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
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.
Everything, I loved this story. It made me feel all of the wonder and terror of life again that only children can feel.
I compare it to listening to the The Shack, I was so moved and inspired. Both made me think about the the books long after I finished them.
When I need an escape and cannot openly read a book, I whip out my headphones and press play on my Audible app.
I would rather forget I read this book altogether. There were so many holes in story that the author never fleshed out. The end of the book was NOT rewarding at all which added to my frustration.
I would not have made this a novel but kept it a short story.
I'm not sure.
No I cannot see this as a movie or TV series.
If you really want to read it, check it out at your local library, avoid spending money on this loosely fitted together story and narrative.
While I started reading Neil Gaiman's work with American Gods, and have only read two others since, this read will go down as a benchmark for me. A little scary (I'm still looking over my shoulder), a little revolting (in the best way), and a little sad, this book is another fantastic story told by one of the greats. Gaiman was born to write and read his own books aloud. I got so much out of his inflections and tone. You will enjoy this tale!
Quite high up!
I'd say it compares to most of what Gaiman writes. If you're a Gaiman fan, you'll most likely enjoy this book. If you're not a Gaiman fan, then I guess you haven't read any of his books... :)
There's something special about authors reading their own books, particularly when they do it as well as Gaiman does.
Yes. I almost did.
Time and time again Neil Gaiman shows what an good writer he is. This is no exception.
Its an incredible story that could only possibly be improved by being narrated by the author himself.
I loved that I had not read anything about it beforehand so everything was a total surprise and such a treat. I loved the lush description of food throughout the story. It really brought you inside the story.
Having this narrated by the author seemed to add a richness to the story.
Yes - no spoilers!
"Neil Gaiman is brilliant"
Neil Gaiman is normally praised for his creative stories, which is deserved, but what I really appreciate is when he narrates them himself. In addition to speaking in his own agreeable voice, he does all manner of Anglophone voices and accents across time and space, which really brings the characters alive. And his timing and phrasing are perfect. I first discovered his narration in the Graveyard Book, which is my favorite of all in terms of narration due to all the different characters represented.
The Hempstock women (Lettie, her mother, and her grandmother) are a trio of great characters. They are comforting and make you recall being safe and protected.
Not easy to say which scene was most enjoyable, but what I like is that the main character / narrator seemed to understand, even as a young boy, the limits of the people around him (particularly his father), and realized that even in disappointment, there may be something positive to be found. I keep thinking of the 7th birthday party his mother threw for him which none of his classmates attended; he didn't mind so much, because he got to keep the party game prizes for himself.
How to know and then forget everything.
"Couldn't put it down"
Great story, well told. Always nice to have the story read by the author too. Listened to this book in one sitting, had to know what was going to happen next. I would highly recommend this book.
"Neil Gaiman does it again"
This book is more in line with The Graveyard Book rather than American God from a Gaiman perspective if you are a fan. It is very well told by Gaiman himself and the story is excellent. His writing is very clever and you won't be let down if you decide to buy/cash in a credit. That said I think that the Graveyard Book is better, but some people may prefer this one for reasons I can't say without giving too much away!
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