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The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) - Review

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) Book Review

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Neil Gaiman) - Rating

Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher: Headline Book Publishing
Publication Year: 2014 (First Published in 2013)
ISBN: 9781472208668
Pages: Paperback, 272 pages



The Ocean at the End of the Lane begins with the narrator visiting the place where he lived in his childhood days. He involuntarily and not knowing why reaches at the end of the lane where the Ocean lies which is actually just a pond. He then begins to recall his childhood when he was just 7 years old.

Forty years back, a man stole their car and committed suicide in it which stirred up certain ancient powers. It let loose some dark creatures and one of it latched itself to the narrator turning his world upside down. To his defense stands three women residing on a farm at the end of the lane.


The Ocean at the End of the Lane is my first from Neil Gaiman although I have watched the movie Coraline (without reading the book) and I loved it. Fantasy is certainly not a preferred genre but since this book had created so much hype, I wanted to read it and feel the world that Gaiman is supposed to create in his books.

I liked the book, but I did not love it. The Ocean at the End of the Lane can neither be categorized as a children’s fiction nor the adult fiction. It lies somewhere in between. The fact that it is the account of a seven year old child, it can appeal to the pre-teenagers. But it also symbolizes an adult recalling his childhood and the detailed version is suitable for adult reading as well. So, you can’t categorize it.

The book is a supernatural fantasy and the world that Gaiman has created is worth applauding. I could visualize everything he wrote. The narration was simple and the language was easy, making it a quick read. I finished it off in a day. That is also because it was quite intriguing and kept me hooked till the end. It was not dull and it was not boring.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane also talks about several relationships. The relationship of the protagonist with his parents and his younger sister. How he grows fond of the mysterious girl Lettie Hempstock who in return vows to protect him from everything. It also talks of love and sacrifices which you will know better after reading it. Moreover, you can also see it in the metaphorical form and probably that was the intention of the author here. Even the worm (just a minor spoiler) can be seen as a metaphor for the bad traits of human nature. It’s a whole lot different thing if you view it like that. But you can certainly enjoy it as a tale recalling some childhood memories.

So, what went wrong with The Ocean at the End of the Lane? Well, I believe it was quite simple and nothing exceptional. Also, it seemed more like a short story which it is as I found out on the internet. He pulled and stretched it to a paperback. Although it did not make the book boring but then, the book had nothing much to offer. I feel I can pass this book as a good one. If you like reading fantasies, it is worth reading once.

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.
Adults follow paths. Children explore. 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. 
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.

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6 comments

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Ankita
AUTHOR
December 11, 2014 at 12:06 AM delete

I like movies based on such plots! nice review, will check this one out!

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December 11, 2014 at 4:43 PM delete

I like your honest account of your reading experience. From what you say, I take this novel to be introspective and you need a certain frame of mind to enjoy such things.

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AmyG
AUTHOR
December 11, 2014 at 7:56 PM delete

I was curious about this book, and now you've fleshed in quite a bit about it for me. I'm not sure if I'll add it to my reading list or not, but I'm happy to hear your take on it!

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Anmol Rawat
AUTHOR
December 12, 2014 at 11:00 PM delete

Thank you Ankita :) Hope you like it.

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Anmol Rawat
AUTHOR
December 12, 2014 at 11:02 PM delete

Thank you Francene :)
Yea certainly. I found it to be a good change from the usual romance stuff I read. :)

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Anmol Rawat
AUTHOR
December 12, 2014 at 11:04 PM delete

The curiosity made me read it as well. It's a pure fantasy :) I don't consider it tob e a great read but it's a welcome change if you are reading a particular genre since long. :)

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