Sunday, November 24, 2013

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman 
Released: June 18, 2013
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 159 pages (Nook)
Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

"You do not pass or fail at being human, dear."

A middle aged man attends a funeral in the town where he grew up. There he is drawn to the old farm house at the end of the lane, down the road from his childhood home. This is where he meets the extraordinary Lettie Hempstock, along with her mother and grandmother, when he is just seven years old.  

   He hasn't thought of Lettie in over a decade, though he sits outside the old farmhouse, in front of the pond that Lettie claimed was an ocean. It's then that his forgotten memories come flooding back. Memories that are so strange and frightening that they couldn't have really happened to a seven year old boy, could they?

Some forty years earlier and man commits suicide outside of the old farmhouse. This action unleashes a darkness that is unimaginably scary to a seven year old boy. But there's Lettie, the extraordinary girl from farmhouse who promises to protect him no matter what. 

Let me start off by saying that I really, thoroughly enjoyed this short novel. However, I couldn't give it a full five stars. The reason I only gave it four stars is simple, it's marketed as an Adult Fiction novel when to me it read much like Gaiman's children books. I found it to be much more along the lines of "Coraline" or "The Graveyard Book". I just never saw the adult content that would classify it as Adult Fiction. 

That small point aside, I really thought this book was fantastic. This is the third Neil Gaiman book I've read and so far I've never been disappointed with his work. His writing style is wonderfully vivid and imaginative. He's incredibly talented in drawing the reader in and keeping them engrossed the entire time. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is a relatively short read (just what a mom with a four month old needs!) The characters were charming and endearing. However, I would suggest reading it during the day. Some parts made my spine tingle and my hair stand on end. The story was magical and scary, beginning to end! 

If you're looking for a quick, entertaining read then look no further. Pick this one up and I promise you will not be disappointed.

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