I received this book from Harper Collins in exchange for an honest review. Recently released in America in soft cover I had the opportunity to receive a review copy. Being a fan of Neil I of course said yes. This was a book I was curious about as is and the chance to read it was one I could not pass up. So pleased I said yes as I enjoyed it very much.
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman
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 fantastic story blurring the lines of fantasy and reality, what we believe to be true and what actually is. Do we, should we trust in our memories? I loved this story, told from a nameless boys perspective. The book starts with him as an adult back to his childhood home to attend a funeral, who’s funeral? We need not know but the memories that those familiar surroundings reawaken are spectacular and make for a riveting story. I think Neil may have some special insight into the universe to write in such a way that one would dream. At not even 200 pages its quite short but packs so much in, I enjoyed this book and the protagonist so much, I felt so sad for the little reader boy and all he went through. A highly enjoyable but melancholy read, its not all sunshine and roses but marvellous with its mythological hints. A modern fable to immerse the reader, just like the ocean it envelopes.
A difficult one to review without giving much away, but suffice it to say highly recommend to anyone who appreciates uniqueness and imagination.