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7.15.2016

The Ocean at the End of the Lane ~ Review

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
By Neil Gaiman

This is quite simply an interesting book in a round about way of story-telling.  I have never read one of Neil Gaiman's works before and when presented with an opportunity to do so I did.

We are introduced to an unnamed main character who has been to a funeral in the hometown from which he spent his childhood.  When the funeral ended instead of heading to his sister's home he visited the site of his childhood home and that of a nearby farm.  Visiting the home that was Lettie Hempstock's awakens memories he has long forgotten. Memories that seem to fantastical to be true.

The pond that Lettie called an ocean brings to his mind the year, the summer he spent with Lettie and the events that his mind hid away.  Looking back across the decades he sees some of the events that so traumatized him. But are the memories he now remembers the truth or are those that he has carried with him over the years?

This is a book that crosses over the genre lines in that it is at times fantasy, mystery, horror, and realistic fiction.  This is a story of change and new awareness.  This is also a story of sacrifice and friendship. A story of trust.  It is not for young readers but rather for those who are in their later teens and beyond.  There is a thread of darkness running through this story that has an undercurrent of mythos to it. This is not lighthearted reading but there are moments that are.

I was provided a copy of this book by Pump Up Your Book in exchange for my honest review.


About the Book:
Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Release Date: June 28, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ebook/Paperback/Hardcover/Audio
UK National Book Awards 2013 “Book of the Year”
“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal

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 where she once lived, 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.

A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as
menacing as a knife in the dark, 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.

“[Gaiman’s] mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink
into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and
beautiful in which I will happily drown.” New York Times Book Review

About the Author:
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning.

He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo,
Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and
Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Visit his website at http://www.neilgaiman.com
or conect online at @neilhimself     Facebook     Goodreads