Cart

Book at Bedtime - The Ocean at the End of the Lane PDF, ePub eBook


Hot Best Seller
Title: Book at Bedtime - The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Published by BBC Radio 4 (first published June 18th 2013)
ISBN: null
Status : FREE Rating :
4.6 out of 5

18186939-book-at-bedtime-the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane.pdf

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions


reward
How to download?
FREE registration for 1 month TRIAL Account.
DOWNLOAD as many books as you like (Personal use).
CANCEL the membership at ANY TIME if not satisfied.
Join Over 150.000 Happy Readers.


Sussex, England. 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 th Sussex, England. 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 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.

30 review for Book at Bedtime - The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  1. 5 out of 5

    Nataliya

    Lettie shrugged. “Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.” This story is an amalgam of helplessness and innocent ignorance of childhood with universe-old wisdom, with mystery and wonder and unexplainable and unfathomable and things that lurk around the corners of reality and seep through the cracks in the world. There's friendship and love, and cruelty and resentment. And there are mon Lettie shrugged. “Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.” This story is an amalgam of helplessness and innocent ignorance of childhood with universe-old wisdom, with mystery and wonder and unexplainable and unfathomable and things that lurk around the corners of reality and seep through the cracks in the world. There's friendship and love, and cruelty and resentment. And there are monsters - and, in the true fashion of the tradition I love, the real monsters come from the people's wishes, the people's own selves, the deep down dark that lives inside us. “Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren't.” Maybe once upon a time you were seven, and bookish, and lonely, and sometimes a stranger to your own parents. Maybe your first experience with deaths brought into your world a strange family of three living just down the lane in a little farmhouse - the Maiden, the Mother and the Crone of the fairytales. Maybe your first ever friend, eleven-year-old (or maybe infinities-old, who knows?) Lettie Hempstock, the girl for whom in your seven-year-old's sense of own immortality you nevertheless are 'perfectly willing to die' because - of course! - she is your friend, will take you on an unexpectedly sinister journey culminating somewhere and somewhen under the haunting orange sky. And maybe after that nothing will ever be the same. “I’m going to tell you something important. Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.” And maybe something from underneath that sinister sky will choose you as a way to break through reality into your little secure world of a child. And maybe because of that you will come to a terrifying realization that the world is not safe, that adults may not be there to protect you, that world has teeth and is ready to bite you with them any time it wants to. And you realize that nothing is as it seems - and that there's no reason why the pond cannot be Lettie Hempstock's ocean, after all. "I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger. I saw the world from above and below. I saw that there were patterns and gates and paths beyond the real. I saw all these things and understood them and they filled me, just as the waters of the ocean filled me. Everything whispered inside me. Everything spoke to everything, and I knew it all." There are certain authors that in my mind have become a genre of their own. Neil Gaiman is one of them. When I read his books, I don't read fantasy, or urban fantasy, or any other such label. What I read is "a Gaiman" , a unique blend of humor and dry wit and a strong narrative voice making the strangest leaps of imagination seem like nothing out of ordinary. And every time when I put down the book of his I've been reading into the wee hours of the night, unable to stop, I find myself with a haunting sense of longing and missing the world he created, the world into which he so effortlessly immerses his readers, the world of his storytelling that you never want to leave. It's like Lettie Hempstock's ocean, the waters of which you wish you never had to leave, but where you cannot stay forever, no matter how badly you would want to. "I found myself thinking of an ocean running beneath the whole universe, like the dark seawater that laps beneath the wooden boards of an old pier: an ocean that stretches from forever to forever and is still small enough to fit inside a bucket, if you have Old Mrs. Hempstock to help you get it in there, and you ask nicely." Neil Gaiman again is at his best, which for him is, I guess, just ordinary. This book will join my personal favorites by him - especially 'The Graveyard Book' to which it's a soul cousin. And I will revisit it in the future, probably more than once, just to hang out with Lettie and Old Mrs. Hempstock, and maybe to catch the hint of a wave on an ancient world-ocean in the back yard. 4.5 stars. “And did I pass?" The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, "You don't pass or fail at a being a person, dear.”

  2. 5 out of 5

    Emily May

    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. This book is childhood. Are all Neil Gaiman books like this? So beautifully, hauntingly nostalgic? I confess, this is my first; but right now I am logging into amazon to make sure it isn't my last. I have one criticism, which is that this book isn't really an adult book. The few adult scenes felt adde 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. This book is childhood. Are all Neil Gaiman books like this? So beautifully, hauntingly nostalgic? I confess, this is my first; but right now I am logging into amazon to make sure it isn't my last. I have one criticism, which is that this book isn't really an adult book. The few adult scenes felt added as an afterthought to try and convince us little people that this is actually a very grown-up kinda story. But, take out that dodgy sex scene, and I would have been mesmerised and terrified by this book as a kid, perhaps even more than I was reading it today. It has everything that we could possibly ask for in childhood: magic, adventure, overcoming fears, those things that children know and adults no longer understand or remember, and it's all wrapped up in a tidy 180 pages. There's an almost dreamlike quality to the story and there are many reasons it's hard to know what's real and what is not. The book opens with a middle-aged man revisiting the place where he used to live with his parents and sister when he was a young boy of seven. He visits his old house before wandering down to the farm at the end of the lane, a place that starts to bring back a strange sequence of memories as seen through the eyes of a young boy. How real are the magic and monsters of our childhood? When we look back and see ignorant youths believing in the impossible, are we enlightened adults? Or are we the ignorant ones, blinded by years dedicated to being sensible and not believing? Are the villains we remember monsters from another world? Or is that just how children make sense of the people who brought upheaval into their lives? I found it truly fascinating. The creepy yet beautiful setting in the English countryside was fantastic. A little lonely, somewhat isolated... like a world entirely of its own in which anything could be possible. This book held all the charm and beauty of the world portrayed in Cider With Rosie, but was ten times more compelling and addictive. And there were the characters, of course. Lettie Hempstock, an eleven year old who might just have been eleven for a very long time, and her quirky mother and grandmother. Also, the narrator had my sympathy throughout; his seven year old lack of understanding and fear of the adult world that he saw as separate from his own was easily believable, for me. I think we do create a world of our own when we're kids, one that adults aren't a part of, that's how we're able to believe in things like magic and wizards and Santa. To put it plainly, I really enjoyed my first trip into the world of Gaiman. The ending is perfect. A little sad. But mostly perfect. Blog | Leafmarks | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Tumblr

  3. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    Sitting down to write a review of this book, I don't quite know where to start. I was going to quote a passage that I particularly loved. But no good can come of that. Once I opened that door, where would I stop quoting? So let me say this. I genuinely loved this book. I look forward to reading it again. I will buy copies for my family as gifts. I will listen to the audio and lament my own lack of narrative skill. I will gush about it to strangers. In short, it is a Neil Gaiman novel. There is t Sitting down to write a review of this book, I don't quite know where to start. I was going to quote a passage that I particularly loved. But no good can come of that. Once I opened that door, where would I stop quoting? So let me say this. I genuinely loved this book. I look forward to reading it again. I will buy copies for my family as gifts. I will listen to the audio and lament my own lack of narrative skill. I will gush about it to strangers. In short, it is a Neil Gaiman novel. There is truth here, and beauty, and joy, and a sad, sweet melancholy that moves through my chest like distant thunder. I realize that what I am writing here is not really a review in any conventional sense. It is a paen. A panegyric. It is the textual equivalent of a huge, happy, gormless grin. And you know what? I'm fine with that. Let the professionals write their reviews. Let them get all jargony about it. Let them try to pin this book to the page, not realizing that a pinned butterfly holds no delight. A pinned butterfly is nothing like a butterfly at all. I make no claims to impartiality in regard to Gaiman's work. Sandman changed how I thought about stories. Neverwhere was a talisman for me. Stardust is a golden bell hung in my heart. And American Gods taught me that there was a *name* for the sort of book I was struggling to write. It was a picaresque. So if you're looking for impartiality, this is not the review for you. Look elsewhere. Me? I will enjoy The Ocean at the End of the Lane without dissection. It made me happy. It made me feel less alone. It made me love Neil Gaiman a little more than I already did, and that's something I didn't think was possible. Do I hope to someday write a book like this? No. I never could. He's done something odd and strange and lovely here. I couldn't hope to replicate it. Instead, this is what I hope. In the future, when Joss Whedon and I are best friends and hanging out together in my tree fort, I hope Neil Gaiman comes over too. Because then the three of us will all play Settlers of Catan together. And I will win, because I'm really great at Settlers of Catan. But I will also be very gracious about it, and apologize for putting the bandit on Gaiman's wheat twice in a row. Then we will make smores, and I will toast a marshmallow with such deftness and perfection that they will be amazed and realize I am kinda cool. Then we will talk about Battlestar Galactica, and which Doctor is our favorite, and we will tell ghost stories late into the night. God I'm tired. I should really go to sleep. I have no idea what I'm saying anymore. I hope I don't regret this in the morning.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Scarlet

    "All monsters are scared. That's why they're monsters." 48 hours ago, when I read the last page for the first time, I had this strange, sad feeling. Like I had come to the end of something beautiful without really comprehending the beauty of it until the last minute. Which is why it took me a re-read to realize how brilliant this book is. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is childhood in 181 pages. Short. Sweet. Magical. Scary. Real. There is a reason this book is labelled as "adult" and it has nothi "All monsters are scared. That's why they're monsters." 48 hours ago, when I read the last page for the first time, I had this strange, sad feeling. Like I had come to the end of something beautiful without really comprehending the beauty of it until the last minute. Which is why it took me a re-read to realize how brilliant this book is. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is childhood in 181 pages. Short. Sweet. Magical. Scary. Real. There is a reason this book is labelled as "adult" and it has nothing to do with sexual content or violence or gore. To be an adult by age is meaningless because, to truly appreciate this book, you must be an adult by experience. You must be adult enough to miss childhood. Me, I'm not there yet. I don't miss being a child because I remember being a child. I can still see it when I turn back. So right now, no. This is not my favorite Gaiman book. But in 20-odd years, it probably will be. Because The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of those books. It can only grow in appeal the older you get. "And did I pass?" The face of the old woman on my right was unreadable in the gathering dusk. On my left the younger woman said, "You don't pass or fail at being a person, dear."

  5. 4 out of 5

    Will Byrnes

    Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but aren’t. I turned 7 early in third grade. It was a memorable school year because I had for a teacher a nun with a reputation. Sister Evangelista was about 5 foot nuthin’, and symmetrical. If the what’s black and white, black and white, black and white – a nun r Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but aren’t. I turned 7 early in third grade. It was a memorable school year because I had for a teacher a nun with a reputation. Sister Evangelista was about 5 foot nuthin’, and symmetrical. If the what’s black and white, black and white, black and white – a nun rolling down a hill joke were applied to her you would have needed a lot more black-and-whites, as her spherical shape would have kept her rolling a long time. It earned her the nickname Cannonball. She was notorious, not only for her distinctive dimensions, but for having a particularly foul temper. Her starched garb also pinched her face into a state of permanent floridity and pursed her lips into a particularly fish-like shape. It was not a happy year for me at school. There would be more than one instance of raised voices, and more than one rap across the hands with yardsticks. I was even banned from the classroom for a spell, to wander the halls for hours, unaccompanied. But I somehow knew that eventually I would be a third grader no longer and would escape the sharpened claws and flapping habit of this creature. She was unpleasant, for sure, but she did not present an existential threat. Neil on a drainpipe as a lad – from his FB page When the unnamed narrator of Neil Gaiman’s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, turns 7, he has troubles of his own. It begins with zero attendance at his birthday party. The family comes on some hard times and must take in boarders. The boy is given a kitten, Fluffy, to ease the loss of his room, but the pet falls victim to a cab, arriving with a South African opal miner, the latest paying resident. Not long after, the miner takes the family car. It is found soon after, at the end of a nearby lane, with a body in the back seat, and a hose running from the tail pipe to the driver’s window. At the scene, the boy meets an eleven-year-old girl, Lettie Hempstock, who takes charge of him, and brings him to her family’s farm, which borders the lane. And so begins a beautiful friendship. (Members of the extended Hempstock family, btw, turn up in several other Gaiman books) Lettie lives with her mother and grandmother. When strange events begin to erupt in the area--the boy’s sister is assaulted by flung coins, the boy wakes up choking on a coin, and other strangeness afflicts neighbors--Lettie seems to know what is causing them. She is sent to take care of it and brings the boy, her little friend, along. They travel across the Hempstock property and into what seems another world, (mentions of Narnia and Alice in Wonderland, among others, let us know that lines will be crossed) a place that has some threatening inhabitants. Lettie confronts the troublemaker, but the boy reacts to an event instead of thinking and disobeys her lone order, to keep hold of her hand. That is when the real trouble begins. Image taken from abc.net.au The boy is far too young for this to be a coming of age tale, but a central element of horror, whether of the Freddie Krueger, Nurse Ratched (or Sister Evangelista) variety, or the flapping beast central to Gaiman’s tale, is one’s helplessness before a greater, and ill-intentioned power. Although he doesn’t characterize his intentions as horror-mongering, Gaiman has laid out what he was up to in writing the book.It was meant to be just about looking out at the world through the kind of eyes that I had when I was 7, from the kind of landscape that I lived in when I was 7. And then it just didn't quite stop. I kept writing it, and it wasn't until I got to the end that I realized I'd actually written a novel. ... I thought — it's really not a kids' story — and one of the biggest reasons it's not a kids' story is, I feel that good kids' stories are all about hope. In the case of Ocean at the End of the Lane, it's a book about helplessness. It's a book about family, it's a book about being 7 in a world of people who are bigger than you, and more dangerous, and stepping into territory that you don't entirely understand. Gaiman was aware that his work might appeal to young readers for whom is it not intended. He said that he deliberately made the first few chapters of the book dull as a way to dissuade younger readers, who would be put off by that and disinclined to continue on to the juicy bits. The world the young boy faces may not be understandable. There is just too much to take in and Gaiman captures that element of childhood quite well. Changes for the boy at home include the antithesis of Mary Poppins, in the form of one Ursula Monkton, who seems to have arrived on an ill wind, with the added bonus of her having designs on the boy’s father. Adults overall seem pretty careless. But there is some balance in this universe. Lettie’s family seems beyond time itself, a bright light in the darkness, welcoming, comforting, nurturing. And then there’s the ocean. Looks like a pond to you or me, but it has qualities quite unlike other bodies of water. As in his earlier American Gods, there are things that have been brought to this newer world from the place its residents once occupied. You may not be able to go home again, but what if you could take it with you? (Also a theme in American Gods) Gaiman says he usually writes for himself. One thing that was different about this book was that he was writing for someone else. His wife, musician Amanda Palmer, was off in Australia making an album. Where you or I might send along daily, or weekly notes of what was going on, Gaiman sent something else I will tell my wife, by making stuff up, kind of what it was like to be me when I was seven, from the inside of my head, not in the real world, then put it in the actual landscape that I grew up in. There really had been a boarder who killed himself in the family ride. Like his young hero, Gaiman climbed drainpipes. There really was a farm down the lane that had been recorded in the DomesDay Book. And as with such enterprises he did not have a large framework constructed. It was "like driving at night through the fog" – he knew "three or five pages ahead what would happen", but no further. There is some material here that rankled a bit. The substitute parent trope had been used to good effect in Coraline and manifests in many of the Disney animated classics, evil stepmothers in Cinderella, Snow White and the like. Ditto here. Maybe going to that well one time too many? And is dad really that dim? But there is also a nice diversity of conceptual toys at work. The flapping baddie was fun. The magical ocean and ageless Hemplocks are also very engaging. The nothingness created by the creatures referred to, among other things, as hunger birds, reminded me of Stephen King’s Langoliers, also the Nothing of the Never-Ending Story and the Dark Thing of a Wrinkle in Time. Might the three Hemplocks serve as a sort of feminine Holy Trinity? There is a wormhole that involves an actual…you know…worm, which made me smile for a long time. And any time there is a dip into water, one must ponder things baptismal, rebirth, either literal or spiritual. Letting go is what so much of growing up is about. It is the very thing that must be done in order to be able to grow, to live one’s own life. But sometimes letting go has the opposite effect, and can place you in peril, particularly when you are only 7 and not ready for the consequences. There is a lot in this short book on holding on, and letting go, and the price of both. There is a lot on doing what is right, on personal sacrifice, on permanence and the ephemeral, on remembering and forgetting. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a short novel. But do not let go of the notion that this is a book for adults. The ocean in question may look to be a pond, but do not be deceived. Jump in. The water’s fine, and deep. Posted 8/19/13 This review is cross-posted at Coot's Reviews ==============================EXTRA STUFF Links to the author’s personal, Twitter, FB and Tumblr pages A wonderful article on Gaiman in the January 25, 2010 issue of The New Yorker An excellent audio interview by Jian Ghomeshi of Canadian Broadcasting I also reviewed Gaiman's -----Stardust, briefly, a few years back -----The Graveyard Book more fully in October 2012. -----Trigger Warning in March 2015 -----The View from the Cheap Seats in June 2016 12/3/13 - The results are in and The Ocean at the End of the Lane was voted the Goodreads Choice Award winner for fantasy 12/16/13 - The Ocean... was named one of the best fiction books of 2013 by Kirkus 2/25/14 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane is nominated for a Nebula Award

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

    $3.99 on kindle US. Today only! 2-4-18 This was a magical story both happy and dark. I loved it so much! And Neil Gaiman did a wonderful job of reading his own book ❤ Once a boy befriended a girl named Lettie Hempstock, her mother and grandmother and nothing was ever the same again..... There are beautiful and horrible things in this world and we find these things inside this book A boy that is coming of age in a world we know nothing about and everything about.... It did make me sad but you have t $3.99 on kindle US. Today only! 2-4-18 This was a magical story both happy and dark. I loved it so much! And Neil Gaiman did a wonderful job of reading his own book ❤️ Once a boy befriended a girl named Lettie Hempstock, her mother and grandmother and nothing was ever the same again..... There are beautiful and horrible things in this world and we find these things inside this book A boy that is coming of age in a world we know nothing about and everything about.... It did make me sad but you have to read the book to understand it. I'm going to be adding this to my collection as I got this audio from the library Overdrive. I highly recommend it! Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, and find the spaces between fences. I'm glad I still haven't grown up! Mel ❤️ MY BLOG: Melissa Martin's Reading List

  7. 5 out of 5

    Maciek

    In the acknowledgments section of his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman admits that the project was initially meant to be a short story, which grew to be a novel - not a very long novel, but a novel nonetheless. For fans it was big news, as it would be his first novel for adults since 2005's Anansi Boys. I was never really into Gaiman's work - I wasn't crazy about American Gods or Neverwhere and Coraline, all of which are routinely mentioned as fan favorites. I loved Sta In the acknowledgments section of his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman admits that the project was initially meant to be a short story, which grew to be a novel - not a very long novel, but a novel nonetheless. For fans it was big news, as it would be his first novel for adults since 2005's Anansi Boys. I was never really into Gaiman's work - I wasn't crazy about American Gods or Neverwhere and Coraline, all of which are routinely mentioned as fan favorites. I loved Stardust, though - his short fantasy which I thought was beautiful and had to read in one sitting. The Ocean sounded like a a welcome return to the familiar field, and I was compelled to give it a try. Gaiman's narrator is an unnamed English man in his forties, who returns to his childhood home located in the English countryside of Sussex. There he is drawn to familiar places which he has not seen for ages, and which evoke memories long buried. He ends up by the house of his childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock, and remembers when he was seven years old and how Lettie used to call the pond beside her house an ocean. Ultimately, this is a lazy book - for several reasons. The first one is an enormously flat and dull narrative voice. The narrator is obviously remembering his youth from an adult perspective, but the end effect is reduced to sentences in vein of "I did this and that" "And then this happened". There's absolutely no childish joy or fear, or even the adult's surprise at a sudden recollection of a forgotten memory of youth. The language is lackluster, flavorless and as flat as the steppes of Kazakhstan, to the point of becoming downright dull and distracting because of its dullness. How are the readers supposed to give a damn if we can barely muster the strength to turn the page? Perhaps it's my own recent personal experience of spending a week in an English village while visiting my friends, but I thought that the setting of this book was another lost opportunity. The countryside is beautiful, but all the the reader will get from it in this book is the fact that people live on farms and sometimes have small ponds near their houses. There's no sense of place specific to Sussex or England in this book at all; it could as well have taken place in the suburbs of Chicago. Not that long ago I read and reviewed The Land of Laughs, the debut novel of Jonathan Carroll, a fan favorite considered to be classic of fantasy - which I found to b a bland play on fantasy tropes without much originality, I have the same complaints about The Ocean - which really is nothing more than an overly stretched short story, employing all the well known staples of the genre and made up to resemble a short novel. The protagonist is an obvious stand-in for the author, but besides waxing nostalgia and melancholy the novel doesn't seem to have any real goal or accomplish anything in particular. It reads almost like Neil Gaiman's rushed assignment for a creative writing class he took ages ago - full of pretension of powerful statements about human beings, deep as the ocean, but in reality being little else than the well-known drizzle deep no more than an ordinary puddle, which evaporates after a few days and leaves absolutely no mark.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Patrick

    It's kinda ridiculous how much I want to read this book. I'm seriously considering abusing my small amount of power to see if I can wangle and ARC out of somebody....

  9. 4 out of 5

    Inge

    Whoopsie daisy, it's unpopular opinion time again. As I scroll through the Goodreads page of this book, I only find raving reviews. Four and five stars aplently, a rare three stars at the least. And here I am, positively convinced that Neil Gaiman is a terrific author, yet the two books I've read of him were completely underwhelming. Thing is, I have no idea what the hell I just read. It was bizarre and weird and, quite frankly, not in a good way. But I am not giving up. I will find a Neil Gaiman Whoopsie daisy, it's unpopular opinion time again. As I scroll through the Goodreads page of this book, I only find raving reviews. Four and five stars aplently, a rare three stars at the least. And here I am, positively convinced that Neil Gaiman is a terrific author, yet the two books I've read of him were completely underwhelming. Thing is, I have no idea what the hell I just read. It was bizarre and weird and, quite frankly, not in a good way. But I am not giving up. I will find a Neil Gaiman book to love. I will.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    “I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.” This is a book that teaches us that we should never stop dreaming, that we should never stop seeing oceans in ponds and that we should never, ever, stop seeing better worlds in the things we read. The pond that was an ocean bespeaks the level of optimism that is inherent with childhood dreams. Everything seems better. Everything seems bigger and grander. Imagination makes the ordinar “I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible.” This is a book that teaches us that we should never stop dreaming, that we should never stop seeing oceans in ponds and that we should never, ever, stop seeing better worlds in the things we read. The pond that was an ocean bespeaks the level of optimism that is inherent with childhood dreams. Everything seems better. Everything seems bigger and grander. Imagination makes the ordinary seem extraordinary and fantastic. I have no idea what elements were fantasy within the novel. It could even be magical realism or a child’s interpretation and exaggeration of real life events. Part of me felt like it was based on real things but distorted and twisted to evoke the sense of unfamiliarity a child has in an adult world. But to perpetually see the world through child eyes would be a boon: “I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.” It’s a book for the lost, for the social pariahs who do not fit in with normal society. It is a book for those who would rather spend their days reading than interacting with the human race. Humans are always disappointing, books are not. And our little hero knows this so he concocts his own friends and draws upon the lessons he learnt through reading. In this regard it reminded me of Coraline. It’s a book about an odd child who dreams of something a little bit better than the reality they experience. The friend he meets becomes his guardian against the forces that would destroy him and his family. She becomes a doorway into understanding an entirely new world. In this I saw a lonely child longing for something he didn’t have, a connection with someone who would hold him up when the days become their darkest. In The Ocean at the End of Lane anything is possible as a child’s dreams and memories propel the narrative forward. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a truly fantastic book in every regard. I absolutely loved it.

  11. 5 out of 5

    emma

    "I remember my own childhood vividly...I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew. It would scare them." -Maurice Sendak Considering how obsessed we are with the idea of childhood as a culture, it’s pretty wild that no one can capture it quite like Neil Gaiman. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... There are a lot of movies about boring white-straight-male aspiring writers in their 30s being taught how to LIVE WHIMSICALLY by a manic pixie dream girl. There are books abou "I remember my own childhood vividly...I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn’t let adults know I knew. It would scare them." -Maurice Sendak Considering how obsessed we are with the idea of childhood as a culture, it’s pretty wild that no one can capture it quite like Neil Gaiman. https://emmareadstoomuch.wordpress.co... There are a lot of movies about boring white-straight-male aspiring writers in their 30s being taught how to LIVE WHIMSICALLY by a manic pixie dream girl. There are books about the beautiful wonder of a child’s perspective. There are millions and millions and millions of TV shows depicting the dramatic trials and tribulations of the high school experience (as lived by gorgeous twenty-three year olds). But none of it feels true. Maybe only Neil Gaiman can remember what it’s like to be a child. It is wondrous, and beautiful, and whimsical, and even dramatic. But it’s also dark and scary sometimes. Inexplicable things happen, and the world seems uncontrollable, which is magical and horrifying. That’s childhood. That’s also this book. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is actually terrifying. It’s magical, but probably not in the way typically associated with fantasy novels narrated by children. It’s magical in the way that I felt the world was when I was a child. As it turns out, that’s much more magical. And much more amazing to read about. This book is so, so short, and so devastatingly lovely. It’s beautifully written and emotional. It made me scared and it made my heart hurt and it made me smile. I want to quote more of it, but really I want to quote everything. Maybe I’ll just excerpt ever-longer passages until I trick you into reading it? So, better idea, just read it yourself. Bottom line: It’s 181 pages. What would it hurt to read it read it read it read it read it? ------------------------- PRE REVIEW things this book has in common with the graveyard book: a) by neil gaiman b) first 5 star rating of the year c) totally f*cking rad review to come b

  12. 5 out of 5

    David Monroe

    I want to read this book so much.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Arabey

    هل هي دراما اجتماعية أم واقعية سحرية، فانتازيا حضرية أم لعلها عالية..أم هي رواية رمزية؟ كل هذا قد يتجمع في عالم واحد..عقل الأطفال، باﻷخص هؤلاء ذوي الخيال طفل وكتاب وقطة صغيرة، طعم الخبز اﻷسمر وتوست أبيض بلا طعم، المربي البيتي بالقطع و كوب لبن 'محلوب' لتوه القمر عندما يكون بدرا كبيرا مصفر اللون، فكر قليلا وقل لي بصراحة...متي أخر مرة نظرت فيها إلي القمر؟ جو الريف، بحيرة البط الصغيرة التي كنا نراها محيطا...المحيط الذي بأخر الحارة أخيرا صرت ووالدي أصدقاء ببلوغي العشرينات. كان بيننا القليل جدا من الإهتما هل هي دراما اجتماعية أم واقعية سحرية، فانتازيا حضرية أم لعلها عالية..أم هي رواية رمزية؟ كل هذا قد يتجمع في عالم واحد..عقل الأطفال، باﻷخص هؤلاء ذوي الخيال طفل وكتاب وقطة صغيرة، طعم الخبز اﻷسمر وتوست أبيض بلا طعم، المربي البيتي بالقطع و كوب لبن 'محلوب' لتوه القمر عندما يكون بدرا كبيرا مصفر اللون، فكر قليلا وقل لي بصراحة...متي أخر مرة نظرت فيها إلي القمر؟ جو الريف، بحيرة البط الصغيرة التي كنا نراها محيطا...المحيط الذي بأخر الحارة أخيرا صرت ووالدي أصدقاء ببلوغي العشرينات. كان بيننا القليل جدا من الإهتمامات المشتركة عندما كنت صبيا، وأنا متأكد إنني كنت خيبة أمل له، هو لم يتمني إبنا بكتاب ، منعزل لعالمه الخاص..هو أراد إبنا يفعل ما فعله: يمارس السباحة، الملاكمة، الرجبي، ويقود السيارات بإنطلاق وإستمتاع ، لكن لم يكن هذا ما أنتهي به الحال ** الأحـــداث ** --------- هي قصة هذا الصبي .. بلا اسم .. نهم للقراءة عاشق للكتب.. في السابعة عفوا , صبي في الأربعينات من عمره, فقد عزيز عنده وقادته قدمه بعد الجنازة لمكان طفولته ..المنطقة التي كانت ريفية في اواخر الستينات..ربما تغير مكان بيته..ولكن بيت المزرعة التي في أخر الشارع ظل كما هو وعند البحيرة, عفوا, المحيط الذي في أخر الحارة جلس ليتذكر في عيد ميلاده السابع لم يحضر أي أحد من زملاءه الذين ارسلت لهم الدعوة لم يحضر عيد ميلاده سوي أخته الصغيرة وصديقتيها هديته الأفضل يومها كانت من أبيه "قطه سوداء مزغبة" لكنها عوضا عن تأجير غرفته لعامل منجم لضائقة مالية تخص أسرته عامل المنجم الأفروأمريكي يصدم قطته يوم وصوله بسيارة الأجرة التي اقلته هل يمكن ان يسوء الحال للصبي أكثر من هذا؟ في اليوم التالي يعثر الجيران بالمزرعة في أخر الحارة علي سيارة الأسرة, وبها جثة عامل المنجم ..منتحرا..وهنا تبدأ القصة حيث يتعرف الصبي علي أهل بيت هذه المزرعة ,عائلة هامبستوك, الجدة..الأم جيني .. والأبنة ليتي وأخيرا سيصير له صديقة , وإن كانت أكبر منه ظاهريا بسنتين ..ولكن معا سيقابلا الكثير من المغامرات من كيان عجيب يحاول تحقيق أحلام أهل المزارع بالمنطقة ..ولكن هذا الأمر يتحول إلي كابوس لمربية غريبة الأطوار للصبي وأخته تعيش معهم في حجرته السابقة..تقيم علاقة مريبة مع أبيه علاقته مع أبيه تتعقد وتزداد عداوة مع تغيرات في سلوكيات أبيه منذ وصلت تلك المربية العجيبة ثقب عجيب بالجسم وبوابة تنقلك إلي عالم أخر..كيانات عجيبة تحقق الأماني وظلال سوداء معتمة تحاول القضاء عليها..إيونات وبروتونات..أصل الكون والمكان والزمان كل هذا في بحيرة البط الصغيرة التي ف.. عفوا.. في المحيط الذي في أخر الحارة هل هي مجرد مغامرات طفولية يتذكرها عقل رجل ناضج ويصاحبها مشاعر الحنين الي الماضي , النوستاليجا؟ أم هي هروب من واقع به بعض من المشاكل العائلية المعتادة؟ هل كل هذا الرعب حدث حقا ، ما كل تلك الرموز المرعبة، العلمية أو حتي تلك الرموز التي أكاد أن أجزم أنها تبدو دينية كل ما أنا متأكد منه هو أن كل هذا يستعيبه صبي في السابعة..وصعب علي عقولنا كلما مر بنا العمر ربما كبرنا كثيرا لذا لم ندرك ما الفاصل بين الحقيقة والخيال ------------------------- الأسلوب ----- بسيط..سلس وسهل , طفولي شيئا ما بما يناسب طفلا في السابعة وعميقا احيانا , ليس بتصنع او بمبالغة وإنما بشكل ملائم لعقل طفل أو البالغ الذي يتذكر عندما كان صبيا شطحات الخيال العلمي وشئ من الرعب مع القصة الدرامية ممزوجة بنوستاليجا وحنين لماض جميل حين كان للأشياء طعما اخر كان جذابا وعند ربطه ببداية القصة...الصبي الذي في الأربعينات..في منتصف العمر.. ستشعر فعلا بحنين لا مط ولا تطويل بالأحداث .. هي قصة طويلة , "نوفيللا" كما يقولون وليست رواية كبيرة.. أما عن نوعها وتصنيفها..فكما سألت في البداية..ولم أجد جوابا Fairy Tales فقد كانت كالقصص الخيالية حيث جنية تحاول منح الناس ما يحلمون به..ومزرعة يطل عليها القمر في كل ليلة بدرا منيرا وكانت كقصص الخيال المرعبة عندما جائت تلك الظلال الرهيبة التي من المفترض أنها تعيد توازن الحياة.. وعندما تحولت الجنية التي تحقق الأحلام إلي وحشا وكانت بها الخيال العلمي كحقيقة الزمان والمكان وتخطيهما , والأبعاد المختلفة..وعقلية الأطفال وكانت كقصص السحر , فأكاد أن أجزم أني أتذكر ذكر جذور نبات "الماندريك" بالرواية..كتلك التي ظهرت بهاري بوتر كانت كالقصص الدينية...فشعرت بشئ من التشبيهات حول التعميد والثالوث المقدس احيانا والأهم كانت دراما أجتماعية ظاهرة في حياة الصبي الذي بلا أصدقاء حقيقين..وأسره تعاني مشاكل مادية وحياته عندما صار رجلا مطلقا فقد عزيزا لديه الشخصيات ------- أنت لا تنجح أو تفشل في كونك شخصا يا عزيزي هكذا قالت الجدة للصبي...متي وأين , لن أحرق لك الأحداث لكن بوصولك لهذا الجزء ستشعر فعلا أن تلك القصة فعلا أثرت بك وربما هنا تأكد أن هناك بها ملمح ديني أو ربما عن الحياة الشخصيات بسيطة وغير متكلفة , شخصيات عائلة هيمستوك تعتبر عجيبة وكما ذكرت ويكابيديا أن لهم ظهور في روايات أخري للمؤلف ويعتبر هناك لمحات من شخصية المؤلف بالصبي او ربما فقط بعض الحوادث المتعلقة بطفولته خاصا ان الصورة بالغلاف الخلفي "الفتي علي افريز الدور الأول بالمنزل" هي صورة حقيقية للمؤلف في صباه عاما قد تشعر مثلي بتشابه بين البطل وبينك شخصيا خاصا عندما يحكي لك عن الطفولة عن زملاء الدراسة الذين لا نراهم غير في الدراسة عن الأخت الصغيرة والعناد , عن الأب وحنيته وتغيره في حالة الأزمات العائلية و عن الجيران الذين يسافرون ويرحلون ,تاركين فراغ في عالمنا ولكن تظل البحيرة..عفوا .. المحيط الذي في اخر الحارة ..مهما مر العمر ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ النهاية ------- كلما مر بنا العمر نفقد الكثير من جاذبية الحياة وجمالها ونقائها بل وكما قالت لي صديقة بنهاية الرواية ستشعر كم أنك جاهلا..وهذا بالفعل ما حدث لي كما قالت لي جملة 'روح الأطفال قديمة كقدم الزمان' ربما تكون محقة وملائمة لهذه الرواية تذكرت فعلا جملة لمصطفي محمود إننا نولد بالفطرة بكل العلوم ، وما تعليمنا لمبادئ الحساب مثلا إلا إسترجاع لذاكرتنا الداخلية لن أكذب وأقول أني قد فهمت رموز القصة أو حتي المغزي النهائي قد يكون ديني , عن الثالوث المقدس الواحد في الاصل أو التعميد كما شعرت وقد يكون علمي..وقد يكون مجرد خيال ..لم أفهم كل رموزها جيدا بالرغم من قراءتها مرتين ولكني لن أقيمها مثلا مثل كافكا علي الشاطئ لأنها فعلا أعجبتني وأمتعتني بشكل كبير ومتكامل برغم من غرائبيتها علي الأقل شعرت بتوحد مع شخصية البطل..في حبه وعشقه للكتب الصديق الوحيد المخلص تماما ظللت منتظرا أن أكبر ...عفوا .. أن يكبر البطل كي أفهم ولكني عندما كبرت...أكتشفت إني لن أعرف كما عرفت وعلمت في الصغر وندمت اني كبرت..ورجعت أعيد قراءة الرواية مرة اخري كطفلا لا استطيع وصف كل ما شعرت به وقتها..لكنها فعلا تستحق القراءة رواية عجيبة .. صاخبة..وهادئة واستمتعت بها فعلا وذلك المزيج بين الخيال والواقع ولمست فعلا مشاعري بنهايتها لذلك أرشحها لك..إذا ما أردت ان تعيش قليلا بعقل صبي في السابعة لتغوص معه في البحيرة عفوا في المحيط المحيط الذي بأخر الحارة محمد العربي من 12 يونيو 2015 إلي 14 يونيو 2015 وقراءة ثانية في 18 يونيو 2015 الريفيو تم في 24 يونيو 2015

  14. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    Can a pond being an ocean? Sure! Why not? DON'T THINK IN LIMITATIONS BUT POSIBILITIES Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. Once you can get to accept that a pond likely can be a whole ocean, you will then enjoy this wonderful book. I think that Neil Gaiman, the author, was a genius even deciding the length of the book. Sure, the initial intention was to make a short story that ended inton being a novel, but at 181 pages of length, it's most likely a novella. However, th Can a pond being an ocean? Sure! Why not? DON'T THINK IN LIMITATIONS BUT POSIBILITIES Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. Once you can get to accept that a pond likely can be a whole ocean, you will then enjoy this wonderful book. I think that Neil Gaiman, the author, was a genius even deciding the length of the book. Sure, the initial intention was to make a short story that ended inton being a novel, but at 181 pages of length, it's most likely a novella. However, that's the beauty of the concept. Can a book being a library? Mmh... Since, in these 181 pages, you have a fairy tale, a horror story, a family drama, even adventure, humor, philosophy, etc... A THICK BOOK ISN'T GUARANTEE OF ANYTHING GOOD A story only matters, I suspect, to the extent that the people in the story change. Neil Gaiman can accomplish so much more in just 181 pages than other authors in 700 plus pages. A big book isn't a guarantee of being any good. A short book can be as much fantastic, if not more. Even it's more respectful being able to create a so rich story in so few pages than having 700 plus pages and not resolving anything. Sometimes people can think that only thick books deserve respect and don't get me wrong, there are many thick books indeed worthy of respect, but the quantity of written pages isn't a certification that any book is indeed really good. And certainly there are also bad small books too. But I can tell you that... ...this is a small book AND it's reallly good! LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. This is a story where I can assure you that I was so scared at some moments than in other books clearly labeled as horror, and I was so astounded with the magic here than in other books clearly labeled as fantasy. Even if you know some of Neil Gaiman's influences when he was a kid, you will be glad to see them here in a way or other. Even if you read really carefully you will get to know about where certain other writers got some ideas for their own insanely famous books, letting clear that sometimes author's originality is just a matter of reader's ignorance. Highly recommended!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Dan Schwent

    While in his home town for a funeral, a middle aged man drives to the site of his parents' former home and visits visits the farm at the end of the road, where he remembers some curious events from when he was seven... First off, I'll get the gripes out of the way. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is marketed as Gaiman's first adult novel since Anansi Boys. It feels a lot more like a young adult novel, more akin to the Graveyard Book or Coraline than American Gods. Secondly, it's only 175 pages l While in his home town for a funeral, a middle aged man drives to the site of his parents' former home and visits visits the farm at the end of the road, where he remembers some curious events from when he was seven... First off, I'll get the gripes out of the way. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is marketed as Gaiman's first adult novel since Anansi Boys. It feels a lot more like a young adult novel, more akin to the Graveyard Book or Coraline than American Gods. Secondly, it's only 175 pages long. In and of itself, that's fine, but with a whopping 25.99 price tag, it's kind of a gouge. Gripes aside, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a pretty cool book. Gaiman does a masterful job at portraying the nameless lead character, a seven year old boy who befriends at odd eleven-year old girl named Lettie, who may or may not be as old as the universe, and her mother and grand mother. Maiden, mother, and crone remember the Old Country, which sank, or the really Old Country, which blew up. The Ocean at the End of the Lane, like a lot of Neil Gaimain work, deals with dreams, the effect of belief on reality, and forgotten things, like things that every kid knows and every adult has forgotten. There's not a lot I can say without giving away the best bits. Gaiman has a way of making his young adult books way scarier than his adult ones and this one falls into that category. Urusula and the hunger birds were both pretty creepy, as was what happened with the boy's foot. That's about all I can say. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a really quick read but full of interesting ideas and great moments. Four out of five. I may elevate it to a five on a reread.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Fabian

    Everything you need to know about "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is right there in the title. The Ocean it alludes to is deep (fathom-deep as the true meanings of family & love & death); blue (icy like the Coraline's motherspider antagonist-- the demonic Nanny McPhee in the middle of the story; cold like the rigidity of death, the panic of succumbing to childhood traumas); vast (like the leitmotifs spread out in elegant splendor along the narrative, tokens of the writer's impressive Everything you need to know about "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is right there in the title. The Ocean it alludes to is deep (fathom-deep as the true meanings of family & love & death); blue (icy like the Coraline's motherspider antagonist-- the demonic Nanny McPhee in the middle of the story; cold like the rigidity of death, the panic of succumbing to childhood traumas); vast (like the leitmotifs spread out in elegant splendor along the narrative, tokens of the writer's impressive & grand imagination), with suds atop (the frivolity and juxtaposition of childhood elements with the supernatural positively effervesce) but much darker & stranger as the composites of the undertow sometimes reach upward, showing us the complex nature of human souls. It is a true achievement.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Adina

    It is the first book I read by Neil Gaiman but I am sure it will not be the last. It is creepy and beautiful and hopeful and melancholic. It is a book about the innocence and helplessness of childhood, about memories and also about so much more as it contains a lot of universal truths so beautifully written. It is an adult story even if most of it is narrated through the eyes of a seven years old boy. I loved the definition of adults from the book: Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside It is the first book I read by Neil Gaiman but I am sure it will not be the last. It is creepy and beautiful and hopeful and melancholic. It is a book about the innocence and helplessness of childhood, about memories and also about so much more as it contains a lot of universal truths so beautifully written. It is an adult story even if most of it is narrated through the eyes of a seven years old boy. I loved the definition of adults from the book: Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world. The book is also a horror novel, with monsters, terror, pain and suffering that seems too much for a child. However, in the real world you find monsters everywhere and we need to learn how to deal with them from early age. Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometime monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren't. I could probably cite from this book forever but I will stop now. I recommend it to everyone that was once a child.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lyn

    The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a fantasy in the The Graveyard Book section of his cannon, with Young Adult elements but written for adults. Like American Gods, the book explores mythos and ancient mysteries and Gaiman is in rare form with a subject matter that resounds with disconnects between our mature selves and our inner child. Gaiman approaches the supernatural in his story in much the same way as Jo Walton did in Among Others, using minimalism and a subtle shift in pers The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a fantasy in the The Graveyard Book section of his cannon, with Young Adult elements but written for adults. Like American Gods, the book explores mythos and ancient mysteries and Gaiman is in rare form with a subject matter that resounds with disconnects between our mature selves and our inner child. Gaiman approaches the supernatural in his story in much the same way as Jo Walton did in Among Others, using minimalism and a subtle shift in perspective. In many respects, Gaiman has become a fantasy writer in the tradition of Ray Bradbury. This was a very good read.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Jayson

    (A-) 84% | Very Good Notes: We make pilgrimage to the landmarks of our childhood, in vain, to revive somehow the magic and wonder of youth.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Archit Ojha

    Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul. Very truly so. Penning a review for this book is hard, so is the book itself. Complex and intricately sewn together. No, I am not revealing the plot to you, dear wife. All I am saying is that this is a different work altogether. And a very, very fine one indeed. The story weaves childhood memories and nightmares, beliefs and myths into one fragment after another, until the fabric is tight enough to hold th Some books you read. Some books you enjoy. But some books just swallow you up, heart and soul. Very truly so. Penning a review for this book is hard, so is the book itself. Complex and intricately sewn together. No, I am not revealing the plot to you, dear wife. All I am saying is that this is a different work altogether. And a very, very fine one indeed. The story weaves childhood memories and nightmares, beliefs and myths into one fragment after another, until the fabric is tight enough to hold the weight of interdependence. A child who knows a lot. Someone who knows that he knows things that his parents don't know he knows. The fears are as vivid as it can be our owns. Mr. Gaiman captures the feeble nature of childhood perfectly in this work. He confessed that he actually meant it to be a short story that got out of control. Interestingly so, the author attributes the motivation for writing this masterpiece to deal with a 4 month separation from his wife. The result was a thoroughly engaging and majestically laced novel. An ocean of feelings. Told you, this is the hardest book to be reviewed I have read this year. So, I will let that be the end. A perfect glittering 5 stars!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Miranda Reads

    I really, really wanted to like this book...but like so many others, it fell flat. Maybe it's because we follow the least-interesting character in the entire book. Honestly, I couldn't be the only one who would've preferred to get the perspectives of the witches or the worm-creature? Or even the spiteful cat. I was a normal child. Which is to say, I was selfish and I was not entirely convinced of the existence of things that were not me, and I was certain, rock-solid, unshakeably certain, tha I really, really wanted to like this book...but like so many others, it fell flat. Maybe it's because we follow the least-interesting character in the entire book. Honestly, I couldn't be the only one who would've preferred to get the perspectives of the witches or the worm-creature? Or even the spiteful cat. I was a normal child. Which is to say, I was selfish and I was not entirely convinced of the existence of things that were not me, and I was certain, rock-solid, unshakeably certain, that I was the most important thing in creation. Perhaps it's because while there were many parts that caught my attention, nothing was fleshed out enough to hold me to this book. Sure...there's a hint of this, a dash of that but nothing really comes to fruition, only frustration. “Oh, monsters are scared," said Lettie. "That's why they're monsters.” Possibly it's because after nearly 200 pages...nothing is explained. While there's many hints given about the mystical world and it's otherworldly characteristics ... yet nothing concrete is explained. EVER. Sometimes a little mystery is needed and sometimes, just explain it already. Neil Gaiman always has the craziest, wildest, awesomest ideas...and 4/5 times they just absolutely fall flat to me. It's like...I like the idea/concept better than actually reading the book. That being said, I do enjoy how much his main character loved to read. Every time he talked about books, I was like preach! “I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.” Audiobook Comments Despite all my whining and complaining, the one thing I cannot fault is this audiobook. Neil Gaiman read it himself and wow. Stunning audio. He could read a Walgreen receipt (heck, even a CVS/Pharmacy receipt) and I'd listen with rapt attention. Blog | Instagram | Twitter

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mitch

    Update - 7/5 I've been seeing a lot of different responses to my criticisms and I want to make some clarifications about my feelings (Warning: major spoilers) (view spoiler)[One of the events in the book involves the narrator's father attempting to drown him. Now, it's not clear from the story how much is pure fantasy and how much is reality that's been warped into fantasy by the passage of time, but it's my interpretation that the events are at least based on reality, i.e. what the boy remembers Update - 7/5 I've been seeing a lot of different responses to my criticisms and I want to make some clarifications about my feelings (Warning: major spoilers) (view spoiler)[One of the events in the book involves the narrator's father attempting to drown him. Now, it's not clear from the story how much is pure fantasy and how much is reality that's been warped into fantasy by the passage of time, but it's my interpretation that the events are at least based on reality, i.e. what the boy remembers actually happened while the reasons for it happening may be made up. If that's the case, I really don't feel anything 'magical' or 'nostalgic' comes out of what is essentially a story of unresolved abuse, as I never felt the boy comes to terms with his father's role in what happened. The Hempstocks' sure, but not his father's. That lack of closure (and me not really getting the nostalgia) are the reasons for my lower rating. Of course, the other explanation is that everything that happened is pure fantasy, i.e. the monster manipulated his father into drowning him and it wasn't 'real' but a fictional account, but this explanation for me is even less satisfying because as I alluded to originally the story just becomes your garden variety attack of the evil babysitter and ruins the profoundness of the rest of the book. I guess I could have gone with it as many people have, but as I said I don't feel the general sense of nostalgia towards childhood as many older readers have, and frankly I don't understand why anyone would find nostalgia when such abuse is being glossed over. (hide spoiler)] Original Review One day perhaps, when I am forty seven years old looking back at my seven year old self, The Ocean at the End of the Lane will hold more appeal for me, but I am not forty seven years old yet. Neil Gaiman's latest book is a beautifully written, haunting paean to lost childhood, but the story itself was just an incredibly trying experience. Gaiman has a lot to say about the innocence and powerlessness of being seven years old, but frankly, I'm still at an age when I refuse to believe I was either of those things when I was seven years old, so while I applaud Gaiman's genius storytelling, I just can't ignore my frustration with the actual story. What worked for me about The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the presence of Gaiman's trademark qualities that's been praised time and time again. This is the very personal story of a middle aged man, somewhat lost over the years, returning to his childhood home to find himself again and reminisce about the strange events once encountered by his seven year old self, but more than that, Gaiman infuses the story with his surrealist magic that makes every word almost hauntingly beautiful. (Plus some really creepy and fantastic imagery, like with that worm...) Sure, Gaiman never comes out and directly tells us what happened to his narrator (although much can be inferred) or what's real and what isn't, but that's the beauty of the story, the mystery not only emphasizes how memories, especially childhood memories, are not concrete, tangible things but bygone magic, but really also compounds the wistful and somber tone of the story. Purely as a work of writing, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is top notch and modern myth at its best. What I can't overlook though, is that Gaiman writes the book from the point of view of a middle aged man looking at his childhood through the eyes of his seven year old self, and it just didn’t work for me. As I said, I still remember my childhood quite well, and I wouldn't exactly describe it as anything magical or special, so while I had a vague sense of the emotions Gaiman wanted to convey with his magical words, I don't think I'm at an age when I can fully appreciate the deeper emotions that I'm told are here - everything I felt only worked on an academic level. Rather than being moved by the sadness, the nostalgia, the melancholia, I actually became more and more embittered and jaded as the story progressed, because, although I get Gaiman’s narrator is reflecting back on a neglected childhood and parents who didn’t really understand him, a monster destroys this kid's family, his father abuses him, and I'm sorry, but how Gaiman handled that at least completely irked me. I know I praised Gaiman for blurring the lines between reality and fantasy, but that for me is also this book's downfall, because either way, whether I accept the events of the book as fact or fantasy, there's just something substantively lacking about Gaiman's narrative. Maybe because he's too focused on the surrealist aspects, maybe because I'm just still too young and can't understand the kind of parent/child interactions Gaiman alludes to, but I hated Gaiman's interpretation of this family. If I took the events as fact veiled by fiction, I think Gaiman tries too hard to appeal to that adult sense of childhood as a sad, innocent time, and just oversimplifies the narrator’s relationship with his father, eventually sweeping the bulk of what happens under a rug, because at the end of the day, has what the monster caused affected anyone in any meaningful way? Not as far as I can tell. And if it's taken as pure fiction? - then the plot is hardly profound at all, but merely your garden variety attack of the evil babysitter. Twenty odd years from now, when I look back at this review, I suspect I'll probably disagree with much, probably even all, of my criticisms. But for the time being, while childhood doesn't have the emotional appeal for me that Gaiman's capturing, The Ocean at the End of the Lane tries too hard to recapture the nostalgia at the expense of exploring the trauma to the point in parts it almost reads like formulaic horror, while the elements that probably hold the most magic are the ones that I'm probably just too young to appreciate.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer Masterson

    I absolutely loved "The Ocean at the End of the Lane"! I wish it had been longer! I'm late to the party, so so late to the party! This novel was much darker then I expected it to be. It is also so well-written! I mean the writing is just beautiful!!! A middle aged man goes back to his hometown to attend a funeral and he revisits his childhood memories of the time he was friends with a girl named, Lettie Hempstock. She was his only friend. The boy is age 7 and we are never given his name. We are n I absolutely loved "The Ocean at the End of the Lane"! I wish it had been longer! I'm late to the party, so so late to the party! This novel was much darker then I expected it to be. It is also so well-written! I mean the writing is just beautiful!!! A middle aged man goes back to his hometown to attend a funeral and he revisits his childhood memories of the time he was friends with a girl named, Lettie Hempstock. She was his only friend. The boy is age 7 and we are never given his name. We are never told who the narrator is. Ursula Monkton was a piece of work and tormented him. She is his enemy! This is basically a dark and beautiful fairytale that feels quite real and was a bit disturbing at times. I hope that I am making sense. I've never done a review for a book so hard to review! This isn't my normal genre. In fact the only reason I listened to the audio version of this book is because I purchased it on special from Audible a few months ago. I can't believe it took me this long to get to it. I just didn't think I'd like it. I was wrong! Completely wrong! The lesson I learned from this book is that it's very important to step out of my comfort zone and that I need to listen to more books by Mr. Gaiman! The one thing I will say is that I don't usually listen to audiobooks read by the author. They tend to be monotone. Not this author! Boy can he tell a story! He's just under Colin Firth as a narrator! That says a lot because Mr. Firth rocked my world with his narration of "The End of the Affair"!!! Highly recommended!

  24. 5 out of 5

    PirateSteve

    Tis a fyne tale.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Richard Derus

    Rating: 4* of five The Publisher Says: Sussex, England. 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 pa Rating: 4* of five The Publisher Says: Sussex, England. 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 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. My Review: A charming way to wile away a Saturday afternoon. It's a lovely story. Been told before, as what has not, but to call this little entertainment a groundbreaking work by a master is absurd. Did I enjoy it? Oh yes. I liked it fine. As always in a Gaiman book, no one changes. Nameless narrator as child confronts horrible reality that all is not as it seems, he is not Safe, and the world can be whisked away in a flood of knowledge. He goes on being a child. Nameless adult narrator comes to terms with loss, only he doesn't really because he can't remember what it is he's coming to terms with. The Norns, Urðr, Skuld, and Verðandi, are brilliant constructs, even if there is doubt about their separate and uninfluenced creation in Norse mythology and not grafts of the Greek Fates. The Norns, and their amazing well, describe all too clearly the experience of being alive in the elegant universe that quantum physics tells us lies under the pretty picture we lie ourselves to sleep with. Gaiman clearly Gets It. He expresses his clear-eyed and seemingly unflinching comprehension and acceptance of the unreality of the illusion we inhabit in this book. That's refreshing and it's pleasant. But brilliant? Groundbreaking? Really now. James Joyce was brilliant. Proust was brilliant. Beckett's plays are brilliant. I will perform the osculum infame on Fox News if someone can make a respectable case for Gaiman being brilliant by those lights. A worthy and amusing entertainment. There is nothing whatever wrong with that.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Matthias

    Nostalgia is widely frowned upon. In these hectic times of living fast and forward, those who look back, fall back. Those who contemplate their past and do so with a smile and a tear are said to live in museums of memories, stagnant, each teardrop further calcifying their energy into immovable stalactites. What good is there in replaying old movies? Why settle for a small library of old childhood adventures when each day offers a new one? Why cling to a past and forsake a future? As an incorrigib Nostalgia is widely frowned upon. In these hectic times of living fast and forward, those who look back, fall back. Those who contemplate their past and do so with a smile and a tear are said to live in museums of memories, stagnant, each teardrop further calcifying their energy into immovable stalactites. What good is there in replaying old movies? Why settle for a small library of old childhood adventures when each day offers a new one? Why cling to a past and forsake a future? As an incorrigible nostalgic it’s not easy to explain what draws me to my frequent ruminations on the years when I was young, protected and innocent, what compels me to relive those moments. I do uphold that I don’t consider my nostalgic bouts as a way to forsake the future, nor a means to escape the present. My parents and their accomplices have gifted me with the most precious of things they could offer: a happy childhood, that serves as a source of joy, a well of inspiration, a blanket of comfort, now and tomorrow. It doesn’t hold me back as much as it keeps me going. When I think of my childhood, a warm glow pervades the sceneries in my head. It’s a glow both dreamy and real, both soft and intense. Neil Gaiman has captured this glow in “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”. The dreams, fears and memories are his, but the glow mesmerises all of us in Nostalgia Avenue, taking us back to the days of bewilderment in its purest form.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Valya Lupescu

    This is my favorite of Neil Gaiman’s books so far—a haunting novel about sacrifice, boundaries, and things remembered. So many twisted and tattered new characters to get into our heads and under our skin. Once again, Neil does what he does so well: he takes us by the hand and introduces us to a dark, tangled corner of the universe full of things that make us shiver and hold our breath in the dark. Authentic and compelling, there’s much beneath the surface of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Lik This is my favorite of Neil Gaiman’s books so far—a haunting novel about sacrifice, boundaries, and things remembered. So many twisted and tattered new characters to get into our heads and under our skin. Once again, Neil does what he does so well: he takes us by the hand and introduces us to a dark, tangled corner of the universe full of things that make us shiver and hold our breath in the dark. Authentic and compelling, there’s much beneath the surface of The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Like a secret whispered in the shadows by a trusted friend, it gets inside of us, and it lingers.

  28. 5 out of 5

    °°°·.°·..·°¯°·._.· ʜᴇʟᴇɴ Ροζουλί Εωσφόρος ·._.·°¯°·.·° .·°°° ★·.·´¯`·.·★ Ⓥⓔⓡⓝⓤⓢ Ⓟⓞⓡⓣⓘⓣⓞⓡ Ⓐⓡⓒⓐⓝⓤⓢ Ταμετούρο Αμ

    Φτιάχνω απόψε με κουρέλια και σανίδια έναν συνοικισμό αυτόνομο Μ’ αυτούς που ψάχνουν για διαμάντια στα σκουπίδια και στον υπόνομο Κι αντί να ψάχνω το κουκί και το ρεβύθι στο τέλμα αυτό που βυθιζόμαστε Φτιάχνω μαζί σας το δικό μας παραμύθι γιατί χανόμαστε Μες το δικό μας παραμύθι ξαναβρές το το ξεχασμένο μονοπάτι σου Και ξαναχάσ’ το, ξαναβρές το, ξαναπές το το τραγουδάκι σου.... Ένα πολύ τρυφερό παραμύθι για την παιδική ψυχή που μπορεί να γίνει ιστορία τρόμου αν προσπαθήσεις να το κατανοήσεις με τη λογική κα Φτιάχνω απόψε με κουρέλια και σανίδια έναν συνοικισμό αυτόνομο Μ’ αυτούς που ψάχνουν για διαμάντια στα σκουπίδια και στον υπόνομο Κι αντί να ψάχνω το κουκί και το ρεβύθι στο τέλμα αυτό που βυθιζόμαστε Φτιάχνω μαζί σας το δικό μας παραμύθι γιατί χανόμαστε Μες το δικό μας παραμύθι ξαναβρές το το ξεχασμένο μονοπάτι σου Και ξαναχάσ’ το, ξαναβρές το, ξαναπές το το τραγουδάκι σου.... Ένα πολύ τρυφερό παραμύθι για την παιδική ψυχή που μπορεί να γίνει ιστορία τρόμου αν προσπαθήσεις να το κατανοήσεις με τη λογική και τη φθορά της ενηλικίωσης. Μια ιδιαίτερη και μυστηριώδη ιστορία που ξεκινάει με μια αυτοκτονία η οποία γίνεται κάλεσμα σε ότι κακό μπορεί να φθείρει και να διεγείρει την ψυχή και το μυαλό των ανθρώπων. Το κακό καταφτάνει και μεγαλουργεί όπως πάντα στις ενήλικες υπάρξεις αφού εξυπηρετεί την ματαιοδοξία τους και τα ένστικτα τους. Για να ισχυροποιηθεί περισσότερο χρησιμοποιεί ως γέφυρα την καρδούλα ενός μικρού αγοριού. Η παιδική ψυχή όμως αρνείται να βοηθάει το κακό και ζητάει βοήθεια απο μια γειτονική οικογένεια η οποία ζούσε σε εκείνο το μέρος πριν ακόμα φτιαχτεί το φεγγάρι! Στο πίσω μέρος του σπιτιού αυτής της "εκλεκτής"οικογένειας υπάρχει μια λιμνούλα για πάπιες. Στα μάτια και το μυαλό των πολλών είναι μια μικρή συνηθισμένη λίμνη. Στην ουσία όμως των πραγμάτων και συγκεκριμένα στη δική μας ιστορία,είναι ο ωκεανός της αγάπης και της λύτρωσης. Καλή ανάγνωση!!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Jaidee

    3 "think I get it...but needed more" stars. I very much liked this adult fable but not to the extent that many of my real life and Goodreads friends did. At times I was completely absorbed and mesmerized by the narrative and other times I felt that the cosmology was inconsistent, random and a tad repetitive. I intuit that I understood the esthetic that Gaiman was attempting but often to me it was a miss rather than a hit. The writing was beautiful, rich and full of complex emotion but it often fel 3 "think I get it...but needed more" stars. I very much liked this adult fable but not to the extent that many of my real life and Goodreads friends did. At times I was completely absorbed and mesmerized by the narrative and other times I felt that the cosmology was inconsistent, random and a tad repetitive. I intuit that I understood the esthetic that Gaiman was attempting but often to me it was a miss rather than a hit. The writing was beautiful, rich and full of complex emotion but it often felt that it was pulled out of thin air without careful planning and the pseudo-mysticism was a bust for me (and that's saying a lot because I tend to eat that stuff up with whipped cream) Often Gaiman understood the seven year old protagonist to the core but then he would veer off and the child had the mind and comprehension of adulthood. This was jarring to say the least. I look forward to reading more Gaiman (American Gods is on my shortlist) but I am not sure why he has achieved rock star bookselling status. All in all though this was a more than adequate read for an autumn weekend away at the cottage. Somehow though I wanted and expected more. Perhaps in future books I will get it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sanjay Gautam

    I picked up this book with high expectations but in the end I felt that Gaiman has stretched the story unnecessarily - it could've been a really nice, but not great, short story, had he not extended it. Weird - was the first word that popped up in my mind, as soon as I started reading. The second word that popped up was Holden Caulfield (from The Catcher in the Rye), because the boy reminded me of him. I remember enjoying reading The Catcher in the Rye, but this one was not that great and I've m I picked up this book with high expectations but in the end I felt that Gaiman has stretched the story unnecessarily - it could've been a really nice, but not great, short story, had he not extended it. Weird - was the first word that popped up in my mind, as soon as I started reading. The second word that popped up was Holden Caulfield (from The Catcher in the Rye), because the boy reminded me of him. I remember enjoying reading The Catcher in the Rye, but this one was not that great and I've mixed feelings towards this book. Gaiman is a good writer but certainly not a great one, for me. His prose was eloquent and I admired his writing skills but it was his imagination that really annoyed me. He created everything, out of nowhere, as if his sole purpose is to defy physics, logic, all of the sciences, and above all the common sense; in the name of fantasy. In my opinion, he utterly failed in this endeavor. Being a man of reason I loathed this utterly illogical depictions of things in the story and I'd to force myself to finish it. However, there is a flip side too. His depiction of the tale is admirable and he was able to evoke many emotions simultaneously - fear, sadness, anger, disgust, anticipation, surprise, and joy. His tale has an emotional depth to it, and evokes nostalgia. It's a trip down the memory lane. I liked the climax, the way he ended the story. It cheered me up a little, and that's why I've given it two and half which is rounded to two stars. But I'm still not sure if I liked this story by Gaiman. 2.5/5.0

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

In order to read or download eBook, you need to create FREE account.
eBook available in PDF, ePub, MOBI and Kindle versions



Loading...