Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane – by Neil Gaiman

Ocean_at_the_End_of_the_Lane_US_CoverSynopsis: It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Headline
Pages: 272
ISBN: 9781472200341

Rating: 5stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is quite easily the best book I’ve read this year. Actually, scrap that. It’s the best book I’ve read since I started this blog. Gaiman made me feel like a child again, delving into a fantastical world for the first time and being completely swept away by it all. I pretty much inhaled this book in one sitting and was so involved, my house mate had to shout at me to get my attention.

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”

Neil Gaiman has been highly been highly recommended by my friends, blogs I read, and the general media. My natural reaction to this was to buy the book and leave it on my shelf for a year. I was too scared to start – would this be yet another fad novel? Would I have to grimace every time I heard Gaiman’s name after reading it?

Apparently not, this was my TBR read for the month and I was hooked from the first page. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a haunting novel about sacrifice, boundaries and memories. The characters are enchanting and really get under your skin (some quite literally).

I haven’t stopped thinking about this book since reading it, and will very likely read it again soon. If I could give it 10 out of 5 stars, I would.

“And did I pass?” The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, “You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.” 

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