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
one of the better books I've listened to for my book club. Thoroughly enjoyable, couldn't wait until the end
Delightful fantasy story with many unexpected twists.
Neil's performance was spot on.
Lettie Hemstock, as the heroine at the end of the story, I'd like to find out if she approved of the narrator's life. Was he worth saving?
Listen to book in one sitting driving back home from Philly. Very fun and creepy story.
First time listen to Neil Galman. Really enjoyed the 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.
Yes! Wonderful story, read wonderfully!
The view of a child about the world of adults. So insightful and sweet.
It was fantastic!
Letty and her mother and gran.
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.
I really liked Neil Gaimon's reading of his own book.
It is one of a kind.
I didn't have a favorite.
The world has more layers than you can see.
I really enjoyed the book. It made me feel like a child again.
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.
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.
Hard to say - Jenny or Letty.
Oh so much. Terrific narrator. Wish he narrated a lot more books.
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.
A favorite. A relisten for sure. A wonderful intro to Gaiman. Read it - you won't regret it.
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.
had the unpredictable nature and characters of a Haruki Murakami with the spooky, thriller story line like Stephen King. The narration is very smooth.
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.
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.
"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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