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
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.
Listening to the audiobook read by the author does color my thoughts on the book. Gaiman writes with a sense of discovery. There is awe and wonder in the descriptions. I don't think I would have translated the childlike innocence in the interior monologue as successful with my typical reading. There is a pace and a shifted sense of importance/emphasis Gaiman added to the reading that adjusted my perspective. It would now be impossible for me to know if the text version of the book would have been as successful. This is a beautiful book. It is scary and sweet. There is real menace in the shadows, but there is magic and warmth and protection. It mixes childhood nostalgia with something ancient and huge. It captures what it is to be a child on an adventure. It captures how we forgot what it was like to be a child, but that a small piece stays with us throughout our lives.
I can't think of a better way to be introduced to an author than to hear him read his latest novel. For years, friends have said to read Neil Gaiman but as I am new to the fantasy/scifi genre I was unaware of his talent. This book was an excellent way to do spring cleaning, as I was mesmerized by the story and barely noticed all the work I was accomplishing.
That you could "cut out and stitch up" things in time that you didn't like. Rather than just going back in time to try and change something, you just snip out the memory. My father died of dementia recently and I wonder if this is how his mind was -- just missing pieces.
When the boy stayed in the circle, despite all the ways the forces tried to entice him out of it.
It made me cry out when his father held him under the water. It made me laugh when he talked about food the way he did. The burnt toast, the spotted dick, etc.
I was reminded when listening to this that when we grow up we lose the connection with the sound of words because we can read and we do that silently.
Definitely! I loved the characterizations. It was a great book.
Neil Gaiman is a unique writer so it would be difficult to compare it with anyone. However, his quirkiness is similar to Christopher Moore's quirkiness.
His delivery of the story gives you his perspective on the story. His delivery is great!
I am hard pressed to pick a moment. Many surprises. I really liked this book.
The story. It was 5 hours and 48 minutes too long.
Regretful and Upset that I wasted a credit on this crap.
Disappointed in that this book does not even come close in measuring up to all the great reviews it has received.
Misled in basing my purchase on all the great reviews listed for this twaddle.
Skeptical of any other book written by Neil Gaiman.
Do yourself a favor, don't waste a credit on this drivel. There is no shred of sense anywhere in the story. This is one of the most convoluted and boring books I have ever read. I so regret wasting a credit on this rubbish and would never recommend it to anyone...ever.
Neil Gaiman is a wonderful writer as well as a wonderful narrator. He has a very cottony voice, like warm, soft cotton right out of the drier in which you can wrap yourself up and feel cozy. The story, while intriguing, has quite a few plot holes. Sometimes I enjoy a good plot hole you can fill in for yourself, but these are more like plot canyons where you just stand at the edge and go, "Huh?"
Staying in the center of the fairy ring and waiting there.
It was good for the author to narrate his own story. He knew exactly what to emphasize, what each character needed to sound like. He was perfect.
I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.
He really did a good job narrating this himself! Very immersing.
When I read the synopsis of this book, for some reason I had doubts about whether I'd be interested. I was so wrong! This book could be called a "magical realism" story, and it is richly fantastical, honest, touching, and dark. The story of a little boys life was so sad and realistic, the author really reminded me of what it was like to be a child! It wasn't depressingly sad, just... Beautifully sad, in the way that life often really is. Really though, this man has such an amazing imagination. I began to doubt this author after I read Neverwhere, and just couldn't get into it, but if you liked almost any of his other books, you'll love this one. Really a great work.
If you haven't listened to a book narrated by Neil Gaiman, then The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the perfect place to start. A little over 5 hours, this book will suck you in for the entirety of your day. Neil Gaiman reads his stories with such clarity and wonder, with a distinct voice for every one of his characters. Masterfully written as well, his latest tale is engaging and spectacular and one of the best audiobooks I have listened to.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane combines all classic Gaiman elements. Mix Coraline's dual worlds with his reoccurring sinister crows and a touch of Graveyard Book's Liza Hempstrock and you'll have a magnificent near-novella that will captivate any reader. Short and sweet, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was one of my favorite fantasy books of last year and his audiobook rendition of it is marvelous. A must listen!
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