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
I'm starting to love "Deal of the Day" because so often it introduces me to authors and books I would never have found otherwise.
This book is no where within the realm of anything I would have searched for, but it is a delightful little journey. It reminds you of the magical world you lived in when you were young. Was all that magic real and you just forgot all about it when you reached adulthood? Or, was it all fantasy in your child's mind? You be the judge.
I choose to believe in magic, even as an adult.
Give this book a listen.
Although it's narrated by the author (not usually a good thing in my opinion), he does a great job with the narration and it's easy to listen to. You connect easily with the main characters and are quickly drawn into their world. It's a great story, very well put together and very well drawn back together at the end. I was sad when it was over. Found myself wishing it was longer, and will definitely look into what else this author has written.
Neil Gaiman does not disappoint with this lullaby dream of a novel. Between the story and the lilt of his own voice, this is amongst my favorite of audio books. Listening to Neil read always brings tears to my eyes. This is a novel you listen to when the rest of the world requires pause, and you feel that much more understood, if only that makes sense.
This story recounts the experience of a seven year-old boy who encounters beings from a parallel world and the magic of the Hempstock women who are able to hold the universe in order. Or, it is an example of magical thinking as a little boy tries to cope with his father's affair with the baby sitter. Or, a lonely little boy who reads too many books tries to understand when life changes as you grow. Or, it is just a trick of memory, since as Old Mrs. Hempstock reminds no two people remember the same way. Especially from the unreliable perspective of adults.
Great story. Well narrated.
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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