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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Neil Gaiman is as excellent as he always is, and it's wonderful to have the book narrated by the author.
The prose is simple and straightforward (but elegant) and the story itself is gripping, as we accompany our young narrator on his frightening adventure. I never know quite how to describe Neil Gaiman, or why he's always so enthralling, but he is. Suffice to say, I started listening to this on the train into work and seriously considered having a fictional flu so that I could go straight home and listen to it straight through.
Neil Gaiman demonstrates his artistry with words in this beautiful story. His narration adds to the magic of the piece. So glad that I discovered this gem.
"Nothing's better than Neil narrating his own work"
Scary, beautiful, enthralling
When the narrator finds himself back at the farm after all these years, not remembering he has been there before.
Everything. The way the words tumble out of him so deliberate in thier tone and pacing but so gently spoken. I wish I could just listen to him narrate everything
Neither, but it did make my heart race. I was honestly scared by some parts
"Took some getting into"
I nearly gave up on this book. As Neil Gaiman said in his intro - it is dark. I expected there to be some humour as in his collaborative work with Terry Pratchett, but there was none. However, I am glad that I persevered, yes, it was dark, but I do like the way that Neil Gaiman writes, his phraseology and construction is pleasing. I was also keen to know what happened in the end. So all in all I enjoyed it.
"Childhood tale but not for children"
Neil Gaiman is one of those rare authors who is as enjoyable a narrator as he is a writer. The Ocean at the End of the Lane amalgamates ancient British mythology with a tale of modern childhood, and the end result is a fantasy horror story that keeps the listener enthralled. As Gaiman says at the start of the book, it's a dark tale, and for me it is one that I will probably return to in the future for a second listen.
"Beautiful tale of childhood memories"
Lovely to have it read by the author, a fascinating look at memory and wonder. Really emotive story and such a lovely if lonely character. Thoroughly enjoyable.
"Too dark for me!"
Very griping. Great writing and ending but a little too dark and a bit scary!
"Warm and magical like all the best memories"
This was a wonderful fable, which resonated on after I finished it. The Hempstocks reminded me of Granny Weatherwax and Tiffany Aching if they lived here rather than in the Discworld. Neil Gaiman's reading was great, and I will invest in more of his books.
"Good modern fable"
Well delivered by the excellent Neil Gaiman this is a modern fable probably best as a short story, certainly worth the daily deal offer, as a full price would depend on how much a Gaiman fan you are.
"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.
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