The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
5 Stars out of 5
Short Short Synopsis: A boy finds courage and much much more.
My Thoughts: I love Neil Gaiman. Finding a one sentence synopsis for this is hard because this book had so much going on. It’s hard to say what is happening without giving away any spoilers, just like the Netflix show Stranger Things. As a fan of Stranger Things, I know that one should not even speak of anything of the show.
So that Short Short Synopsis sentence is all you’ll get from me so that I won’t spoil things for you. I did really enjoy the story. I don’t know if I liked it because it was short and well written or because of how well Neil Gaiman read the audiobook. Neil did make things even more mystical with the way he read his book. I also really liked how the main character loved books. Plus there is always some good quotes in Neil’s books.
“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
I really love Neil Gaiman‘s works. I’ve read Neverwhere and Stardust. According to Wikipedia about this book, the Hempstock family have appeared in other Gaiman works, like Stardust, though I don’t remember too much about what role the Hempstock ladies played in Stardust. I did like the ladies in The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I also liked the boy in the book too.
Though this isn’t a children’s lit book, the narrator begins with an older man 40s or 50 years old and then flashes back to his childhood self. So should we believe a young child that narrates the story? The book points out that as adults we don’t believe or trust the younger generations so much. I think Neil Gaiman did an excellent job in making this story less about fantasy and more about a person’s characteristic. The other books I’ve read have been more on the fantasy side, other worlds, magic, falling stars that become people. The Ocean at the End of the Lane has some of that fantasy too of course, but as this was written for his wife who isn’t a fan of fantasy, it was dialed down. I don’t read that many books anymore that has a child as the main character. The boy in this case brings some of the child innocence and the coming-of-age maturity.
This book will definitely be a book that I’ll re-read later after I’ve read Neil Gaiman’s other books. Probably before they make the movie which Tom Hanks was said to direct.