Friday, December 13, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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Today’s post is on The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It is 178 pages long and is published by HarperCollins. The cover is blue with a girl just above the title; the title and author’s name in white. It is told from the first person perspective of the main character, a nameless boy. This is written for adults and older young adults and I personally think that is best. I will cover that in my review. There is no foul language, some sex, and some very scary events/monsters. There Be Spoilers Ahead.

From the dust jacket- Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returned 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, 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 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 his 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 incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie- magical, comforting, wise beyond her years- promised to protect him, no matter what.
A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Review- Like most people in this world I love Gaiman. I think that he is a wonderful and unusual storyteller. He blends so much to make a story and this book is no different. Now I have read Gaiman as he wrote; I do not care that he was writing children’s stories or not. A good book is a good book no matter what. So some of the plot twists were not new to me. Things with no eyes, parents, adults really, being taken in by bad things, and wise cats I have seen Gaiman use before and I do not blame him for using them again. The reason why this story is for adults is really from three scenes. One is where the evil being has taken control of the boy’s father and makes the father almost drown the boy. Next the boy sees the evil being and his father having sex but because he is just seven he does not know what they are doing. And the last is when the boy dies. You are trapped in his first person perspective so everything is very real to you. On a side note the sex is not very graphic; the only reason I understood what the father and the evil were doing was because I am an adult. One thing that I really liked about this novel is that the boy is unnamed.  That appeals to me for some reason. If you are a Gaiman fan read this and if you want to be read it too.

I give this book a Five out of Five stars. I get nothing for my review and I borrowed this book from my local library but it is on my to-be-bought list.