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's narration is great and works really well with this dark fairytale. It was interesting to have the authors view on the emphasis in the writing.
Reasonably well crafted escapist fantasy, little heavy handed on the scene setting sketching out of the main characters isolation, but enjoyable and open enough to stay with the reader.
"Keeps your attention and triggers your imagination"
All the little details make it very realistic and the fact that the story eases in to a world of magic and imagination makes it very exciting , I kept wondering what would happen next and was as surprised as the main character most of the time.
The intonation made the story come to live.
I've never read any Gaiman before (unless you count Good Omens which was mostly written by Terry Pratchett anyway) so started this with some trepidation as to the style and content.
I'ts one of the best books I've come across for a long time. I guess the 'weirdness' of it may not appeal to all, but I found it difficult to put down.
Sometimes an author isn't so good at narrating their own works, but in this case Gaiman does a superb job of narration too. Full marks all round
"Disturbing mix of fantasy and realism"
I love Neil's stories and his narration, but I could have done with a warning about one particular graphic scene of violent child abuse, which disturbed me on first listening. Because of this I will probably read the physical book before attempting the audiobook again.
The chilling scene when the young narrator realizes exactly who his new nanny is.
Neil's narration brings his characters to full three dimensional life, and his soft spooky tones match the eerie atmosphere of the story perfectly.
Many moments where memories once lost are regained, only to be lost again. A perfect evocation of how our childhood haunts the rest of our lives.
Neil's introduction does say that the book is dark. I would give a further warning that the darkness is not fantasy-based but starkly real, and some people with unhappy childhood memories may find certain scenes upsetting. Otherwise, a brilliant and compelling listen.
"Great grown up fairytale"
A great little book that moves along at a fast pace. The un-named narrator tells us the story of what happened when he was a child - when he can remember. His adventure with Lotty from the farm at the end of the lane that quickly turns dark. Would love it to be longer!
"Sad, sometimes terrifying and always beautiful"
I'm a massive Gaiman fan so will devour anything he writes regardless of subject matter. This short book perfectly captures the terrors and magic of childhood. I found it easy to get completely caught up in the story. At one point I found myself walking much faster and becoming anxious as the protagonist ran from something (I do most of my listening on the hoof).
I enjoyed Neil Gaiman's narration immensely. The fact that there are autobiographical elements made it all the more poignant.
It's very Neil Gaiman so if you are a fan you'll enjoy it regardless. If you're not a fan yet, I am very jealous as you've got Stardust, Nevewhere, American Gods and all his short stories to discover.
"My worst fears realised!"
I know of Neil Gaiman being an avid comic reader and knowing that his adaption of Sandman is classed as brilliant. However, up until now I had never read one of his books, I had heard several reviews on TV/radio of this book and about 75% approval with one dissenting voice. If your maths isn't that goos thats four reviews. Three women and one man. Funnily enough the three women loved it and the male didn't. was it because teh strongest leads come from teh women in the book. In effect there are only three male characters, George, his dad and a man who commits suicide in a mini. However there are six women in te tale who have stronger characteristics.
I dont know what I expected...but this wasn't at all what I had envisaged. Its a dark tale completely set in what must be am imaginary world. Its violent, its cruel but at the heart of it is the milk of human kindness. However, its is a deep read and several times I had to retrace my steps to try to recall what was happening.
It is well written but like so many tales of science fiction, any thing can happen and it does. I am never keen on that. seems to me to be too easy to get out of a difficult situation.
Would I read Neil Gaiman again. Well I did try Sandman and found that too dark, so probably not. Looks like I am the 25% who isn't into the story I regret.
"neil gaiman at his best dark and mysterious"
yes, it is a very good story,, Neil is brilliant, his imagination is boundless
a new Neverwhere, magic as only Neil can weave
he is a good reader, always best when the author reads the story, as that is how they were meant to be told, all it lacts is evening and firelight
scarey, sad, you can feel the magic being woven
definitely on my read again list
"It took me 10 mins to get back to the real world"
I was doubtful about the shortness of this book but as I am a real Gaiman fan I had to buy it.
Having made sure I had nothing else to do I listened to the book in one fell swoop. It took me 10 minutes to come back to the normal world. It is stuffed with ideas, actions and half remembered myths. I could remember some of the child's feelings from my own past; the fear and the excitement. It is complete and like life not all the questions are answered. Just right.
Needless to say the reading by Neil Gaiman is perfect. A real gem.
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