Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

Meagan’s Fiction pick:
ocean (William Morrow, June, 2013)

This is Gaiman’s first offering for his adult audiences since The Anansi Boys in 2006. He’s released several books for his younger audiences (including Odd and the Frost Giants and  Choo’s Day)- or those of us who just can’t get our fill of Gaiman.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fairly short novel, clocking in at just under 200 pages, and if a very quick read. Like his other novels, Gaiman borrows from myth and gives it his own unique, slightly creepy, twist. The author re-visits his childhood home for a funeral, and finds himself drawn to a farm that used to neighbor his own family farm, and finds himself remembering events that can’t possibly be true- but are so fantastic they can’t be anything but. One of my favorite lines happens in these first few pages, where the author asks his new friend Lettie Hempstock; “How long have you been 11 for?” as she shows him her ocean that is; “as big as it needs to be”.

I loved this book, and was able to finish it in a single sitting. As in his other novels, Gaiman takes the ordinary and gives it an surreal twist, giving his readers a glimpse into a world that intermingles with our own, but is so much more. The majority of the novel is narrated by a 7 year old boy, and Gaiman is able to keep the child’s innocence intact for the narrative, furthering the “creepy factor” of the novel.

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