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
The story was so beautiful, so simple and logical and yet also so complex and mysterious. I can't recall ever reading a child's POV that was more believable and charming. Gaiman captures the innocence and acceptance of childhood perfectly, without ever dumbing anything down.
The things left unsaid. In this book, Gaiman displays his wonderful gift for giving his readers exactly the right information. He never ruins a mystery, but he never leaves you frustrated either.
surprisingly, the scene in the bathroom where our hero calmly attempts to pull a worm out of his foot. Something about his thoughts while performing this action left a very strong impression on me.
It's short, but well worth the credit. I got more enjoyment from 5 hours in this story than most audiobooks can deliver in two or three times that amount.
Neil Gaiman is such a creative author, and when he reads these creations to me via Audible, there aren't many better audio book experiences. Fascinating... I hope we someday get to learn more about the women who tend and live by the Ocean at the end of the Lane!
This is a good book, short, simple story in many ways, though with a profound thought about being a child in a confusing world.
You can take this story as a straight up retelling of what actually happened on this lane. Or, you can plunge into it as a child's view of the world where the child can still perceive and see the magic and other world that is lost to the adult.
Having Gaiman narrate reminded me that is was an adult remembering his experience as a child. His gentle voice made it more meditative.
I enjoyed this book.
What a waste of time. The 'story' is a ridiculous fantasy that makes no sense and is tedious. Wading through all the fantasy baloney is boring. The narrator does a great job with a bad story.
I guess it sometimes take a while to piece the story together in the beginning, but I'm glad I was patient because just as I did the story became interesting.
Another wonderful work by Neil Gaiman and even better since he is reading it. This is my 3rd novel by Gaiman and it drew me in just as much as the last two. This is my first audible book and I think that my next will be another narrated by Gaiman himself. I would highly recommend this book and would even consider listening to it again. :D
I love this book when I read it and I loved it even more when I heard the author read it for me a wonderful fable about childhood believing I'm the things we lose when we grow up
I looked forward to reading this book, and it didn't disappoint. One of the indicators I use to rate book is if I think on the story after I am finished. This book was one of those stories where I found myself reflecting back on it for a few days, so it made an impression on me.
Some of the other reviewers have placed this in the horror genre, while others place it in the fantasy category. I'm not sure where to place it. Is it a story told about how a child perceived parts of his childhood? Is it about being that really did exist in the story? I guess that's up to each audience.
The story itself is very engaging, but does require a good imagination. I wouldn't recommend this to a die hard non-fiction fan. If you're open minded, enjoy the mystical, and like alternate realities, then this story will appeal to you.
As a final note, the author id a very good job of narrating the work. Often times self narration can be unremarkable, but in this instance the reading complimented the story quite well.
Well worth a credit!
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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