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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

4.3 (6989 )
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4.2 (6413 )
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4.5 (6416 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Jason VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA, United States 07-23-14
    Jason VIRGINIA BEACH, VIRGINIA, United States 07-23-14
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    "Great Summer Listen"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    Listen to book in one sitting driving back home from Philly. Very fun and creepy story.


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

    First time listen to Neil Galman. Really enjoyed the book!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User Birmingham, AL, United States 07-23-14
    A User Birmingham, AL, United States 07-23-14 Member Since 2012

    Lake lover

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    "Did not like this book"

    I bought this book based on the positive reviews but I didn't enjoy anything about it. I almost stopped listening. I waited to buy it on sale, I didn't want to use a credit because it's so short. The narrator had a pleasant voice.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joan 06-20-14
    Joan 06-20-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Wonderful!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes! Wonderful story, read wonderfully!


    What did you like best about this story?

    The view of a child about the world of adults. So insightful and sweet.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    It was fantastic!


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

    Letty and her mother and gran.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the best audiobook I have listened to. The combination of the wonderful story plus it being read by the actual author, I listened to the whole thing in a day.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    gordon 06-16-14
    gordon 06-16-14 Member Since 2012
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    "I loved this story."
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    I really liked Neil Gaimon's reading of his own book.


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

    It is one of a kind.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I didn't have a favorite.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    The world has more layers than you can see.


    Any additional comments?

    I really enjoyed the book. It made me feel like a child again.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolyn Zahnow 06-12-14

    I listen to audio books on my M-F 40 minute commute into Raleigh NC. I am the founder of The Shore Grief Center, a nonprofit.

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    "Children's Book"
    What disappointed you about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I kept waiting for it to mature but I give up - it's not going to happen!


    Has The Ocean at the End of the Lane turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes if I knew what the genre was.


    How could the performance have been better?

    performance was okay, it's more the story that I'm disillusioned with.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ilene palm desert, CA, United States 06-01-14
    ilene palm desert, CA, United States 06-01-14 Member Since 2015
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    "Not for me"
    What disappointed you about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I usually like fantasy in fiction. But this story was too vague and really I was sorry I wasted my time finishing the book. There is nothing to pull it together or give you insight into why the magic changed the mans life. I would stay away from the pond he calls an ocean. This little story does not fill an ocean.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica San Diego, CA, United States 05-30-14
    Erica San Diego, CA, United States 05-30-14 Member Since 2015
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    "My first intro to Neil Gaiman - awesome!"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Wow, had no idea I'd get caught up in this book. But, alas, I did, and I was oh so disappointed when it was over. What a great story, and what a great author/narrator. Normally, I am not one for authors narrating their own books but I know that's part of what drew me in. I am so glad to see he narrates some of his other books which by the way, I'll start tomorrow.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hard to say - Jenny or Letty.


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

    Oh so much. Terrific narrator. Wish he narrated a lot more books.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Cried, cried and cried. Definitely drew into this book. I read Stephen King's the stand about 30 years ago and that was the last time I got this caught up in a book. Absolutely *loved* it.


    Any additional comments?

    A favorite. A relisten for sure. A wonderful intro to Gaiman. Read it - you won't regret it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Yvette Z Vandermolen FPO, AP United States 05-27-14
    Yvette Z Vandermolen FPO, AP United States 05-27-14 Member Since 2008
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    "I expect better from Gaiman"

    Gaiman's Anansi Boys is one of my Top 5 favorite audiobooks, and I love Coraline, Neverwhere (TV and radio shows), The Sandman series, and the movies that have come out of his work, such as Mirrormask. Given how inventive he can be, this book really falls flat. It's predictable and not all that exciting. I had just finished listening to Joe Hill's NOS4A2, with all of its twists and turns and deeply realized characters, and Ocean just felt amateurish by comparison. I think it got raves because everyone expects a certain style from Gaiman, so if that style is present, the book is automatically a winner. I think King's writing has suffered from this same slavish behavior from fans. This is not Gaiman's best work. Spend a credit on his older and better stuff, or get Mr. Penumbra’s 24‑Hour Bookstore or Alif the Unseen instead. Those books aren't the English-nanny airy-fairy style of Ocean, but the stories are much more engaging and the fantasy elements not so old fashioned and predictable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Omaha, NE, United States 05-12-14
    Scott Omaha, NE, United States 05-12-14 Member Since 2009
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    "a cross between Stephen King and Haruki Murakami,"

    had the unpredictable nature and characters of a Haruki Murakami with the spooky, thriller story line like Stephen King. The narration is very smooth.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky Dodd 05-07-14
    Becky Dodd 05-07-14
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    "Neil Gaiman's Beautiful Fable"

    I absolutely loved this fable by Neil Gaiman. The tone of the entire story was magical and his performance kept me so entranced that I'd often forget where I was and if I was meant to be doing something. It's an absolutely lovely book and a lovely reading to enjoy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Amazon Customer
    Oslo, Norway
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"
    Where does The Ocean at the End of the Lane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high up!


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

    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... :)


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

    There's something special about authors reading their own books, particularly when they do it as well as Gaiman does.


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

    Yes. I almost did.


    Any additional comments?

    Time and time again Neil Gaiman shows what an good writer he is. This is no exception.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Seigneux, Switzerland
    2/12/15
    Overall
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    Story
    "Neil Gaiman is brilliant"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How to know and then forget everything.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't put it down"
    What did you like most about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Justin Coyne
    8/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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