15 July 2013

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

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil GaimanMany  authors can write a good book, with believable characters and a well-developed plot. But only some are true storytellers, possessing the ability to create such a tangible world that I become lost in it, oblivious to my surroundings. Neil Gaiman is the latter sort of artist, and his The Ocean at the End of the Lane enchanted me from the start.

A man, back in his childhood town to attend a funeral, takes a seemingly aimless drive to clear his head before attending the reception. To his surprise, he finds himself stopped in front of a farmhouse at the end of a lane; it's where a friend of his from 40 years ago lived.

When he greets Lettie Hempstock's elderly mother, she encourages him to take a walk to the duck pond, the one he used to call an ocean. Sitting on a bench, he suddenly remembers a series of astonishing events that took place when he was seven and Lettie, eleven.

That's all I'm going to say about the plot of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It's a magical book about childhood, love, friendship, and sacrifice. It's about the nature of memory and about the possibility of knowing everything and of choosing not to. But it's also just a wonderful tale; and, although it can be scary, you'll wish there were an ocean at the end of your lane. Maybe there is.

Do not miss Neil Gaiman reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Perhaps the best audiobook of the year (Harper Audio; 5 hr, 48 min). Here's a taste:

This post will be linked to Kid Konnection, hosted by Julie at Booking Mama.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
HarperCollins / William Morrow, 2013
ISBN-13: 9780062255655

Source: Review (both print and audio) (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy).


Harvee 7/15/13, 7:38 AM  

One of the few fantasy, magical books I've truly enjoyed.

rhapsodyinbooks 7/15/13, 7:41 AM  

I just could not get into this one. But I have not been able to get into any of his books. However, I am TOTALLY ALONE IN THE BLOGOSPHERE on that one!

Daryl 7/15/13, 9:04 AM  

while i love neil's writing i started and put down after a few very weird confusing chapters his last book .. American Gods, i believe was the title .. i put off trying this one because i just didnt want to be disappointed (and out the $$) again

bermudaonion 7/15/13, 9:11 AM  

I am really excited about this book!

Andi 7/15/13, 9:17 AM  

I'm so glad you liked this one as much as I did. I just love his reading.

Meghan 7/15/13, 9:30 AM  

I really have to read this book! Maybe I'll go out on a limb and try it in audio if I can get it from the library.

Beth Hoffman 7/15/13, 10:33 AM  

Oh wow ... between your fabulous review and listening to Neil's narration, I'm totally hooked! This is going on my shopping list right now.

Christine 7/15/13, 10:42 AM  

This one's on my queue for this summer.. I forgot Neil narrates the audiobook himself. I could listen to him talk all day! And the audiobook is only 5+ hrs? Hmm.. I don't usually do audiobooks, but I may consider this one.

Amanda 7/15/13, 11:23 AM  

Definitely will be getting this on audio at some point!!

Vasilly 7/15/13, 11:33 AM  

Yes! This book made me wish that I had that same ocean on my lane. Glad you enjoyed this one.

Nan 7/15/13, 12:52 PM  

I'll come back and read this after I've read the book. I don't want to know anything about it before reading. I heard a bookseller on the radio say this is a book that he thinks could have cost $100 and still been worth the price. I've not read any Gaiman before.

Gerbera Daisy Diaries 7/15/13, 2:52 PM  

I LOVED this!!! He has a storytelling gift!

Elizabeth 7/16/13, 11:29 PM  

Ugh, I can't decide if I want to read this one in print or audio - tough problem to have, right??

Jenn's Bookshelves 7/17/13, 12:53 PM  

I just knew you would love this one!

Leslie (Under My Apple Tree) 7/18/13, 2:20 AM  

Definitely going to listen to this one. Gaiman's narration is always fantastic.

Melissa (Avid Reader) 7/19/13, 11:35 AM  

I just posted on this today! I read a hardcopy, but oh my goodness his narration is perfect! Makes me think I'll re-read as an audiobook soon.

Laurie C 7/19/13, 6:42 PM  

"Perhaps the best audiobook of the year"????? Well, OK, then! That's all I need to know!

Laura at Library of Clean Reads 7/20/13, 10:26 AM  

Okay, your review has really intrigued me so that I now absolutely want to read this book. And listen to it too.

Jennifer 7/27/13, 7:34 PM  

I am so incredibly intrigued by this books. I need to get a copy of it to read ASAP!

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