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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

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (6427 )
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  •  
    Andrew J. Lackovic Erie, Pa 08-15-13
    Andrew J. Lackovic Erie, Pa 08-15-13 Member Since 2015

    Al of Spears

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    29
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    Story
    "So much better when read by the author"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Gaiman's storytelling has always been top notch, and this novel balances brilliantly the ephemeral nature of memory with the passage of time, and hearing the whole thing rendered by Gaiman's voice just added to the beauty of the whole piece. This is the first audio book I listened to more than once, and I can see myself playing this one again in a few years.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 08-14-13
    Julia Portland, OR, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2013

    I am a writer who loves reading.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "A Slow Burn"

    If you love gorgeous descriptions of English countryside and mouthwatering depictions of farm food, this book is for you. The action/adventure aspects of this story felt like they were overpowered by the gorgeous descriptions and the excellent characterization of the main character and his companion. It has only a small portion of the darkness contained by Gaiman's earlier works, along with the childish optimism encapsulated by The Graveyard Book. I really enjoyed this combination - I couldn't stop listening.

    Not only was the story wonderful, Gaiman's mellifluous voice is the perfect accompaniment to this very British story. All in all, it was a great experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Seth Yulee, FL, United States 08-14-13
    Seth Yulee, FL, United States 08-14-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "EH, HELPED THE TIME GO BYE"
    What did you love best about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I really enjoyed the infantile struggle between the antagonist and protagonist.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ursula Munkton(sp)


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    If you could take any character from The Ocean at the End of the Lane out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Ursula Munkton because she was evil, but sounded hot.


    Any additional comments?

    No

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Abstractchick 08-09-13

    Teaching Artist

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Very dreamy and odd"

    This is such a dreamy yet odd story. It is a strange reality and I would often wonder if it was a child imagination or an altered reality. The very best part of this book is listening to Gaiman voice reading. Wow! It is such a great part of the story. I liked this and it was definitely worth the purchase.I feel Gaiman's books have parts that I really want to contemplate. I would find myself pulled into his descriptions and thinking about them for awhile. I will listen to this book again. As for a recommend, I would buy this one. It is worth the story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sam Jouy en Josas, France 08-09-13
    Sam Jouy en Josas, France 08-09-13 Member Since 2014
    ratings
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    31
    3
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    Story
    "Strange, yet very pleasant."
    Any additional comments?

    From A to Z, this book was strange. You want to make sense of it all, and that's what keeps you going to the end. The whole experience is like a complex, vivid and pleasant dream, after which you wake up and have a good feeling.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    katie United States 08-06-13
    katie United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2011

    I like fiction, sci-fi, fantasy and magic-realism.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "So good!"

    Oh geez, I just love Neil Gaiman's books. And, though I've said it many times before, he is such a great narrator!

    This book is a perfect blend of fantasy from a child's point of view, told by a sort of morose, introspective adult. The dark elements of the story are tempered by a lighthearted innocence that just wrenched my heart a little bit.

    Definitely enjoyed this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah austin, TX, United States 08-06-13
    Sarah austin, TX, United States 08-06-13 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    153
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    "Just Meh... Yawn"
    What didn’t you like about Neil Gaiman’s performance?

    This performance had no energy. Neil, unfortunately to me, was very monotone. He read it lazily with no voices, no inflections and no enthusiasm.


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

    I was very disappointed in this book after reading the rave reviews. I'm still wondering how I missed its magic.


    Any additional comments?

    I might have enjoyed the book a bit more had I read the print version. I feel like I read with much more energy and imagination. Yawn.

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    laura new river, AZ, United States 08-05-13
    laura new river, AZ, United States 08-05-13
    ratings
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    2
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    "didnt want it to end...."
    If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

    eccentric, imaginative and perplexing. i loved the book! it did leave me with many questions unanswered. i understand that its all about embracing imagination but i still would have loved to go more into the lives and histories of the characters.


    What did you like best about this story?

    the inventiveness of the hempstock family.


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

    i loved old mrs hempstock.


    If you could rename The Ocean at the End of the Lane, what would you call it?

    fleas


    Any additional comments?

    i loved it! being a fairly short book ill recommend it to anyone looking to escape the mundane.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AJ Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, United States 08-02-13
    AJ Fair Oaks Ranch, TX, United States 08-02-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not what I expected.... much better!"

    This story has an interesting mix of magic and fantasy, but is really about friendship. The author narrates and does a superb job. It gets off to a slightly slow start, but within the first hour I was entranced and listened to it all the way through in about 2 days. If you are mildly intrigued by the publishers description and not quite sure .... go for it. This book is a real pleasure and ends in a very satisfying way

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Trasi Sandston, VA, United States 08-01-13
    Trasi Sandston, VA, United States 08-01-13 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Do yourself a favor - LISTEN TO THIS!"

    I love everything Neil Gaiman has written (at least the adult books plus The Graveyard Book - haven't tried the younger stuff yet, but I will) and it's infinitely wonderful to hear him read them himself. I think he's one of those authors that, once you know him you will buy and read (listen to - whatever) everything of his that you can - his imagination is so much broader than mine, soooo good...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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