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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Audiobook

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

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  •  
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 09-03-13
    Brian Lansing, MI, United States 09-03-13 Member Since 2014

    I love to read books; and now just recently I've discovered that audio books are very cool!! I'm also an author. You can find the SciFi book "The Curse of Europa" here on Audible or on Amazon.

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

    At first I was a little hesitant of listening to an author read his own book. Authors can usually write a great story, but not many can speak a great story (myself included.) But Gaiman made it work! One benefit of the author reading their own story is that they know exactly HOW the dialog was intended to be delivered. They know where they want inflection, where it should be whispered, or exasperated, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    I like Science Fiction, good straight-up realistic SciFi! This is not SciFi, it is fantasy. But... I liked it. I liked it a lot. Gaiman tells a great story (both in his writing and in his narration). Half the time I thought the boy in the story was me at that age. I can't think of anything I didn't like about the story and the ending was perfect.

    18 of 22 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jacob RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA, United States 07-13-13
    Jacob RICHMOND, CALIFORNIA, United States 07-13-13 Member Since 2011
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    "It feels almost like a memoir"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    As with all of Neil Gaiman's books I enjoy the confined small, but huge feel to the story. I like the sparse few characters which all have an important role to play. I enjoy the slow learning about the roles and that at the end you still want to know more, but are left wanting.


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

    I would compare it to Graveyard Book also by Neil Gaiman. I would make this comparison because it too has the same small, but important story to tell. It too has the same sparse list of characters that you don't get to know everything about. It too leaves you wanting to know more.


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

    Neil Gaiman unlike many other authors narrating brings a feeling to the books future state that he communicates through inflection that you don't get otherwise and would not get through all, but the most skilled of narrators.


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

    I would take old Mrs. Hempstock to dinner. She being the oldest and wisest of the Hempstock women and seeming to be the most open to discuss honestly the early history of the universe.


    21 of 26 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nate Jackson, MS, United States 06-25-13
    Nate Jackson, MS, United States 06-25-13 Member Since 2013
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    "More Stardust Than American Gods"

    Much more fairytale Coraline/Stardust/Graveyard Book than American Gods/Anansi Boys/Neverwhere, but still a decent novella. Felt like a story from Fragile Things carried to completion. It was neat to hear that there was a lot from his early childhood that was pulled into this story, and it was a surprise to him that the short story grew into this -- for my money, though, I like Gaiman when he's more grit and gristle.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 12-11-13
    Thug4life Sutton, MA 12-11-13 Member Since 2015

    I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.

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    "Me Like It :)"
    Any additional comments?

    I was hesitant to purchase “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” (Ocean) as this was my first Neil Gaiman novel and my interest in the fantasy genre extends as far as George Martin. I was old-fashioned wrong! Ocean was terrific. Ocean was a simple and unpretentious story about a childhood experience. Similar to Martel’s “Life of Pi”, there’s much more happening here if the reader/listener bothers to delve underneath the surface.

    Gaiman has an expert sense of the fears and anxieties that fuel the behaviors of a 7-year-old child. He also captures the magical thinking that children use to understand and negotiate their environments. Gaiman’s child has yet to be overtaken by the realities of science and logic. As a result, the reader is taken into imaginative situations only available through the mind of a child. The insights that come out of Ocean are refreshing and creative.

    Ocean is very entertaining and never boring. The audiobook is also very manageable at roughly 5 hours in length and only a handful of characters to track. Ocean is well worth your investment in time and money.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 10-29-13
    Julie W. Capell Milwaukee, WI USA 10-29-13 Member Since 2007

    The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history

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    "Fantasy for readers of "certain age""

    I was immediately captivated upon hearing the first few pages of “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” tacked on as a promo at the end of “Shoggoth’s Old Peculiar.” The tale of a man, back in his childhood hometown on the occasion of a funeral, re-discovering something fantastic and magical at the end of the lane made me feel wistful, like I wanted some of my mother’s chocolate chip cookies. So I immediately ordered “The Ocean” and waited for those cookie-scented childhood memories to waft my way.

    The book is for the most part a flashback, as the man of the first chapter recalls an adventure he had—or may not have had—as a young boy. As much as I liked the first chapter, much of the middle section of the book was just too icky for my taste. Intellectually, I understand the purpose of the scary parts but they were a bit graphic for my taste and jarred with other parts that were beautifully whimsical.

    The end of the book did a nice job of bringing everything back full circle, and made several allusions to the author’s own life as an expatriate and (at one time) struggling artist. I got the idea that this book was more autobiographical than others I have read by Gaiman. The long view of life that the novel’s structure allows resonated with me as I believe it will for many other readers of a “certain age.”

    I listened to this as an audio book read by Gaiman. He does a marvelous job here as with other readings I have heard from him.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 09-12-13
    carmen OFallon, MO, United States 09-12-13 Member Since 2011

    Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy

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    "Fantasy meats reality at the end of the lane"

    There was a really great line in this book where the children opined what if adults are really just scared children disguised in grown up bodies. (Paraphrased) It was an adult remembering something that had happened in his childhood the way be remembered it as a child. It really brings you back to the way you looked at things as a child. When , in retrospect, the way you understood the events was not reality. I feel like it is a great story that makes you long for the freedom you had as a child but at the same time remember how you were controlled by your dependence on other people, like your parents. Anyway, this story was kind of an adult look back at Nanny McPhee meets Coraline. It was fabulous and certainly worth the credit. Final note about Neil Gaiman narrating it hisself. I personally enjoyed the narration. However, I can see where people would be disappointed. I mean Neil Gaiman has paired a lot of perfect narrators with authors. So maybe there was a better narrator out there.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Talia TULSA, OK, United States 08-07-13
    Talia TULSA, OK, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Gaiman delivers an intimate masterpiece"

    If you're a Neil Gaiman fan, prepare to be surprised by the intimate tone of his latest book. Gaiman's story - magical, remarkable and dark - is perhaps his most revealing work to date.

    As I read this book, I felt Gaiman was sharing bits and bobs of his own childhood, skillfully woven into the fictional narrative. The result was the feeling that I was reading a somewhat biographical account of his own life.

    I will never be able to do justice to this story. All I can say is go read this book and be prepared to laugh, to cry and be given a glimpse into this amazing man's life.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. Boyer Sacramento, CA United States 08-01-13
    K. Boyer Sacramento, CA United States 08-01-13
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    "Lyrical"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    The story is compelling and haunting. All childhood fears are there, once that were forgotten and should not have been remembered.


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

    Usually, I am wary to listen to a novel read by the author himself, but this was a lyrical experience. Gaiman not only writes excellently, he also has a good sense of timing and drama when he narrates.


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 07-15-13
    Jan 07-15-13 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

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    "Esquisite words, breathtaking writing, brilliant"

    narration... a child's worst nightmare mixed with moonlit magic. Same feel as "The Graveyard Book" and "Coraline," which style I much prefer to the vulgarities of Gaiman's "American Gods" and "Anansi Boys." He caught so many emotive memories from my childhood, have to say I loved it. Also need to say it would be a real dark place for a child reader... being held underwater in the tub by an infuriated father, certain of death at his hands is just a start. No kid needs to illustrate these worst fears this vividly in his mind. But once past the vulnerability of childhood, a teen reader will delight in the goose bumps as much as I did.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Vicki CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, United States 08-07-13
    Vicki CORPUS CHRISTI, TX, United States 08-07-13 Member Since 2007

    Avid reader, enthusiastic grandmother, part-time substitute teacher, seamstress.

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    "Enchanting and eerie"

    This is not my usual genre but I loved this book. The story is enchanting in a creepy kind of way. I could not wait to see what happened next.

    The book is read by the author. I must admit, the writer is always my favorite reader. It didn't feel like Neil Gaiman was reading a book, it felt like he was telling me a story. Sometimes I wanted to say "and then what?" It kept me on the edge of my seat.

    Highly recommended.

    15 of 20 people found this review helpful

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