The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying, and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.
It's about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator 40 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 this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and a menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.
Contains a special introduction from Neil Gaiman
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Simon on 08-10-15
This is a clever story, told through the eyes of a child and leaning on the premise of a child's imagination it draws into a dark, dreamlike tale. I think the publisher's blurb perhaps goes a little bit too far and for me the brevity of the story didn't allow it to develop the depth it otherwise might have done. For this reason I didn't enjoy it as much as others seem to have done. It is definitely a quality piece of writing, well narrated and something just a bit different to the norm so it's worth a go. It just didn't quite rock my world.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
By Kristin on 08-07-13
Can't beat a good Gaiman
Where does The Ocean at the End of the Lane rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
I do love a competent author who is also a competent narrator! Neil Gaimans books are great fun, if slightly warped at times. By reading it himself you can be sure to get the story as he intended. This is one of his books that is suitable for a wide range of audiences, so highly recommended for any long family road trips this summer.
The story takes us back in time to when the protagonist was a boy. A trip back home has reminded his adult self of some very odd happenings in his youth. What follows is a good mystery with some strange and/or supernatural characters vividly imagined to keep you guessing at every step of the way. The places and people are beautifully described so that you can close your eyes and almost see what happens. A great read, and probably one of the few I shall listen to over again.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Lette Hempstock - the sheer mystery of who she and her family are...
Which character – as performed by Neil Gaiman – was your favourite?
His speaks so beautifully, it's hard to choose a best character, so I shall plump for the main character for wordage alone
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Things are not what they seem, even if you can see more than others
Any additional comments?
I wish it didn't have to end, but also need to know what has happened and how, even if not why!
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Todd on 17-12-13
Expecting "Whoa!", but got "Meh"
This is the first Neil Gaiman book I've listened to. In his words, though this story is short, it is very "dark". Whilst I agree it is dark-ish, it isn't what I was expecting. The seamless transition from our world to the "other world" is done very well. The Ursela character in her true form is also quite menacing. It reminds me of the abstract nature of some of Stephen King's good work.
The story is interesting enough, but the thing that really got on my nerves was Gaiman's narration. In every scene of the book, he speaks with an upward positive-sounding naive inflection. While this fits with the personality of the protagonist (an innocent 7-year-old boy), the dark tone of the story makes it completely out of place. Even in scenes that are supposed to be terrifying, the same tone of voice is there. It doesn't fit and it takes away from the story.
The other thing that I couldn't get over was that for a 7-year-old boy, the protagonist seems to be one of the world's great philosophers. He says and thinks things that no 7-year-old I've ever met has any understanding of. You can't even explain this by the character being an avid reader of books. The things he makes comments on would escape the understanding of someone that young. On top of this, there are times when Gaiman seems to remember that this is a young child and the character has a complete lack of understanding of a situation. Consistency is key, Neil. He's either a very smart worldly young boy, or a clueless child. You can't have it both ways.
A bit of a letdown, considering everyone praises this author.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
By Trex on 27-06-18
Why is Gaiman narrating his own book ?
I went back and forth on it several times. It started off annoying me, then I found it charming, then I found his tone too emotive.
I guess he was always overly emotive. When it was appropriate, I didn't mind it. When it wasn't I really did.
Story is pretty good. I loved the neighbours. Just wondrous.