Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow (HarperCollins)
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Acquired Via: TLC Book Tours
#1 New York Times Bestseller in hardcover.
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.
It would be easy for me to say that I love Neil Gaiman's writing, but it would not be enough. Nor would it be enough to say that I admire him as a writer. No, I think only a wordsmith such as Neil Gaiman himself could put such emotions as he makes me feel to words, and, sadly, I am not one. Unless you have read his books, you cannot truly understand the power in his words.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane did not disappoint my love and admiration of its author. While I'm not sure if it was necessarily my favorite of his work (it'll be hard to top Good Omens), it was as startling and well-written as everything I've ever read of his. I was immediately sucked into the world of the nameless narrator and the story of the titular "ocean" from his childhood.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of those rare fairy tales for adults that I wish there was more of. Where the boogieman may scare children in their fairy tales, the events that unfold in this novel is horrifying to adults. What do I mean by that? I mean you should read the book because it is less than 200 pages long. Seriously, saying too much will not do it justice, and it would be terrible for me to spoil the book for you.
Despite my gushing about Gaiman, I sometimes forget how literary his writing is and can be. There is so much in the way of symbolism and...everything literarily fancy (hush) in his work. The Ocean at the End of the Lane reminded me that I can be a fancy literature reader when I read his work while also making me sad because there's not much of his work that I haven't read. If there is any aspect of this review that appeals to you, I highly recommend you giving The Ocean at the End of the Lane or anything by Neil Gaiman a chance. You'll be glad you did.
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About the Author
Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett); the Sandman series of graphic novels; the story collections Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things; and co-editor (with Al Sarrantonio) of the fiction anthology Stories. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy Awards, and the Newbery Medal. Originally from England, he now lives in America.
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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Tour Schedule
Tuesday, June 3rd
Read. Write. Repeat.
Wednesday, June 4th
The Well-Read Redhead
Thursday, June 5th
Sara’s Organized Chaos
Monday, June 9th
The Scarlet Letter
Tuesday, June 10th
Ace and Hoser Blook
Wednesday, June 11th
The Book Wheel
Thursday, June 12th
Monday, June 16th
Tuesday, June 17th
Walking With Nora
Wednesday, June 18th
Thursday, June 19th
Monday, June 23rd
Wednesday, June 25th
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To satisfy FTC guidelines, I am disclosing that I received a copy of the novel from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for an unbiased review. It has in no way affected the outcome. All expressed opinions are awesome, honest, and courtesy of me.