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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 Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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    7,468
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    3,730
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    1,470
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Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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  • 3 Stars
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  • Overall
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Fantastic

It's always lovely to hear an author narrate their own book. You can hear what all the characters are supposed to sound like. What a great book. Beautiful, descriptive fantasy at it's finest.

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Excellent !!!

An amazing story that takes you on an emotional ride through adult memories and realities in the eyes of a child. This book is deep and feels very personal. I highly recommend it!!

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Imaginative tale

What made the experience of listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane the most enjoyable?

This is an imaginative tale, beautifully told. Gaiman paints pictures with words and I am there. It's been a long time since I've listened to a book this wonderful.

Have you listened to any of Neil Gaiman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, and this is my favorite so far.

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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.

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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!

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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/>

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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.

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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!

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  • Amber
  • PLEASANTON, CA, United States
  • 07-03-16

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.

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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.