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The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel | [Neil Gaiman]

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

What Members Say

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  •  
    Tamara 01-27-14
    Tamara 01-27-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Like reading a book for English class"

    There are pros and cons about this book.

    The writing is quite nice, evoking strong imagery throughout. My main complaint is that was tough to listen to the mid-part of the book, which essentially focused on the *abuse* of a child. I almost gave up on the book, but things turned around just in time.

    Mostly I'm left feeling that I just don't get it. There's not much of a story here. If it's taken as straight fantasy, then it's not the least interesting in terms of developing an interesting world. It it's an allegory, it's too complicated for my simple mind. Truly, many a master's thesis will be written about this book. If I could just fully understand the cats, I'd be happy.

    The book is read by the author himself. The reading was well done except that the author sounds exactly like Liam Neeson. That drove me a little nuts!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan WEST CHESTER, OH, United States 01-26-14
    Susan WEST CHESTER, OH, United States 01-26-14 Member Since 2012
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    "Well-written quick read"

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane was recommended to me by one of my friends, and by Amazon because I liked Night Circus. So I gave it a try.

    The beginning was a little slow but once the story started, it really got hold of me. Fortunately the book is relatively short because I started getting annoyed whenever I got interrupted. That's when I know I have a good book.

    Themes like innocence, regret, the flawed nature of humans, mercy, and sacrifice woven into the story very naturally.

    I thoroughly enjoyed the book, but I'm withholding that 5th star primarily because there are so many loose ends, like whose funeral he is attending. (Or did I miss that? I listened to the beginning 3 times ...)

    I liked it. I recommend it. Well written, doesn't get it its own way, good, creative story.

    Oh - and the narration was outstanding.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 01-20-14
    Kimberly Indianapolis, IN, United States 01-20-14 Member Since 2015

    I enjoy historical, paranormal, and contemporary romance. Also steampunk, sci-fi, fantasy, suspense, and fiction. I'm open to about anything

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    "Luscious. Beautiful. Smooth. Wine for the soul."

    Setting: Sussex, England 1960s
    Genre: magical realism
    Narration: I have had problems in the past with authors reading their own work, but Neil Gaiman does a wonderful job of it. The book is not really appropriate for dramatization, so it's fine that it's a "read the story" performance.
    This book is visceral and evocative. It is first person singular from a man's point of view as he remembers the Spring he was 7 years old. The vocabulary and sentence structure are appropriate to the adult, yet you will have no problem getting it through the child's eyes. The words are magic, and they will bring the fantastic to your imagination. This book is literary without being ponderous.
    Worth a credit and the time? Yes! But I suggest you listen in a way that you'll be able to give attention to the book, so probably not good for commuting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Skaneateles, NY, United States 01-17-14
    John Skaneateles, NY, United States 01-17-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good writing, poor story."

    This is my second Gaiman book. I really disliked American Gods but thought I would give him another try, mainly because a lot of other readers love his work. I was hoping to love it too, but I did not.

    I do like his writing and the imagery he paints. I can picture scenes in my head quite vividly. I like the characters and the dialogue as well. He is marvelous as a narrator.

    It is just the story, or lack thereof. It is just rather bizarre fantasy without any direction or point. Maybe there is a point buried in there somewhere but I didn't get it. This seems to be fantasy just for the sake of fantasy, not a real story.

    It reminded me of someone telling be about a very weird dream they had the night before. It may be interesting to them but I always find those recountings boring and silly, kind of like this book..

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mehturt 01-17-14
    Mehturt 01-17-14
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    "Nothing compares to Neil Gaiman"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    not really. Beautifully designed book. Happy to have both. Love to listen to Neil Gaiman reading his books.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    All the moments that make you realize what it takes to be a child. Courage, strength and helplessness so closely intertwined.


    Any additional comments?

    I always marvel at his combination of limitless imagination and clear perception of the world. Never worry about the plot. Just let his creation envelop me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boston Gal 01-13-14
    Boston Gal 01-13-14

    Boston Gal

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    "Peter Pan story - really enjoyed it!"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Great voice - really enjoyed listening to the author, kwew he would put the right stress on things, but had no idea his voice was so english and dramatic! Loved it!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved the commonsense of the the characters - like Harry Potter books they are everyday in a magic world


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    debbie Acworth, GA, United States 01-08-14
    debbie Acworth, GA, United States 01-08-14 Member Since 2015

    I am a married 53 year old mother of 2 adult kids. I started listening to audiobooks for entertainment while driving to work. I am hooked!

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    "A fairy tale for adults"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes I would, it was a whimsical tale and a delight to listen to.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved the character Lettie, she was such a strong person and always in charge.


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

    His narration was really good, He did a good job with all the voices.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    I do not want to give anything way, but the part about the kitten was sad.


    Any additional comments?

    A great listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ronald 01-07-14
    Ronald 01-07-14
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    "Most Delightful Story and Narration"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    Absolutely, to hear Neil's voice was like the best story in world being read to me personally by my most favorite person in the world. He created a most intimate bond with the characters and the listener


    What did you like best about this story?

    Everything


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

    Everything


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    with a never ending ongoing story


    Any additional comments?

    WOW... so much more to say but not sure I could get it down by mere words.
    Thank You Neil

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer SALINE, MICHIGAN, United States 12-30-13
    Amazon Customer SALINE, MICHIGAN, United States 12-30-13 Member Since 2015
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    "Thought provoking and creative"
    If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

    Awfully imaginatively quick!


    What did you like best about this story?

    Imagining what we never consider to be possible, the author recounts a grown man's childhood that he cannot remember yet is drawn to for reasons unknown to him.


    Which character – as performed by Neil Gaiman – was your favorite?

    The protagonist's curiosity and resiliancy makes him my favorite.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes.


    Any additional comments?

    I will continue to read Neil Gaiman books.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dana New Haven, CT 12-24-13
    Dana New Haven, CT 12-24-13 Member Since 2015

    Professional appreciator.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Loved Gaiman's narration!"

    This was my first Neil Gaiman audiobook and I was not disappointed. I so enjoyed his narration that I didn't want the book to end. It's just one do those story/narration combinations that does the job so well that it puts you in a different world while you're listening.

    I would definitely recommend and I really look forward to listening to more of Neil Gaiman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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