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
Yes! It was a great story and the author's narration gave it the perfect pace and intonation. It's just the right length for a cross country plane ride or a trans-atlantic one.
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.
Lettie Hempstead was my favorite character. Just so matter of fact and full of positive energy.
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.
Avid audible listener!
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"
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.
The moment when the narrator is brought into Old Mrs. Hemstock's kitchen after he finally escapes from Ursula Monkton.
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.
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.
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.
I would recommend this to everyone. It's entertaining and fun.
The first time that the boy comes out from the girls ocean.
The young girl
This film will make you feel happy.
Very much enjoyed listening to the author reads his own story. A great story teller
The story ended much too quickly for me.
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.
I was glad to be done with the book.
I enjoyed listening to him read his book. I think it's awesome he is the reader.
It would be an interesting teen movie.
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.
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.
Unexpected entertaining beautiful
The black cat named Ocean. She was there to make the worst days better.
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.
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.
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.
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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