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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

4.3 (6989 )
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  •  
    Lisa ROCHESTER, NY, United States 10-05-13
    Lisa ROCHESTER, NY, United States 10-05-13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    1
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    Story
    "Didn't want it to end"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    This is such a captivating story and read in such a story telling manner. A modern myth for modern times. I didn't want it to end. These are characters so vivid and real you feel like you know them with such a great story I couldn't wait until it was time to listen again and so disappointed when it was over because it was over.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Lettie Hempstead was my favorite character. Just so matter of fact and full of positive energy.


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

    I would have read it with a different cadence than the reader. Listening to the story this way made it so much more like a bedtime story for grownups.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nimue Alberta, Canada 10-03-13
    Nimue Alberta, Canada 10-03-13 Member Since 2014

    Avid audible listener!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    93
    ratings
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    48
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    27
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    Story
    "Adult fairy tale at it's finest!"

    In the vein of the original Grimm's fairy tales, Neil Gaiman brings us a story of terror, tears, and wonder.

    Neil Gaiman's imagination is superb. I absolutely loved this book and Neil Gaiman's reading of it, because then you know exactly what he was thinking and wanted to be presented by the story and his choice of words.

    My two favourite lines of the book...
    "Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside"
    "If I looked inward I would see only infinite mirrors staring into myself for eternity"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Orinda, CA, United States 10-02-13
    Jennifer Orinda, CA, United States 10-02-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Another wonderful world by Gaiman"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Already have. His characters are beautifully drawn. The story is magical but familiar. And Gaiman is brilliant at describing physical sensations, both good and bad.


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

    The moment when the narrator is brought into Old Mrs. Hemstock's kitchen after he finally escapes from Ursula Monkton.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    As always, Gaiman captures his characters' emotion and tension. His voice is beautifully rich and resonant, and his pacing is perfect, just what one wants in a storyteller.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and why?

    Hmm. So many good characters. Old Mrs. Hemstock made me laugh, but the narrator is endearing; he is a 7-year-old boy, and feels like one, but he also has a path, and issues that will shape the adult.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carl Goodyear, AZ, United States 10-01-13
    Carl Goodyear, AZ, United States 10-01-13 Member Since 2009
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    "A fanciful tale passionately read by the author"

    For me, books read by the author capture the true spirit of the original work and this book is no exception. This starts as a seemingly simple story, but quickly evolves into much more. The author's vivid descriptions of characters and settings and the passion he put into the narration made this one of my favorites.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig B. Kurtz Cornelius, or United States 09-28-13
    Craig B. Kurtz Cornelius, or United States 09-28-13 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A true delight to read"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I would recommend this to everyone. It's entertaining and fun.


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

    The first time that the boy comes out from the girls ocean.


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

    The young girl


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    This film will make you feel happy.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K. maurer midwest 09-26-13
    K. maurer midwest 09-26-13 Member Since 2013

    Dane Girl

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story...but too short!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    Very much enjoyed listening to the author reads his own story. A great story teller


    Any additional comments?

    The story ended much too quickly for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Stephanie Pleasant Grove, UT, United States 09-25-13
    Stephanie Pleasant Grove, UT, United States 09-25-13 Member Since 2015
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    10
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    "The Ocean at the End of the Lane"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I love how Mr. Gaiman writes but I don't always like the story. I don't relate to the characters but I like to read about them.


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I was glad to be done with the book.


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

    I enjoyed listening to him read his book. I think it's awesome he is the reader.


    Could you see The Ocean at the End of the Lane being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    It would be an interesting teen movie.


    Any additional comments?

    I really do love how Mr. Gaiman writes. It's unique and draws the reader right in. And he's a great storyteller. The stories just aren't for me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Portland, OR, United States 09-22-13
    Thomas Portland, OR, United States 09-22-13 Member Since 2007
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    "Superb"

    There is nothing better than a Gaiman story read by Gaiman himself. The story is the typical Gaiman with twists that you would never imagine and fantastical elements that seem quite believable in the world he creates. The reading of the story greatly enhances the already wonderful tale. I am a big Gaiman fan and this made me more of one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laura Melbourne, FL, United States 09-22-13
    Laura Melbourne, FL, United States 09-22-13 Member Since 2011
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    "Not what I was expecting, in a good way."
    If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

    Unexpected entertaining beautiful


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The black cat named Ocean. She was there to make the worst days better.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    His ability to change voices in mid sentence. Also, he reads at a good speed, some readers read to slowly, but Neil reads just about right.


    Who was the most memorable character of The Ocean at the End of the Lane and why?

    The narrator. I can't remember if anyone ever used his name in the book, nick names and slang names. He was the 7 year old book nerd that I see often in my work with kids. They are very bright and have vivid imaginations from the reality they invent in their minds from the books they have read.


    Any additional comments?

    The Ocean at the end of the lane is an adult novel for adults who remember being kids, or are still kids. Its a fantasy of remembering the magical things that happen as a kid and some of the pain also. The birthday party no one comes to, the wonderful friends that you meet for a very short time before they disappear and the pets that make bad things better.

    I think the book is just right. If you are expecting American Gods with super deep, detailed characters that are built up over hundreds of pages, this is not for you. Its a fun book about remembering, if only for a brief time, what life was like some time ago when you were a kid.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Becky United States 09-21-13
    Becky United States 09-21-13 Member Since 2015
    ratings
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    20
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    "Delightful Tale!"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    Gaimen's novel brings his readers back to the magic and aching loneliness of childhood with stunning intensity. His subtle juxtaposition of nightmare and delight awakens a longing to return to the simplicity of feeling that so many of us expereinced as young children and makes his novel impossible to put down. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a story not to be missed.


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

    Gaimen's naturally sothing cadence brings his young narrator to life by intensifying both the sense of horror at the implacably cruel authority of the adult world, and the sense of relief at the child's discovery of a safe haven. The book is an engaging read in any format, but Gaimen's telling of his story certainly brings a layer of depth that serves to enrich it in a remarkable way.


    Any additional comments?

    Gaimen's use of strong female heroines makes his novel stand out in the world of magical fiction. Relying on age old tales of maternal strength, he manages to create a novel in which women take their place as formidable protectors of hearth and home. It's wonderful to engage in this delightful celebration of womanhood.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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