Saturday, 2 May 2015

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

Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Pages: 235
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Headline
ISBN: 978-1-4722-0034-1

**Synopsis taken from back of book**
"This is what he remembers, as he sits by the ocean at the end of the lane:
A dead man on the back seat of the car, and warm milk at the farmhouse; An ancient little girl, and an old woman who saw the moon being made; A beautiful housekeeper with a monstrous smile; And dark forces woken that were best left undisturbed. They are memories hard to believe, waiting at the edges of things. The recollections of a man who thought he was lost but is now, perhaps, remembering a time when he was saved..."

This book is as obscure and quite frankly mental as the blurb suggests. But it's gold. It's a short little book and I couldn't put it down. In fact I was sad when any task forced me to abandon my reading corner and interact with people. As I say it's mental. There is a girl that has been eleven for many many years, a worm that isn't really a worm and birds that can talk.

I will say it does pull on the heartstrings though. I get the feeling that Lettie Hempstock is very lonely having to act as a real eleven year old, which is why she forms such a strong attachment to the narrator, whose name I don't recall getting to learn about (that frustrates me a little.)

I completely understand why it won the National Book of the Year Award in 2013. It's genius lunacy. Honestly, I feel like that is the perfect way to describe this book.  I liked the characterisation and how the little boy seemed quite introverted. It added to the 'awwwww' factor when he finally found a friend in Lettie and the little black cat with a white splodge.

I currently have another of Neil Gaiman's books on my TBR pile (more like shelf(s)) but I have a feeling I shall be adding to that shortly.

Have you read The Ocean at the End of the Lane? Let me know what you thought in the comments!

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