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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 (4962 )
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4.5 (4578 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Luis Pasadena, MD, United States 07-30-13
    Luis Pasadena, MD, United States 07-30-13
    ratings
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    1
    1
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    "Gaiman is the best person to read his own stuff"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This book has just enough fantasy. That blending of the real world and a world just beyond ours. It sucks you in, right away and you care about Gaiman's stand-in through a series of unfortunate events.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The girls at the end of the lane are full of mysteries, and you will wait for them to reenter the story every time they leave it.


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

    Neil's voices bring the characters to life.


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

    Old Mrs. Hempstock has some stories to tell, but of course she wouldn't actually tell them


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alfredo Rodriguez Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico 07-30-13
    Alfredo Rodriguez Guadalajara, Jalisco Mexico 07-30-13

    Roagui

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    4
    3
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    "Two times in a row and cant wait to get the book!"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    i simply couldnt put it down!... i usually listen while driving, but the story was so facinating that i took to work, and passed the whole day listening to it!... i red Coraline before a few years ago, and althought i find a few similarities with this book its a wonderful adventure, kinda cried with the first chapters and was literaly on the edge of my seat with the rest!...

    i had to listen to it again just to see what i was missing the first time... Neil Gaiman narration is amazing, a true and modern story teller!.. i will defenetly buy this as a gift!


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

    no, first time and i love it! couldnt stop tweeting about it!


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    yes.. but wont tell!.. you need to listen to it!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Toluca Lake, CA, United States 07-30-13
    Tim Toluca Lake, CA, United States 07-30-13 Member Since 2012
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    2
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    "Like a fine bottle of wine"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    Like a fine bottle of wine, this book is simple while complex. Fun while addictive. Joyful at the same time being squinted-eyes scary. Not to be read or drank all at once; rather set for a while and remembered fondly so that it begs you back for more. Neil Gaiman performs wonderfully with both his pen and his voice at presenting a door to a dream; or rather a fantasy that many around the world have been taught for centuries.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. Keighron Mt. Holly, NC 07-30-13
    R. Keighron Mt. Holly, NC 07-30-13 Member Since 2012

    Rusty

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    "I REALLY wanted to like this book ..."

    I don't know what I was expecting after reading the glowing views, but this wasn't it. So many directions this book could have gone after the first few chapters and can't imagine in going in a less satisfying way. Felt that the author was able to do a good job in the reading, adding emphasis and drama where it needed to be. Dark and disturbing; not my cup of tea.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ben 07-29-13
    Ben 07-29-13 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
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    12
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    "Not Gaiman's best work"

    I have loved a number of other books by Gaiman (American Gods, Anansi Boys, Graveyard Book), but I thought this one fell flat. The plot isn't very compelling and doesn't move along like his others and I was not really invested in the characters. I think this would have worked better as a short story and it feels stretched as a novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas M. Corrigan Dayton, MD USA 07-29-13
    Thomas M. Corrigan Dayton, MD USA 07-29-13 Member Since 2005

    bilbodad

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    "2nd Wow! Yes, this really was GREAT"

    Just finished this and it makes me wonder if I should have given some of my other books reviewed 5 stars, as then this should be 6. A remarkable, if difficult to describe, story. And Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job at reading his work. Even the "acknowledgments" at the end were interesting and worth the listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Blair 07-28-13
    Blair 07-28-13 Member Since 2012

    I can't seem to stop reading, so Audible is perfect. Now I can "read" at times that were previously impossible. Walking, cleaning, cooking..

    ratings
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    5
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    "Must-listen!"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    I would listen to this recording over and over again. It's magical and haunting and just creepy enough that it will scare you a little in the dark.


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

    Yes, and everything he does is amazing.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William R. Brandon Texas 07-27-13
    William R. Brandon Texas 07-27-13 Member Since 2011

    BB

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
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    "A really good choice for a summer read"
    Where does The Ocean at the End of the Lane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    On a scale of one to ten, ten being the best, this would rank about 7.


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

    This is the first performance by Neil Gaiman that I have listened to. I really enjoyed his voice and his presence.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel MYSTIC, CT, United States 07-23-13
    Daniel MYSTIC, CT, United States 07-23-13
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    7
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    "Possibly better than Stardust"

    What I love about Neil Gaiman is his talent for stealing you away into a beautiful narrative that challenges your heart to dream again. My favorite of his books had always been Stardust. I always enjoyed that best, because it was never muddled with awkward sexual scenes that can color his other books, such as American Gods.
    The Ocean at the End of the Lane recaptured that same childlike, innocent narrative which I so enjoyed in Stardust. There is only one somewhat adult scene, and it does not distract at all from the story.
    At the heart of it, this is a fairy tale appreciated and loved best by adults.

    What I love most is Neil Gaiman's narration. I'm always fascinated to hear the author's own rendition of voices and meter. Gaiman's performance is excellent and pleasant to hear.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karoliina Helsinki, Finland 07-23-13
    Karoliina Helsinki, Finland 07-23-13
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    1
    1
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    "A real pleasure"
    Where does The Ocean at the End of the Lane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    The perfection in this audio book is that it's the author himself narrating the thing. And accordingly the whole thing is lively, beliavable and appropriate.


    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
  • 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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