and phrasing are perfect. I first discovered his narration in the Graveyard Book, which is my favorite of all in terms of narration due to all the different characters represented.
The Hempstock women (Lettie, her mother, and her grandmother) are a trio of great characters. They are comforting and make you recall being safe and protected.
Not easy to say which scene was most enjoyable, but what I like is that the main character / narrator seemed to understand, even as a young boy, the limits of the people around him (particularly his father), and realized that even in disappointment, there may be something positive to be found. I keep thinking of the 7th birthday party his mother threw for him which none of his classmates attended; he didn't mind so much, because he got to keep the party game prizes for himself.
How to know and then forget everything.
"Couldn't put it down"
Great story, well told. Always nice to have the story read by the author too. Listened to this book in one sitting, had to know what was going to happen next. I would highly recommend this book.
"Neil Gaiman does it again"
This book is more in line with The Graveyard Book rather than American God from a Gaiman perspective if you are a fan. It is very well told by Gaiman himself and the story is excellent. His writing is very clever and you won't be let down if you decide to buy/cash in a credit. That said I think that the Graveyard Book is better, but some people may prefer this one for reasons I can't say without giving too much away!
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