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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Audiobook

The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

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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 (12785 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Al Williams Waltham, MA 07-06-16
    Al Williams Waltham, MA 07-06-16 Listener Since 2001
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Unexpected!"

    Okay, I freely admit to being a Neil Gaiman fan going in. The spectrum spanned by his imagination is vast. Even so, I found this short work, largely told from the viewpoint of a seven year-old but NOT a children's story, to be extraordinary and fresh even for Gaiman. I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kristi 07-05-16
    Kristi 07-05-16 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Neil's Lullaby voice makes it"

    Somehow Neil connects with what made us children before we are spoilt with adulthood: all fears logical and illogical, naivete, trust, honesty and shame, beauty and egoenrtrism. His lyrical writing style comes second only his magical narration. I wanted him to read us stories after recess!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lunarchi Trenton, New Jersey 07-05-16
    lunarchi Trenton, New Jersey 07-05-16 Member Since 2016
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    "Awesome!!!"
    Any additional comments?

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane was my introduction to Neil Gaiman, who is my current favorite author. I listened to the Audible version and loved it. Gaiman’s narration is spellbinding. It’s like listening to the best bedtime story ever. The Ocean at the End of the Lane has a fairy tale quality, but is definitely an adult story. <br/><br/>Told in flashback format, the middle-aged narrator looks back at his childhood while visiting for a funeral. The story is suspenseful and dark, yet deeply moving. It evoked memories of childhood longings and fears. Gaiman’s writing and narration were totally engaging. Even though a seven-year old boy was the main character, I loved the Hempstock women. Their strong maiden, mother and crone characters were central to the story for me. There was a lot of suspense and several major twists. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was a great introduction to Neil Gaiman and left me wanting more!<br/>

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ladybug 07-04-16
    ladybug 07-04-16
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    "Well written but not my taste"

    Neil Gaiman is a skilled author and narrator, so The Ocean at the End of the Lane is both well written and well read. That said, I don't think Gaiman was quite up to his usual standard--the balances of real/unreal, scary/funny/poignant, etc were all off for me. The whole thing was one long nightmare, with very little in the way of humor or plot to balance it out. The big ideas and morals we were supposed to take away seemed heavy handed, and I found the ending disappointing. Clearly lots of people love this book, but if you're looking for something similar to American Gods or Coraline, this isn't it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charles 07-04-16
    Charles 07-04-16 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A wonderful way to pass a summer afternoon"
    Would you listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane again? Why?

    Yes! This is a well plotted, compelling story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the suggestion that all is not as it seems, and how other worlds interact with ours.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    There is something about an author reading his work aloud. You get to experience first hand how he it sounds in his head.


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

    The main character's conflict with his father - I remember thinking how can you ever recover from that?


    Any additional comments?

    The time just flew by as I painted my fence. I finished the fence before I finished the book, and afterwards I sat down for an hour, unable to turn it off. What a pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber PLEASANTON, CA, United States 07-03-16
    Amber PLEASANTON, CA, United States 07-03-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Mediocre for Gaiman is still a good listen"

    I expected more. After Neverwhere, The Graveyard Book, & American Gods, I hoped for a really amazing and gripping read.

    To be fair, it's not a bad book; it wasn't a struggle like his book, Anansi Boys. I guess I've just come to expect more from Mr. Gaiman...

    The story was entertaining enough to keep me listening. It didn't bog down anywhere, it just felt...lacking.

    If you like Neil Gaiman, definitely give it a try. Just don't expect to be blown away. I have the feeling this would translate onto the screen much more interestingly than book/audio book form.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amber D 07-01-16
    Amber D 07-01-16 Member Since 2014
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    "A wondrous story"

    I don't know how many times I've read this book, but it's rich and wondrous and new every time. I'm so glad Neil himself read it because I can't imagine anyone else doing it. I miss the Hempstocks like they're people I've always known but can't get to at the moment. I would love to know more about their lives and how they became themselves, and to be able to settle in for dinner in their kitchen.

    Absolutely delightful.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    heART seneca sc 06-26-16
    heART seneca sc 06-26-16 Member Since 2017

    I'm a professional painter and love ennobling, enlightening literature

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    "pablum"
    Would you try another book from Neil Gaiman and/or Neil Gaiman?

    I have. It wasn't bad, but not another.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Neil Gaiman again?

    nope


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    main character was a child and he spoke as one would


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    no


    Any additional comments?

    no

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dawn Allynn 06-24-16
    Dawn Allynn 06-24-16
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    "Grew on me"

    What a wonderful story! The first few chapters were a little difficult for me, Whether because of my head or the reading or the store itself I don't know. but before I knew it I was hooked. So much of this story took me back to my own childhood, and remembering how things seemed to me, and I was lifted up and transported into a place where there was magic, fear, the kind of injustice children experience all the time from adults, and a deep and rare friendship I found myself envying. This is one of those stories I I may buy for the pleasure of reading to myself later and knowing it is sitting on my bookshelf for when I'm ready.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ketra 06-23-16
    Ketra 06-23-16 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Gaiman's narration is excellent"

    I enjoyed this book very much.
    Appreciated the thoughtfulness of the writing and visual characters.

    A pleasure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 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
  • Cam
    1/19/17
    Overall
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    Story
    "In fear of Neil Gaiman's voice"

    I was afraid to hear him read it himself because I already had a voice in my head that I attributed to him and I didn't want to be disappointed and find that my expectations had been too high. I have that fear no more. The story swept me away and his voice was the swell and ebb of the waves. Thank you sir for offering me a safe place of imagination .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Keeps
    10/21/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Lush"
    What did you like most about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    Its an incredible story that could only possibly be improved by being narrated by the author himself.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I loved that I had not read anything about it beforehand so everything was a total surprise and such a treat. I loved the lush description of food throughout the story. It really brought you inside the story.


    What about Neil Gaiman’s performance did you like?

    Having this narrated by the author seemed to add a richness to the story.


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

    Yes - no spoilers!


    0 of 0 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

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