Ocean at the End of the Lane

Illustrated Edition

288 pages

English language

Published April 7, 2020 by Headline Publishing Group.

ISBN:
9781472260222

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (55 reviews)

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 …

36 editions

Short and mostly sweet

4 stars

I guess it is long for a novella, but short for a novel. That means there is not a lot of room to build up characters. The protagonist is a bookish but uncomplicated boy but e.g. the parents are mostly ciphers.

It's an engaging story, I finished it in a few sessions, something I don't do very often these days. It feel very English, and very Rural, which isn't what I remember of Gaiman. It doesn't really break any new ground, but it well crafted, and the setting is more completely related than the characters.

It does have some scenes that would probably give sensitive souls (and children) nightmares.

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a powerful story - about childhood, about memory, about being human. It's a beautiful book, in its own right - a story told through the eyes of a child, that managed to capture the essence of childhood so perfectly well, that I find it surprising that it was written by an adult.

The main character was simple - he is a young child, after all - but, to me, that was part of the beauty of it. As simple as the character was, he was actually relatable. How he saw the world around him, how he saw the adults of his life, all brought back memories of my own childhood, making me remember how I saw the world around me and my parents - and, in a way, how I still see them.

The other characters were interesting, mystical, and yet, …

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I loved this more than anything else I've read recently. Gaiman just has a way of drawing you into the world right away and keeping you there until he's done with you. Hearing him read this was also amazing and made the hold even stronger. I was more than a bit sad when it was over, actually. This made me want to read the rest of his work that I haven't gotten to yet, and revisit the stuff that I have already read.

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

So, my very first taste of Neil Gaiman's writing. I found it weird, a bit strange and very odd. Gaiman pulls you in with his descriptive language and I was really curious where this book was going to end up. For me, it felt like reading a Salvador Dali painting. Very melty. That said, I may read Gaiman books again, but they're not at the top of my reading list. :)

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

I'm not sure where to start with this book...It feels like it has a certain shifting quality, something you can't pin down. Like another person could flip through the same copy I read and encounter a totally different story. I'm really glad I read a physical copy rather than an ebook of it, because otherwise I think my suspicion would be worse and I would have to have someone else read it aloud to me, just to be sure.
Of course, I'm sure this was intentional.
I expected The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be different, before I read it. Different in the sense that I thought it was going to be a nice, governed-by-the-laws-of-nature piece of contemporary fiction, about a lonely and perhaps wayward man reminiscing on his childhood. And it still kind of was--I mean, without the governed-by-the-laws-of-nature piece. Those laws aren't broken, just bent, …

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