Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman

Published 2013

First Sentence
"It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm."

Publisher's Description:

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, 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, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

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. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Dear Reader,

Magic! Pure magic! I LOVED this book. The magic in this book was wonderful, it took me right back to those childhood memories that I miss. Do you remember those moments when you were that young reader, that impressionable one? Remember the feeling you got when you read something so magical that gave you shivers? THIS does that, or at least for me it did. It's so adult, but yet has all the charm of a children's fairy tale. Maybe that impression comes from the main character being a child who happens upon a family with magical powers.

This boy has a normal family, not too happy or too sad, and has a love of reading that is extremely relatable to any reader. It brings you back to when you read a book under the covers with a flashlight, reading while walking around and even while climbing the stairs, bringing your book with you everywhere... THAT kind of love for reading. I want you to close your eyes, think back to that time in your childhood that had you captivated by a magical story. Close the eyes, remember that time and breath slowly... so slowly that you don't wake. If you wake... the magic will disappear in a cloud, like a dream. THAT is how this book feels.

I won't deny that I've been a fan of Gaiman before this book came out and I'm happy to see him slide into a more public view after this book became a bestseller. He is definitely an Author with a niche and one that most people who might not be into supernatural or fantasy would rather pass up but I find The Ocean at the End of the Lane very accessible to anyone. I like that he created an approachable book, maybe even to sway non-fantasy readers over to the magical side a bit more. I think Coraline was another of his more approachable and acclaimed works, and this story has a lot of similarity. Apparently, Gaiman has a way of reaching everyone while writing about children in a magical world. Maybe everyone can relate to that feeling of wonder and magic? Whatever the reason, I can easily give this recommendation to just about anyone (although I will warn this isn't a children's book, parents be warned). Pick this up and read it today.

Happy Reading,

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  1. I loved this book so much!! It is my first (but not last) Gaiman book. I listened to it on Audible and he is the narrator. Amazing! I went right out and bought three more of his audiobooks.

  2. o0oo now I'll have to audiobook this. Let me know what you think if you do audiobook any others. :)


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