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


Like many others before me I read this in one sitting. I didn’t know exactly how I felt after I finished. A little unsettled, respectful of the obvious talent of Neil Gaiman, and kind of icky I guess. Like Steven King, Gaiman is a masterful storyteller who can easily convey tons of emotion with simple sentences. Like King too, those same simple sentences can really freak you out even as an adult, even when he is only describing a cloth-creature who wants to snatch up the little boy who is the main protagonist of the story.
It’s an adult fairy-tale minus the fairies. Minus the fairies how we think of them anyways!

A seven year old boy who doesn’t easily make friends, instead falls into the comforting world of stories and myths (therefore a boy after my own heart) finds a warm and welcoming home on a farm just down the lane from his own family. The two women and girl who live on the farm are not average country folk though, they know things no human knows, and they protect our reality in a sense from the dark things that go bump in the night. Through happenstance, the boy is drawn into a wild and scary adventure that is really quite disturbing for a young boy- and it makes sense that as an adult, he really only truthfully remembers from time to time when he wanders back to his childhood home.

I profess myself surprised that this book got so much attention from mainstream media when it came out because it’s full of so much fantasy and ideas that the normal crowd don’t really go for. I know this is kind of a crap review but I’m out of practice.

One thing is for sure, there isn’t anything else out there that I know of and that is marvelous. I’d say if you are not a person who enjoys flights of fancy or stories not of the solid stuff of reality you will very probably hate this book. If you are a person whose imagination is one of the most important things you possess, then the story may seep into your own mind a little more than you wish- and that’s the true mark of a great story (I’ve concluded).


About Deanne

I was born and raised out on the fringes of the rainy Pacific Northwest on fishing boats and cold beaches with only a dog and kittens for company, and so my love of reading and creating stories started very early. My dad would illustrate my early stories and I would listen to him ramble about European history and warfare, eagerly asking questions about Kings, Queens and our own family history. In my adult life I am wife to a brilliant and hilarious web designer and mother to two wonderfully weird children whom I am trying to pass on to my love of learning about the world. I'm an amateur genealogist, amateur photographer and amateur history major haha. I'm good at doing amateur stuff lol. During the last couple years I finally turned my life-long urge to write into a serious endeavor and finished my first novel called (for now) The Stone and the Stars, about a dying dystopian society, and one girl trying to escape it before it collapses. While I finish cleaning up the edges on my novel for the umpteenth time, and before I send it out into the world, I've lately begun a novel about utopia, this time on Earth. I'm finally living up to the nerdy book-worm title my family 'lovingly' pinned on me from the time I was small, and finally doing that one thing I feel like I was born to do. Cliche and silly? Yes!
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