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
Hi, I am an avid reader and audiobook listener with diverse tastes in books. I enjoy sets of books by subject or series.
A difficult to describe book, this book has a story wrapped in a story. There is adventure and fantasy and childhood. I enjoyed listening to the book and found the story entertaining but am left with the vague feeling that something is missing from the story, like the difference between a good ghost story and a random haunting.
The content of this book is just strange and meaningless.
Couldn't come close to finishing it.
I want to because he does get good reviews, but hesitate to spend the money.
Any book should be at its best with its author as narrator. Just didn't like this one.
Nauva I nauva!
As always Neil weaves a deep, emotional magical story that absconds with your mind and leaves you wishing you could join the characters in their world.
While I'm a fan of his screen work, this was the first actual book I've read/listened to by Neil Gaiman. He's truly a bard; the perfect storyteller, from concept of the story to how he narrates it here in this recording.
His speaking is a little slow, so I speed the narration up to 1.25x and it was perfect. On that note, Audible did an amazing job providing that option. By having the story told a little quicker it made this a great book to listen to while shoveling snow out of the driveway or push through the higher intensity on the elliptical machine.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is fantastical, enchanting, and narrated wonderfully. Definitely a 5 star rating. Even though it's 6 hours, if you have some Audible subscription book credits stacked up, one will be well spent on this. You might even listen to it a few times over!
Middle-aged, married dad of two, living in Northern Burbs of Chicago. Hard Sci Fi addict, and lover of great storytelling. Almost all of my reading is now in audio format.
You just can't lose with Gaiman. His writing is brilliant both technically and creatively. This is another of his deeply empathetic visions.
This started out like a fanciful tale, the kind I've come to expect from Mr. Gaiman. He shook things up a bit, though, and this seemed a little darker than the books I've read before. Not sure I like it.
I still found his narration very good, well-suited to the characters. I still enjoyed the characters -- the unnamed little protagonist, his friend Lettie and the rest of the Hemstocks. I wish his parents had been given more backbone and common sense. Nevertheless, I enjoyed the book and am willing to try others by the same author.
This was a very strange story. After listening to the preview, I thought I had a clue about the story content but was I ever wrong. I think the narrator helped me stick with the book until the end. It held my attention for the full 5 hours. If it had lasted any longer, I'm not sure it would have held my interest.
It was a wonderful children's story but with enough adult content not suited to be a child's book. And definitely not interesting or exiting enough to be an adult novel and the ending left me wishing for more because it was so fringed and sad.
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.
"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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