We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
The Ocean at the End of the Lane Audiobook

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.
Regular Price:$20.99
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

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 (8897 )
5 star
 (4747)
4 star
 (2612)
3 star
 (1068)
2 star
 (261)
1 star
 (209)
Overall
4.2 (8205 )
5 star
 (4279)
4 star
 (2338)
3 star
 (1090)
2 star
 (279)
1 star
 (219)
Story
4.5 (8199 )
5 star
 (5573)
4 star
 (1831)
3 star
 (550)
2 star
 (132)
1 star
 (113)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    J. Emblen 12-24-14
    J. Emblen 12-24-14 Member Since 2014

    Emblen

    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    67
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not quite enough."

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Simone 12-21-14
    Simone 12-21-14 Member Since 2015

    Follow me on Goodreads too!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    605
    483
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    85
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Delightfully Bizarre"

    This was absolutely not what I expected... to be honest, I am not quite sure what I was expecting, but I can tell you it was NOT THIS!

    It was like a quirky, trippy, strange dream; almost a nightmare! A strange fantastical adventure through the imagination of a 7 year old that keeps you guessing and is far from predictable!

    I think this was the most surprising book I’ve read all year!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ekpinc 11-23-14
    ekpinc 11-23-14 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love Gaiman but didn't stick with me"

    I love listening to Neil Gaiman read Neil Gaiman books, and this is no exception. I liked it during, but can't really say it's a favorite now. Worth a listen for a few good bits of creepiness, and a pretty story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    K'lyn Paris 11-20-14
    K'lyn Paris 11-20-14

    The Hungry Bookworm

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    38
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another magically masterfully told story ..."
    If you could sum up The Ocean at the End of the Lane in three words, what would they be?

    Magical. Poignant. Ephemeral.


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to and why?

    I can't really compare this book to any other. If you love Neil Gaiman, you'll love this book.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    He needs to read every book he writes, plus a few more. His voice is clear, yet soothing. Performs voices very well. His humor shines through. Wonderful.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robinson, A Durham, NC 11-18-14
    Robinson, A Durham, NC 11-18-14 Member Since 2013

    Back to books

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not at all what I expected"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    I always like to give a book a good solid chance.


    What was most disappointing about Neil Gaiman’s story?

    It was not connected to its characters.


    Have you listened to any of Neil Gaiman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The performance was fine.


    Do you think The Ocean at the End of the Lane needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    no. It was not enough of a story.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy 10-15-14
    Amy 10-15-14 Member Since 2011

    Listen to all kinds, but mostly enjoy witty light-hearted entertaining reads. Stay away from romance novels & books with heavy violence.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    85
    41
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Worth listening to once."
    Any additional comments?

    It was worth listening to, but not anything that I would ever feel compelled to listen to again. Glad that I got it on sale versus using one of my credits. It was only 3 stars for me - I reserve 4 stars for great books and 5 stars for those books that I could listen to again and again. It was an interesting book that kept my attention throughout the entire book with good writing and great narration, but at the end of the book I thought to myself "That is it?"

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    wednezday Boulder, CO USA 10-08-14
    wednezday Boulder, CO USA 10-08-14 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Mystical/Fantastical Not My Style"
    What was most disappointing about Neil Gaiman’s story?

    The enchanted forest/fairy theme, along with some of the other types of supernatural themes in this particular book just aren't my style.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Well read, interesting voices.


    Was The Ocean at the End of the Lane worth the listening time?

    I didn't finish it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 09-30-14
    Elizabeth Bellevue, WA, United States 09-30-14 Member Since 2016

    A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    207
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    588
    190
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    10
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Not sure what the hype is about"

    This book is clearly well loved by others, as evidenced by its four star rating and the written comments. For me, this book missed the mark. It wound in circles and never went anywhere. When I read that this was meant to be a short story and then got longer, it made sense to me, as much could have been edited out to create a simpler, more cohesive tale. Or, if you consider the comments of other reviewers, I must not have had much of a childhood if this book didn't speak to me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Korie K 09-11-14
    Korie K 09-11-14

    Bibliophile

    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    65
    60
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Another Lovely Neil Gaiman Novel"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    Yes. I'm sure there is something that I missed the first time. And I love the sound of Neil Gaiman's voice.


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven 09-08-14
    Steven 09-08-14 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    19
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Captivating"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Absolutely. Neil Gaiman is a wealth of literary excellence. This title in particular reminds the reader what it was like to be a child. How to imagine again.


    What did you like best about this story?

    While reading this book you can feel the authors emotions and experiences bleeding through.


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

    Neil Gaiman, reading his own work, truly works. The story read aloud allows for him to give the listener the same experience and imagery the author had while writing the novel.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lettie Hempstock seems like a shining beacon of hope for everyone. She reminded me of what it was to be a child, and to remember the adventures I had gone on with my own friends.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
Sort by:
  • Amazon Customer
    Oslo, Norway
    12/2/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Beautiful"
    Where does The Ocean at the End of the Lane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high up!


    What other book might you compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to, and why?

    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... :)


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

    There's something special about authors reading their own books, particularly when they do it as well as Gaiman does.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. I almost did.


    Any additional comments?

    Time and time again Neil Gaiman shows what an good writer he is. This is no exception.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Sharon
    Seigneux, Switzerland
    2/12/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Neil Gaiman is brilliant"
    What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

    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.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    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.


    Which scene did you most enjoy?

    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.


    If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    How to know and then forget everything.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    9/26/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Couldn't put it down"
    What did you like most about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    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.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Justin Coyne
    8/27/13
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.