The Ocean At The End Of The Lane By Neil Gaiman
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow Books
Pages: 181
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Synopsis (from Goodreads): 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.

Having just finished this book, I am at a loss for words to describe all the emotions I'm feeling.Well let me just start off by saying Gaiman is a master writer and I don't know any other author that can take pen to page, or in this case keyboard to screen, and make you feel every emotion under the sun whilst having you begging for more. I was sad to get to the end of this rather short work (it was only 181 pages).

However, let me say that I LOVED The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I was teary at times, smiling at others, terrified and genuinely touched. This book captures the innocence of childhood, of dreams and the imagination. I honestly don't know how Gaiman does it but I'm glad he does what he does like no other writer out there. His voice is so unique and sweet and different that I'm glad he was a destined to be a writer so that those of us who are in awe of his skill at least get to enjoy his beautiful words. Thanks Mr. Gaiman for introducing us to Lettie Hempstock and letting us escape to her ocean.

Here are some bits and pieces that stuck with me:

"All monsters are scared.
That's why they're monsters."

"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."

"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."

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’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 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.”

1 comment:

  1. I'm sad that the story is too short. I don't want to quickly close the book. It's better that the author can add the extra details.

    Helen@Tefl courses online


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