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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Audiobook

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

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (7955 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Judith Woodruff 04-21-14
    ratings
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    "Loved this as my introduction to Neil Gaiman."
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    I can't think of a better way to be introduced to an author than to hear him read his latest novel. For years, friends have said to read Neil Gaiman but as I am new to the fantasy/scifi genre I was unaware of his talent. This book was an excellent way to do spring cleaning, as I was mesmerized by the story and barely noticed all the work I was accomplishing.


    What did you like best about this story?

    That you could "cut out and stitch up" things in time that you didn't like. Rather than just going back in time to try and change something, you just snip out the memory. My father died of dementia recently and I wonder if this is how his mind was -- just missing pieces.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When the boy stayed in the circle, despite all the ways the forces tried to entice him out of it.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    It made me cry out when his father held him under the water. It made me laugh when he talked about food the way he did. The burnt toast, the spotted dick, etc.


    Any additional comments?

    I was reminded when listening to this that when we grow up we lose the connection with the sound of words because we can read and we do that silently.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Maria A. Cosenza 04-21-14 Member Since 2008

    MAC

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    "Great Book!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    Definitely! I loved the characterizations. It was a great book.


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to and why?

    Neil Gaiman is a unique writer so it would be difficult to compare it with anyone. However, his quirkiness is similar to Christopher Moore's quirkiness.


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

    His delivery of the story gives you his perspective on the story. His delivery is great!


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

    I am hard pressed to pick a moment. Many surprises. I really liked this book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Spencer Easley, SC, United States 04-14-14
    Spencer Easley, SC, United States 04-14-14 Member Since 2013
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    "The Ocean at The End of the Lane: An Acid Trip"
    Would you try another book from Neil Gaiman and/or Neil Gaiman?

    No!


    What was most disappointing about Neil Gaiman’s story?

    The story. It was 5 hours and 48 minutes too long.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Gaiman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No!


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Regretful and Upset that I wasted a credit on this crap.
    Disappointed in that this book does not even come close in measuring up to all the great reviews it has received.
    Misled in basing my purchase on all the great reviews listed for this twaddle.
    Skeptical of any other book written by Neil Gaiman.


    Any additional comments?

    Do yourself a favor, don't waste a credit on this drivel. There is no shred of sense anywhere in the story. This is one of the most convoluted and boring books I have ever read. I so regret wasting a credit on this rubbish and would never recommend it to anyone...ever.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Miranda Hattiesburg, MS 04-13-14
    Miranda Hattiesburg, MS 04-13-14

    Miranda

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    "Rather confusing."
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    Neil Gaiman is a wonderful writer as well as a wonderful narrator. He has a very cottony voice, like warm, soft cotton right out of the drier in which you can wrap yourself up and feel cozy. The story, while intriguing, has quite a few plot holes. Sometimes I enjoy a good plot hole you can fill in for yourself, but these are more like plot canyons where you just stand at the edge and go, "Huh?"


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Staying in the center of the fairy ring and waiting there.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    It was good for the author to narrate his own story. He knew exactly what to emphasize, what each character needed to sound like. He was perfect.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 04-06-14
    Liz Bogart, GA, United States 04-06-14 Member Since 2013

    I'm 30 years old, from the east coast of America, and my favorite books are realistic, but stretch the truth and the laws of physics.

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    "Totally destroyed my doubts"
    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    He really did a good job narrating this himself! Very immersing.


    Any additional comments?

    When I read the synopsis of this book, for some reason I had doubts about whether I'd be interested. I was so wrong! This book could be called a "magical realism" story, and it is richly fantastical, honest, touching, and dark. The story of a little boys life was so sad and realistic, the author really reminded me of what it was like to be a child! It wasn't depressingly sad, just... Beautifully sad, in the way that life often really is. Really though, this man has such an amazing imagination. I began to doubt this author after I read Neverwhere, and just couldn't get into it, but if you liked almost any of his other books, you'll love this one. Really a great work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jenny Leigh Austin, TX, United States 04-04-14
    Jenny Leigh Austin, TX, United States 04-04-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Neil Gaiman is a Master Reader and Storyteller"

    If you haven't listened to a book narrated by Neil Gaiman, then The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the perfect place to start. A little over 5 hours, this book will suck you in for the entirety of your day. Neil Gaiman reads his stories with such clarity and wonder, with a distinct voice for every one of his characters. Masterfully written as well, his latest tale is engaging and spectacular and one of the best audiobooks I have listened to.

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane combines all classic Gaiman elements. Mix Coraline's dual worlds with his reoccurring sinister crows and a touch of Graveyard Book's Liza Hempstrock and you'll have a magnificent near-novella that will captivate any reader. Short and sweet, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was one of my favorite fantasy books of last year and his audiobook rendition of it is marvelous. A must listen!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    taaz 600 30th stearns east hall, boulder co-80310-0022 04-01-14
    taaz 600 30th stearns east hall, boulder co-80310-0022 04-01-14 Member Since 2016
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    "Such a fascinating story, don't miss out, please!!"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    I am planning to listen to this book at least once every 8 months. wow. amazing book. I used to read a lot. but had been away from reading for a long time. now this has been my first book in probably 2 years! and this is the one for a comeback!! Now in average i listen at least an hour everyday..


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to and why?

    There is nothing else i read like this. if you come across anything, please let me know. It's one of it's kind. feels a little like fairy tale, but the vibe is more like magic realism. not childish at all. makes think you of big things in life. how life evolves from our childhood, sacrifice.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    Only one thing, if this man reads even chinese dictionary, I am still going to listen to that. He raised the bar for voice artists to the next level.


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

    I loved the author's interaction with the Hempstock family. I liked a lot of other things, but cannot say as it will spoil stuffs.


    Any additional comments?

    You will never know what you are missing out if you don't read it..

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer Lebanon, OR, United States 03-30-14
    Amazon Customer Lebanon, OR, United States 03-30-14 Member Since 2013
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    "creative and fun."
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    I could picture the setting and it made me think of places I used to visit as a child; there was a magical innocence to the world.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The childlike imagination, strength, and resilience that I imagine every child to have is what I think I liked best about this book. It also doesn't hurt that the narrator's voice and tone further contribute to the feelings and images of childhood fantasies.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I loved the scene where the kids were under attack and holding hands to stick together. The determination to protect and to be protected from the attacking forces was so real with those internal conversations and forces gnawing away at our main character's conscience.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a wonderful read. I the thoroughly enjoyed it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    I. Watt Baltimore, MD 03-28-14
    I. Watt Baltimore, MD 03-28-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Good."
    Any additional comments?

    Crazy story. I love listening to books read by the author. Worth a listen if you like crazy stories narrated by authors with British accents. Yes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard B. seattle, WA, United States 03-20-14
    Richard B. seattle, WA, United States 03-20-14 Member Since 2012
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    "second to none"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be better than the print version?

    The author's voice elevates this from a well-turned tale to a delicious experience. This story was written by Mr. Gaiman as a gift for his wife. The story is a mystical retelling of bits and pieces from his youth. This lights the environment and the narrator's tone with a nostalgia and a reverence.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    There is a birthday party at the outset of the book that sets out who the child is in stark terms. He is the awkward kid that (I suppose) we all were, deep inside.... I certainly felt pangs of painful recognition.


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

    Whenever the protagonist is cold and alone and frightened and petulant... he is also brave and absolutely believable.


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

    This book would be the perfect accompaniment to a warm and lazy Sunday afternoon... the sort where you don't need to be anywhere for dinner and don't particularly mind if you get anything done.


    Any additional comments?

    This is absolutely not for kids. Once you are about 30 minutes in the details become very direct and you don't want to have to talk to the kids about it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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