The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

Hardcover, 192 pages

English language

Published June 17, 2013 by William Morrow.

ISBN:
9780062255655

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (37 reviews)

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, 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.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly …

36 editions

Short and mostly sweet

4 stars

I guess it is long for a novella, but short for a novel. That means there is not a lot of room to build up characters. The protagonist is a bookish but uncomplicated boy but e.g. the parents are mostly ciphers.

It's an engaging story, I finished it in a few sessions, something I don't do very often these days. It feel very English, and very Rural, which isn't what I remember of Gaiman. It doesn't really break any new ground, but it well crafted, and the setting is more completely related than the characters.

It does have some scenes that would probably give sensitive souls (and children) nightmares.

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Neil Gaiman writes GOOD monsters. Oh, and good protagonists. And don't forget he writes amazing mysterious supporting characters. Were I qualified, I'd say this is an excellent example of Gaiman at his usual finest. Simple on the surface, but subtly deep so that you'll be thinking about it for months after. Not quite enough to excite me to 5-stars, but I highly recommend it. A timeless book destined to become a classic.

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a gem of a book, mostly because it seems to be such a clear window into the experience of being a child. Gaiman's novel is very adult, and yet, it's told very convincingly in the voice of a seven year old boy. This tale has a distinctive, magical atmosphere.

One of my favorite quotes:

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences. I was a child, which meant that I knew a dozen different ways of getting out of our property and into the lane, ways that would not involve walking down our drive.”

The storyline flows so nicely that it's hard to put down after beginning. And it's not …

Review of 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a magnificently poignant book that once again show's Neil Gaiman's brilliance at not merely putting words onto paper but rather using them to paint wonderful colorful and evocative words of art in our imaginations.

The mark of a good book for me has always been in its ability to capture your heart and imagination and draw you deep into its world so that you lose all track of your surroundings and the passing of time. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is just such a book and from beginning to end you'll find yourself laughing, crying and just enjoying every word and sentence and paragraph before coming to the end and wishing for more.

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