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
Make no mistake: We're all mammals here.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a typical Gaiman creation. In otherwords, excellent. As is the case with much of his writing, childhood is a central feature. Gaiman beautifully takes the alienation of being different and creates a world in which the outcast becomes a hero - but not in a saccharin sort of way. And since he not only wrote but also narrated it, you can't go wrong with this audiobook.
I really enjoyed the author's ability capture the true essence of the wonderment of childhood. While reading this book it is easy to be reminded of your childhood and what it was like to escape the boring day-to-day life by immersing yourself in your own imaginings.The narration was great, Neil's voice and accent are quite pleasant to listen to and I found the flow was quite adequate.
I am tempted to compare it to "The Long Earth" by Stephen Baxter and Terry Pratchett or maybe "14" by Peter Clines, because of the author's ability to create such an elaborate and amazing fantasy world. I don't often read books that I would label as "fantasy" but the way this was written makes me want more. It felt good to recapture some of my imagination. I found myself wanting to believe that magic, witches, and alternate dimensions exist.However, don't misunderstand my reference to the forementioned books. The story lines, characters, and settings are entirely different. I merely mention them because they are books that I have read that were able to create these amazingly deep and wonderful fantasy worlds that make me wish there were more to our Earth than meets the eye.
This is my first Neil Gaiman book, but it will not be my last. I am currently downloading "The Graveyard Book". I also am considering "American Gods".
Yes. It flowed well and kept you wanting more. The length of the book was perfrect for this type of story. I often find it annoying when a really good story gets drug on too long, it is too easy to be turned off from a story when you get lost in a sea of words. This book was not like that, I finished the book in one sitting.
I can't stress this point enough... if you are looking to rekindle your childhood imagination, read this book. It may not have been the best book I've read, but it was very good and any book that can move me or motivate me to buy another book from the same author, is worth the read.
i love the way neil gaiman reads his stories. i wish all authors would read their own stories. they emphasize all the right things and make the characters sound the way they did in their minds as they wrote. it all sounds and feels so right.
hmmmmm.......i'm such a fan, that's a tough question
lettie, of course, i want to know her story
keep reading neil
The story is like a scary and weird fairy tail. I don't care for that kind of story and didn't realize that was what it was going to be like. It did keep my attention and was well written though.
Something more grounded.
Not for me.
I run hot and cold on Gaiman's work. This book, though. This book is extraordinary. Listening to the author read it is beyond extraordinary. If you buy one Audible book this year - this should be it. Especially for those of us who, as children, found comfort, safety, and a sense of home in books, this story will reawaken feelings possibly long forgotten, deliciously, with a side of ache.
Plus also, bonus kittens.
Neil Gaiman has written an engaging, magical story. As the narrator reflects on a strange experience of long ago when he was seven years old and met Letty, an 11-year-old girl who lived at the end of the lane and had mysterious powers. Fans of fantasy literature will certainly enjoy this book. Even though I don't count myself as a big fan of fantasy literature, I thought the story was very creative and took me on a wonderful journey through the eyes and mind of a seven-year-old boy. When I saw that the author was also the narrator I was hesitant, since authors often have more writing skills than storytelling skills. Not the case here. Neil Gaiman is a wonderful narrator.
I'm addicted to Audible. A new grandma I am responsible for my grandsons library, which reignited my interest in books.
The imagination of the author and the story development. The detailed imagination and I don't like stories of fantasy. Truthfully I was annoyed at first. Later I as overwhelmed wit the talent of the author of creating the details of this other dimension.
The cutting and stitching in the kitchen. I could see it. The talent of the narrator matched the talent of the writer.
I enjoyed it but it is a story that unfolds and once you know all the twists and turns it is not the same the second time. I enjoyed this book and have a feeling Neil Gaiman will turn out to be a favorite author for me. I immediately started a second one of his.
I really like the way he reads the story. Normally, it is a big mistake to have the author read the book but not with Neil.
Too long for that
I enjoyed this book and Neil's performance. My favorite audible book ever is still "the book thief". Everyone should listen to that one!
I haven't read the print version. I picked the audio version for my husband who listens to book each day when driving to and from work. We've read Gaiman's American Gods and I have his children's books so I looked him up and downloaded this audio book. I fell in love with Neil Gaiman's voice and of course hearing a book read by the author gives you insight into the characters - you can HEAR the emphasis of words, descriptors, pauses, and reflections. Fabulous.
The most memorable moment was the death of the main character who was saved by the protagonist who was ultimately the cause of the antagonists (both types) and the death of the main character.
Ursula was my favourite character performed by Neil Gaiman. Though she was the antagonist, I could just imagine her so clearly as he spoke her lines.
I would take the main character to dinner because I would love to be able to try to tap into the mind that is so far removed from the seven year old self that he forgets the number of times that he revisits the "end of the lane".
I honestly had no idea what to expect of this little audio book. The descriptor did not do it justice. Still, I was so pleasantly surprised and became so enthralled that when we left Blacksburg at 9:00 pm, we were expecting to stop for the night at 11:00 but I just couldn't leave the book so I drove all the home. We arrived home at 1:40 am with the book completed and a longing to know "the rest of the story".
I do think the audio version is better then the printed version because the author himself narrates the book. I think this gives us a better insight into how the author visualized each character.
Lettie was my favorite character in the book because she was brave, creative, and insightful.
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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