Winner of the Specsavers National Book Award for The Audible Audiobook of the Year
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying, and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.
It's about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator 40 years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.
Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
Contains a special introduction from Neil Gaiman
©2013 Neil Gaiman (P)2013 Headline Digital
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"How much do you want to remember?"
In the foreword to this book, Neil Gaiman warns the reader that the book is dark. Having now read the book, I don't think he means dark in the metaphorical, thematical, tonal sense (although it does fit that bill too)... I think he means the kind of darkness that we only really experience as children. The kind of darkness that lingers, stealthily, in every corner, eagerly anticipating the flick of the lightswitch from on to off. The kind of darkness that also lives outside in the alluring, bewitching night that taunts us to come outside and dance under the moonless sky with the fantastical, magical creatures that are the denizens of the lightless world...
Do you remember that kind of darkness? If you don't, when you read this book it will come flooding back to you. You'll remember what it felt like to be a child; the centre of your universe yet scared of so, so many things. You'll recall that moment when you first realised that the adults who were supposed to be your protectors could oh, so easily relinquish that role... leaving you quite alone... in the dark.
I absolutely loved this book. Can you tell? It's a wonderfully told tale of the parts of the world where the mundane meets the fantastic and the beings that dwell in those fragile but fascinating places. Places that never look the same twice. Places that children search desperately to find, little knowing that, once found, may never allow you to go back home... at least, not in the same state in which you came.
I highly recommend this book to anybody who remembers their former self... or who would like to. Just remember the old adage about being careful what you wish for.
"Another great book from Neil Gaiman"
A lovely tail that may follow similar themes to other Gaiman books, but enjoyable nonetheless. Gaiman himself does a great job narrating his tale. I'm not sure I'd rank it as highly as Neverwhere or Stardust, but still a darkly inventive book. The story is a nostalgic view of childhood where an evil equivalent of Mary Poppins turns up and our hero has to save the day. Definitely worth a listen.
I really enjoyed this book. Great story and brilliantly read by the author Neil Gaiman.
"Delightfully moving tale of childhood and magic"
A lovely story of how it feels to be different and need of escape during childhood narrated beautifully be Neil Gaiman himself
Beautiful, moving, scary. A great example of how the scariest monsters are the ones we imagine in childhood.
"Wonderful storytelling wonderfully read"
A short tale that I have listened to over and over, never fails to make me cry and my heart leap. A book about memory, regret and old magic. It feels like so much of my real experience, like a dream from childhood. Diolch yn fawr Neil Gaiman.
"A real treat from beginning to end...."
Original storytelling at its best. Wonderful narration from the author as always. He brings his stories to life. Much recommended.
"Children's book for adults"
One of the most original stories I have listened to.
The protagonist, he feels very authentic and relatable.
I would recommend this to fans of Gaiman's other works.
"A perfectly dark return to childhood"
It's been many years since I read Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals" but the way in which it stirred memories of what childhood feels like was a rare thing.
So rare, in fact, that I don't recall a book that does so as well until this one. It is magical, and enchanting and mesmerising. The confusion at the adult world, the powerlessness in the face of the injustice of being sent to your bedroom are so perfect that it's like being seven years old again.
But while the hallmarks of "My Family and Other Animals" are the hilarity and freedom, "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is deep. It is dark. It feels as endless as Lettie's ocean.
And then it ends. And I was not ready for it to be over.
"My childhood reimagined"
Not read the book but this had a great rhythm
Allan Garner books the same mix of ordinary and myistisisum.
All of them had good points apart from the mum and dad.
Took me back to the magic of childhood when you could imagine anything was real and it was.
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