Regular price: $23.95

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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
  • 5 Stars
    7,585
  • 4 Stars
    3,766
  • 3 Stars
    1,484
  • 2 Stars
    378
  • 1 Stars
    262

Performance

  • 4.6 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    8,867
  • 4 Stars
    2,511
  • 3 Stars
    768
  • 2 Stars
    172
  • 1 Stars
    138

Story

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    6,849
  • 4 Stars
    3,373
  • 3 Stars
    1,548
  • 2 Stars
    388
  • 1 Stars
    289
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

enchanting!

lovely story. grabs the inner child imagination and brings you into this full magic world

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A story that is everything

Gaiman gives you a fairytale, nightmare, lovestory all intertwined into a tale that is both new and legend in your mental story archive.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jennifer
  • Parkville, MD, United States
  • 12-10-17

Great story

I've listened to this story multiple times, and I love it as much as I did at the first listen. I want to go live with the Hempstocks. Definitely recommend this book!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Children's book for adults

Neil Gaiman manages to capture all the fantastical elements I experienced reading fiction as a child, but delivers it in a clever and thoughtful memoir style narrative. I highly recommend this book to anyone trying to rekindle that sense of wonder.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Really enjoyed this one

The writing is sharp and draws you right in. You really get into the characters and the crazy story which barely makes sense but that doesn't matter at all. A true master story teller.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Another Amazing Story

A beautiful portrayal of the point of view from a seven-year-old boy. All the magic and wonder Through The Eyes of a child. I fell in love with the characters of Letty her mother and grandmother hemstock. Always really enjoy Neil Gaiman work and thoroughly enjoyed this one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Pass

Waste of time! This story was so off the wall, I had a hard time following it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Grossly over-rated

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

No thanks

Would you ever listen to anything by Neil Gaiman again?

I'm not convinced I would.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Neil Gaiman?

Yes- usually, authors are not the best narrators. In this case, however, Neil Gaiman shines.

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

Only the narration quality.

Any additional comments?

How else can I put this except to say that the storyline was blurry and non-cohesive. Plot resolution was a letdown.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Joe Kraus
  • Kingston, PA, United States
  • 07-20-16

A Clean Shot at a Focused, Lost Innocence

Any additional comments?

I didn’t especially enjoy Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, and that, to my somewhat surprise, is the only Gaiman I have read so far. I’m not sure where to start with The Sandman stuff, and none of the other novels have struck me as particularly compelling. (But I am open to suggestions…) I’m just not that interested in fiction that seems poised to rewrite metaphysics. If Neverwhere was full of secret doors and an entire separate plane of existence, it suggested too large a canvas, one unsatisfactorily filled.

As it turns out, though, The Ocean at the End of the Lane isn’t a grand urban fantasy, nor is it an Allan-Moore style fantasy-politico invention. Instead, this is a smaller, more personal and more haunted story.

And it’s what I was hoping I’d find in Gaiman even if I didn’t know it until now.

The more I read this, the more it brought to mind the fabulous A Wrinkle in Time, down even to the presence of three mysterious women (one a girl here) who represent a glimpse of powers that we humans can never quite realize. But, as important as those characters are, the real story turns on a child who is only slowly learning that the universe is larger than himself. It’s a slow, difficult and sometimes terrifying business to learn that the adults who protect us are really just grown-up children themselves. That story may be as old as our species, but we have to find ways to tell it in every generation.

Gaiman manages very cleverly (and often movingly) to give a sense of the wonders of childhood – the joy of having a kitten or the freedom of running through a field – so the threats that emerge have something real at stake. I also enjoy the framing device of his returning to the scene of these events as an adult – an adult who cannot entirely remember what it felt like to be a child in these circumstances – since it punctuates the story as a whole.

There are moments here where a nostalgia creeps in, where (as he discusses in his afterword) Gaiman seems too much drawn to the lost world of his own childhood, and that feels like a flaw to me. Others may complain about the many unexplained elements of the magic, but that doesn’t bother me; the whole point of magic is for things to be left unexplained. But we do get hints at it, promises that some things will be revealed, and then those things aren’t. I like mystery, but I have less patience for teasing.

In any case, I did enjoy this. It feels like a small work, but that may be its biggest virtue: a clean shot at recovering a lost and focused innocence.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Fairytales can still be enjoyed by adults!

What does Neil Gaiman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Neil Gaiman does a fantastic job of portraying both young and old, male or female. He also has a wonderful accent that makes it enjoyable to listen to. Since he is the author, he truly gets how to read the emotions and quotes by the characters.

If you could take any character from The Ocean at the End of the Lane out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I loved the women in this story, they are all very strong and independent. I would love to have a long conversation (or several) with the old woman of the house. She is mysterious, "older than the moon" and seems to have magical powers she passes on to her daughter and granddaughter.

Any additional comments?

An imaginative escape from every-day life, I found this book to be like a childhood fairytale, but meant for any age. There are monsters, magic, and child heroes. I enjoyed getting pulled into the eyes of my inner child.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful