The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

OceanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Description from Goodreads

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac – as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark, from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed – within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang

I gave this book five stars out of five

My thoughts:

I don’t want to rehash the story in this review. If you want that, read the description above, or better yet read the book. In fact, definitely read the book. Go on. I recommend it. I do not usually give out five stars in my vaunted grading system, but this book deserved it. I have to confess that I was a Gaiman virgin before this book. That is going to change, I can assure you. We have broken through the Gaiman hymen.

So, why did this book deserve five stars? I loved this book, so that in itself is enough for the five stars. I found the world that the author created both simple and complex at the same time. Filled with incredible scope, I felt this book was all about perspective, about how you looked at things, and about how you remembered things.

The main character I found interesting, both as a boy of seven and how he viewed the world and the situation into which he was inadvertently plunged, and also as an adult, with memories of things that were always just out of reach. His relationship with Lettie and the other Hempstock’s was fascinating as he began to realise that they were not just an ordinary farming family and that the world was not what he had thought.

It is hard to write too much without giving away aspects of the story that you would be much better off finding out by reading this wondrous tale. So I am not even going to try. Suffice it to say this was a work of great creativity, skill and beauty.

Now, go read the damn book. What are you waiting for?

This review is based on a hardback copy that I received as a gift from my girlfriend, a most inspired choice of book.