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The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Gaiman, Neil (Book - 2013 )
Average Rating: 4 stars out of 5.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane


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It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
Authors: Gaiman, Neil
Title: The ocean at the end of the lane
Publisher: New York, NY :, William Morrow,, [2013]
Edition: First edition.
Characteristics: 181 pages ;,22 cm
Content Type: text
Media Type: unmediated
Carrier Type: volume
Summary: It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
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ISBN: 0062255657
9780062255655
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Report This Apr 17, 2014
  • billmacrotarian rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Neil Gaiman has created some of the most bizarre stories of any written today. In this entry a grown man recalls incidents from his childhood and his relationship with a remarkable 11 year old girl and her family. My favourite question of his to the girl who claims to be 11 is; “Yes, but how long have you been 11?” Children under threat always makes for engrossing reading and nobody does it better than Neil Gaiman. Is it fantasy? Is it science fiction? Is it both? Who knows?

Report This Apr 17, 2014
  • glenbuckeye rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

fairy tale, fun look at life through a kids eyes, very quick read.

Report This Mar 25, 2014
  • Cynthia_N rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Wow! So good that I had to read bits of it aloud to my teenager, who then wanted me to read aloud the whole book. Great for adults and young adults but might be a bit scary for younger readers.

Report This Mar 17, 2014
  • SAPL454 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A well written book that grabs your ultimate attention with every page read!

Report This Feb 23, 2014
  • tocch101 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A wonderful tale of what it means to be a child and an adult. A blurring of lines to see the imaginary world and the real world and a constant question of which is the real one.

Report This Feb 13, 2014
  • Aussiechick57 rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

I like fantasy books, but this one was ridiculous. Writer must have been on drugs, seriously it just went from bad to worse. I eventually just gave up after a couple of chapters and took it back to the library. Didn't want to waste time trying to finish wading through it.

Report This Feb 12, 2014
  • ChristyH rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

This was the first Neil Gaiman book I have read and I didn't really enjoy it. It was a quick read but a too fantastical for me.

Report This Feb 10, 2014
  • gold4iva rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

This is a great book. I found a particular chapter in it so compelling that I literally could not put it down until I finished it. Anyone who enjoys a bit of fantacy will like this, I think.

Amazing book. Quick paced, beautiful language--you will continue to think about this book after you finish.

Report This Feb 08, 2014
  • CATLIN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Gaiman writes the best stories!

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Report This Jan 08, 2014
  • carterasm1 rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

carterasm1 thinks this title is suitable for 12 years and over

Report This Jul 07, 2013
  • pagetraveler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

pagetraveler thinks this title is suitable for between the ages of 12 and 99

Report This Jun 19, 2013
  • JOE KEEGAN rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

JOE KEEGAN thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

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Report This Oct 21, 2013
  • mvkramer rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A man returns to his childhood home for a funeral, and suddenly finds himself remembering the strange events of his childhood -- when he was seven, and met Lettie Hempstock. That year, an unfortunate man killed himself on Lettie's property, and unwittingly released something ancient and malevolent upon the village. When the eldritch entity threatens our narrator's family, Lettie promises to keep him safe. But at what cost?

Report This Aug 02, 2013
  • AnneDromeda rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Neil Gaiman’s *The Ocean at the End of the Lane* is a fairy tale for adults in the best possible sense. It’s incredibly lightweight – at only 178 pages, Gaiman has stripped down his prose and left a spare, stunning myth that can be read in one stop on the beach blanket. Indeed, you may find you need the sunbeams – if this dark, bewitching tale doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, you likely have no pulse. The book opens with an unnamed man returning to his childhood home after the death of a family member. In his grief, he’s drawn to the farm of a childhood friend named Lettie Hempstock. He winds up seated next to a pond they called the ocean, lost in childhood memories. He had been a shy, quiet child who loved to read and had few friends. Soon after he turned seven, a boarder living in the narrator’s home took his own life. After discovering the body, the narrator is comforted by the Hempstocks, a family of remarkable women who live at the end of his lane. Gaiman has created something special with the Hempstocks. Though they’re plainly supernatural, Gaiman makes no effort to explain what they are beyond imbuing them with spiritual elements from the Maiden/Mother/Crone trinity found in neopagan mythology. This lack of explanation makes them all the more powerful – as Gaiman well knows, a story’s real power lies in the unknown. The narrator begins to bond with 11-year-old Lettie Hempstock. She keeps his company as a series of strange events unfold, all seemingly related to the suicide of the opal miner who boarded with the narrator’s family. Lettie takes the narrator on an errand to banish the being causing the trouble. This errand alone contains all the creepy beauty and wild atmosphere Gaiman’s known for, but it’s just the beginning. The being follows the unnamed young protagonist back home and manifests itself as an evil nanny named Ursula Monkton. She dedicates herself to trapping and enslaving the young boy. Gaiman lets the story of an evil nanny tormenting the painfully young abandoned narrator unfold as simply as any children’s tale. This makes the powerful, luminous spirituality of the tale’s final showdown all the more profound. The only words to capture the dark beauty and wonder of the final pages of *The Ocean at the End of the Lane* are the ones Gaiman has already used, so you’ll just have to read it yourself. You won’t regret it – this is hands-down the most moving book I’ve read this year. Like any fairy tale, it’s a fiction for the ages, meant for telling the truth.

Report This Jul 07, 2013
  • pagetraveler rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

A man returns to his boyhood home and remembers events of the past that have been lost to him.

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Report This Sep 23, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I liked myths. They weren't adult stories and they weren't children's stories. They were better than that. They just were.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Oh, monsters are scared. That's why they're monsters.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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 found joy in the things that made me happy.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

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 unshakably certain, that I was the most important thing in creation. There was nothing that was more important to me than I was.

Report This Sep 21, 2013
  • JCLChrisK rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

A story only matters, I suspect, to the extent that the people in the story change.

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