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
People who like fantasy and who can put up with time travel and such nonsense. People who liked "The Time Traveler's Wife" would like it.
The narrator was the same as the author and it seemed prideful of him to do his own narration. An outside narrator could have found more nuance in the reading.
The part in which we hear that the protagonist has already returned to the house several times. Huh? Also, the lady in the sky coming to take him. Also, the circle, etc. Silly.
I couldn't distinguish among the grandmother, mother, and daughter. The author not only wrote the book and narrated it, but then told us how so many of his friends made suggestions. I wish they had suggested a coherent story.
Neil's narration is amaturish and so terrible I could not listen to this book. Why author's insist on reading their own work without the skill required to do so astounds me.
The publisher's review didn't prepare me for a fantasy and I don't usually enjoy fantasy novels especially when I'm not expecting it.
I would have given this book overall one star but...it is well written and the author's narration was excellent. This wasn't what I was expecting so I had trouble getting into the fantasy aspect. I do have to admit that I stopped listening about half way through as I couldn't get past one particular chapter in the book. (I won't go into detail on that as those who have already read the book probably know the chapter and I don't want to spoil it for others.) I'm sure that if I had finished the book I would understand the author's point that seeing the dead body in the car triggered a very dark fantasy in this little boy's mind. Since this is MY review, I get to write that I hated the subject matter. Stuff of childhood nightmares isn't something that I choose to read for enjoyment or education.
In terms of Gaiman's other books, this book is along the lines of Coraline and The Graveyard Book. However, I would rank this one at the bottom of those three (Coraline would be at the top).
It does have a couple of "adult" scenes though, so I'm not sure if this was intended to be a "young adult" novel or not.
It's not bad. It's just not great, and when I pick up Gaiman, I expect great.
This is my granddaughter's picture! She is my love.
If it hadn't been for the performance of the narrator, I wouldn't have finished this book. I like relationships over time, but not those that deal with spirits and ghosts. It wasn't what I expected.
In creepiness? NO
This seemed more like a child's creepy fairy tale. Hardly an adult read, and even the story was ODD. That's the only word I have for it, odd
This story wasn't at all what I was expecting. Its fanciful and almost sci-fi. I was expecting a mystery of some kind, but not the impossible. I enjoyed it, but didn't love it.
A better story
Neil Gaiman often tells stories which have a new idea or two within them, beautifully presented like chocolates in a fancy box. I'm afraid that this is just not one of them. A man reminiscing about something mystical that happened to him a long time ago that he never really understood and won't remember after he leaves.... it just didn't keep me interested.
The one scene where the youngest fate forces an ocean into a bucket and brings it to the main character's location sticks in my mind, but only vaguely.
His prose and performance were as wonderful as always, but it was a bit like opening a beautiful chocolate box to find nothing within it.
I get the metaphorical aspects - growing up, loss of innocence, tried and true story theme. But this comes no where close to what I would expect for a book enthused by so many readers as "adult." Want to read young adult books that speak to adults, try "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak.
I have read/listened to all of his books, and I will listen to the next one he writes, without a doubt.
I love many of his books and he always delivers good material. So I can count on him to write great books.
I love his voice, and the fact that he reads his own book makes it better. He has a calm way of reading to you. It is very comforting.
I think so, but there are other books by him that I think should be made into movies instead.
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