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
Told from the perspective of a 7 year old boy, this is, at times, a dark tale where reality and fantasy
merge in that unending fight between good and evil.
There is no doubt that this book exudes Lyrical picturesque prose, but when it comes right down to it there
is not much story.
Personally I'm not a fan of Neil Gaiman narrating his own books. He has a sing-song way of speaking which
turns the narrative into something close to a poem. Its just a bit over the top for me.
I listen to a bit of everything. Mostly Fantasy and paranormal romance with my wife. Along with mysteries/thrillers, even some sci-fi.
I will say the best thing(s) I liked about this book were it's length, and Gaiman's narration. The book was a perfect length to tell the story. It never feels like the story drags, and always keeps the listener looking ahead. Neil's dulcet tones are an excellent compliment to the story. As for what I liked least, and it's not that I disliked it, but it's the story itself. It didn't grab me at all. The childhood fantasy and wonderment were great along with the terror from the conflict, but it didn't affect me in any way.
I think the most interesting aspect had to do with the Hempstock family. Their mystery was easily the most entertaining aspect of the story for me. The Hempstocks were entertaining and seeing all three generations of them with their different experiences and philosophies and still have the same goals in mind was a good take on the generational divide, and lets us feel that just because we're different ages, doesn't mean one way is better than another.
I think the biggest inspiration Gaiman can give to someone who reads this tale is the reflection of their childhood and the fondness and wonderment of it.
This is challenging for me. I had a hard time identifying with the protagonist. His experiences weren't like anything I experienced growing up. I had friends and we had experiences and created our own worlds, but I didn't have babysitters, was an only child and had friends. I think if I could relate to our main character, this would have been a lot more powerful of a story. Instead, it's a good story that I could use to reflect upon my childhood and growth to adolescence and adulthood.
I'm not a literature major. But I can tell you that this is not mere writing, it is a full-imersion plunge into the language and experience of dreams and nightmares. Gaiman miraculously and masterfully managed to explore the terror only a child's imagination can experience, while managing to hold us, if barely, safe. I would call this transcendent writing. It rose above the requirements of good mechanics. This is art, in which the reader is conscious only of the world the writer has created, not of the writer or his craft. Wonderful!
I bought this audio book so long ago, I no longer remembered what made me buy it. But it sat there in my library waiting for so long that I finally put it in my queue just because it was still there. When I first started to listen to it, I became angry with myself when I realized that upon buying this book I had carelessly violated one of my basic audio book rules...don't buy an audio book read by its' author!!
Well, I have never been SO happy because of a mistake! This is an absolutely captivating book, read exquisitely well by the author!!! His voice immediately captures your attention and transports you completely into the book! It's a book that will stay in your thoughts long after you've finished it!
Truly wonderful !
A short work by a great writer, and a joy to read and listen to. I'm partial to an author narrating their own words.To hear the words as they heard the words in their own minds before it was given life on paper or the monitor.
The story is unique and mysterious, I had no ideas what was coming next and I enjoyed that immensely. Neil Gaiman's voice is appealing and adds so much depth and character to the story. I cannot recommend this book enough.
Simply lovely that the Neil Gaiman narrated it himself, added too the depth and innocence of the story. I couldn't stop listening and stayed up listening to it for way too late of nights.
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