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
Mystical Childhood Journey
As a father, Neil's description of the argument between the father and son was difficult to listen to, and yet, was so smoothly told, it was like a calming hug after a nightmare.
The foot worm
It is read by Neil Gaiman.... seriously... you should need no other reason to lilsten to this book.
This book was fantastic. Neil Gaiman is amazing reading it. If you like "Howl's Moving Castle" or "Summerland" or are just looking for an enchanting and well-crafted story, do yourself a favor and get this audiobook.
If you like Neil Gaiman you will like this story. Gaiman finds a way to tell the hero myth story in a new way with fascinating characters every time. You will still be pondering the mysteries of some of these characters long after you've finished the book. And he has the unusual gift of great writing and great narration, with different characters and nothing short of fine acting.
Old Mrs. Hempstock is a fantastic character.
Neil Gaiman is able to tie the ordinary and commonplace to the fantastic and mind boggling.
In some ways it is similar in tone with Coraline.
His voice is made for reading stories, comforting and sometimes ominous.
Old Mrs. Hempstock was by far the character I wanted to know more about. There are hints of who she may be (or what?), but like the narrator we can only guess.
Much has been written already about Neil Gaiman's work. It was well written and narrated by an author who is clearly passionate about his work.
Why are you asking me these stupid questions?
Ocean is a great book. May be my favorite Gaiman book to date. His narration pulls you into the story.
This book was an immediate audiobook download for me the very day it came out, because I love Neil Gaiman's storytelling voice. I did not have any preconceived notions, but was still a bit surprised by the turns taken in this book. He describes it as a book for adults, but it isn't because of the brief moments of gore or horror (not even close to approaching the gore and horror in some of his other works!), but because children and YA readers might not appreciate the sentiment and framework of the larger story - a man returning to his childhood home for a funeral, and going down memory lane (quiet literally.)
The author doesn't make the book longer than it needs to be, and it is definitely nostalgic and a bit sad. I follow the author too closely in social media, perhaps, because I kept thinking of his own life and grief in the past few years (even just the loss of pets) and how that may have impacted the book. There is that theme of the separation between children and parents, and how parents can be used by evil forces without warning, that is also found in Coraline.
It did make me think - What do you remember about your childhood, and how do you know which part was "true?" Do you suspect that you might not remember the most important parts?
To me, I enjoyed reading it very much, but it isn't my favorite of his works.
The story along with the narrator took me to all the places it meant to. Not my typical read, but was engrossed, all in. I was captivated by the simple innocence of the characters such a refreshing escape.
This was my first Neil Gaiman novel. I love his writing - it's vivid and real and magical. It really causes you to see the world through a child's eyes again. It's not exactly a book for children, as there are some pretty adult elements in the plot and themes. But the adults who enjoy it will be those who still love a good adventure story or fairytale, and who are happy to revisit childhood along with the main character.
Interestingly, this is an adult book narrated mostly from child's point of view. Gaiman does his own narration, and as usual, his voice is hypnotic. It's a tale of a bookish boy with no friends. When he finally makes a friend, she turns out to be--well, not human, really.
There are elements of the horror that ensues when parents behave unlike themselves and grownups aren't who they appear to be--all themes Gaiman has used successfully in his wildly popular children's books. His protagonist sees with clear, if not totally comprehending eyes, and knows he will not be believed. While he gains powerful friends, it is his own actions that determine the outcome as he faces down unthinkable threats against him.
This is a smaller story than "American Gods" or "Anansi Boys," but I found it thoroughly satisfactory.
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