Saturday, July 13, 2013

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Neil Gaiman

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Published: June 18, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Format: Hardcover; 181pg
Source: Purchased
ISBN: 0062255657
Barnes and Noble
Book Depository


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.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a beautifully creepy modern fairy tale for adults. Neil Gaiman has reminded me (again) why he is my favorite author. Gaiman weaves his words so delicately even dealing with the major theme of good vs. evil. There is a young boy of 7, that come to think of it, I don't believe is ever named... oh well, it really doesn't even matter! I felt so much empathy for this little boy! It all starts when a man commits suicide in his father's car right at the end of the lane...where the Hempstocks live. There are three women that live in the Hempstock household, Lettie Hempstock, her mother Ginnie and the grandmother Old Mrs. Hempstock. These three women hold so many secrets and I found myself flipping pages like a madwoman to try to figure them out. Anyways, Lettie befriends the young boy and the two of them get into all kinds of trouble.

All of the characters were written brilliantly in my opinion. Ursala Monkton has got to be one of the creepiest, freakiest evil things ever. Wow! It's so hard not to put spoilers in this review!

The story was also brilliant. Brilliant, brilliant, effing brilliant. The imagination, creativity and originality of Gaiman is stunning in this work. The thing I liked most about this book is how it teaches us to have faith in the good people. Whenever the young boy is scared of everything in his world, he can still rely on the Hempstocks. They have and will always be there for him, even if he doesn't even know it himself.

I absolutely recommend this book to anyone that loves a wicked fairy tale.

5 stars to The Ocean at the End of the Lane!
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