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
Its a fairy tale. Characters become real and story is absorbing. Mr. Gaiman narrates his own work and has a wonderful reading voice. Very enjoyable with a nicely tied up ending.
Though this book fell far short of my expectations, I haven't yet lost my faith in Neil Gaiman. He still has untapped genius in him.
There's no change I can think of that would have made the story more enjoyable. Rather, I just wish Gaiman had written a different kind of story. Ever since Neverwhere, Gaiman's work has concerned itself with hidden worlds, fantasy worlds, concealed within our own. I suppose to some extent that's the conceit of all contemporary fantasy set in the real world. But Gaiman's approach to this genre, filled with endless possibilities, has become formulaic. Though billed as his first adult novel since Anansi Boys, The Ocean at the End of the Lane puts us inside a child protagonist, just like The Graveyard Book, who stumbles upon a weird and wonderful world of universal proportions hidden right under his nose in the bucolic English countryside. I was very much hoping for something new from Neil Gaiman, but alas, this book is not it.
I enjoyed the scenes in which the main character and the enigmatic Lettie Hempstock shared page-time.
Not being up on the child actor scene, I can't cast a live-action version of the book in my mind. This is a book that often works on the level of metaphor, and thus wouldn't translate well to screen, in my opinion.
Like me, you are probably a Neil Gaiman fan, and so, like me, you will probably buy this audiobook no matter what. Just let me caution you that this is not the provocative, mind-breaking Gaiman of the late 1990s and early 2000s. There are glimpses of that Gaiman in this book, and I devoutly hope for his return, but this novel is not it. Having said that, I may have softened your expectations, and now you may be able to enjoy The Ocean at the End of the Lane for what it is: a well-written, whimsical, at times poignant little read, just like all of Gaiman's works of the last ten years.
This is probably one of my favorite audiobooks so far. Granted, it was only 5 hours, or so, long, but it was a full spectrum story.
It was sort of like Ray Bradbury meets the Twilight Zone. I was expecting a coming of age book, sort of, but I wasn't expecting the creepy twists along the way. I also loved the narration by Neil Gaiman; he wasn't just reading the story to you, he was feeling it and you were feeling it with him. I also loved how when I was listening, I could see the scene develop in my minds eye (helpful for when you're on an elliptical) and easily became lost in the story. Very descriptive and heart-felt narration.
I think Old Mrs Hempstock was my favorite. Whenever she said anything, she was unfiltered and a little spiky whenever she spoke...just like any Grandmother who had earned the right to do so.
I would take Ginny Hempstock out for dinner anytime! Between the experiences of her mother and her daughter, she's have amazing dinner conversation regardless of who was with her.
I just happened to be browsing around Audible for something that I could listen to while I was working out. I was pleasantly surprised by how involved I got into this book. Highly recommended for anyone that likes nostalgia with a hint of magic thrown in.
Little bit crazy but prefer the term eccentric. I am a recluse by nature so I live for my books and the friends I find within their pages.
Neil Gaiman's stories are always good and I enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and felt connected to the characters but have enjoy other books of his more. I felt the story was missing something. I did enjoy listening to it, especially as Neil Gaiman narrated it and it was well worth the time and money it just wasn't his best.
1st of all, let me say, I love Neil Gaiman! I love his writing. The way he puts together words and sentences is beautiful. The Ocean at the End of the Lane will not disappoint with that. And Neil Gaiman's narration is perfect. I don't know how many times I've listened to him read The Graveyard Book.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane left me wanting more. I want to know more about the characters. I want to know more about their lives and the world around. What exactly are the Hempstocks for example? What was the world they came from?
Ocean is what it is. A short novel. Nothing more than a day's read. Enough to get your toes wet.
This review in no way should discourage anyone from reading or listening to Ocean. Just don't expect the depth of American Gods.
I listened to this book because my girlfriend recommended Neil Gaiman. I wanted to start off with something shorter and see if I liked his style. It is perfection! The fact that he narrated it to (which I didn't really recognize till I wrote this review) shows just how dynamic he is. I will be getting more of his books for my casual "reads"
Everything you would hope/expect from a professional narrator with a little more emotion.
No, I gladly touch it in pieces.
Neil Gaiman in top form, both as a story teller and as a Narrator. This was such a rich and layered story that I listened to it twice in the same week! I never do that. This is an engaging tale on so many levels, beautifully written and read by the author. You will not be disappointed.
Graphic Designer. Culinary Enthusiast. Mostly User Friendly.
As always, magical and lyrical and full of wisdom. Neil narrated the audiobook himself, which added an extra layer or excellence. Loved it!
Say something about yourself!
Yes. This book enthralls you quickly, for the first half of the book, I wasn't sure what direction the story was going in (and this was a good thing!) Wonderful storytelling, great narration, very unique topic.
The boy's character and point of view.
His accent, the voice inflections, the pauses and tone HE, as the author, wanted us to hear.
It was a little shocking at the beginning, because I have not read Neil Gaiman before, so I was unsure of the genre.
I wish it was longer!
Get lost in an adult fairy tale. A surprise at every twist and turn, you'll never know what's ahead. And Gaiman's narration is magical and perfect for the story. I didn't want it to end.
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