Inside the Book:
UK National Book Awards 2013 “Book of the Year”
“Fantasy of the very best.” Wall Street Journal
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 where she once lived, 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.
A groundbreaking work as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark, 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.
“[Gaiman’s] mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and beautiful in which I will happily drown.” New York Times Book Review
Childhood is often a time filled with magical wonders and wide-eyed innocence, but sometimes even magic is dangerous. Revisiting his childhood home, a man finds himself not only remembering the mundane details of his earlier life, but most importantly the unusual and frightening encounters with supernatural forces he could not explain as a lonely seven-year-old boy nor as an adult with his youthful memories nearly forgotten.
The Ocean at the End of the Line is the only Neil Gaiman book I’ve read so far, so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. The writing was beautiful, imaginatively dark, but also real enough to see oneself standing in the boy’s shoes. While the story is short, there a lot of meaning and certainly plenty of pondering that can be done over it. The Hempstock women were my favorite characters, they were so wise and mysterious. I don’t think I could compare The Ocean at the End of the Lane to any other books, considering it’s so unique.
If you want to read something that’s bittersweet mixed with the unwavering loyalty of friendship with just the right amount of magic, pick up The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Meet the Author:
Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.
Visit his website at http://www.neilgaiman.com