“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 an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.”
This book is really special to me, not only because it’s a really really good book, (which it is) but because I got to see the author talk about this book and other cool things and I really felt for the first time since Harry Potter that anticipation and excitement that comes with having a brand new book in your hand. Also I have a signed copy which is really awesome and I fangirled pretty hard over that. So this book is extra special to me, and I will treasure my copy endlessly. On to the actual book.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a adult book, narrated by a seven year old boy about the mysterious and maybe magical events that happened at the end of his lane. Although our protagonist is very young, this is not a children’s book in that same way that The Book of Lost Things isn’t a children’s book. The seven year old boy and his family are nameless, and I think this adds more to the charm of the book and allows the reader to almost become that little boy, helpless and powerless to the whims of the adults around him. I LOVED this little boy. I wanted so badly to help him and rescue him and at the same time I felt that horrid pain that you have when you are young and adults are there to boss you around and nobody takes you seriously. I liked that he wasn’t a hero, he was just an ordinary little boy.
In true Gaiman style, the ‘monster’ in this book was terrifying, and I absolutely LOVE the mythology that he created in this book. I thought it was wonderful, imaginative and absolutely bonkers. It was also written exceedingly well. The prose was absolutely beautiful, and very quotable. This book is tinged with nostalgia for a landscape, but unlike many other books not for a childhood.
To sum up, this book is utterly gorgeous. A must read for Neil Gaiman fans, fantasy lovers or anybody that wants to curl up for a few hours with a good read. This is set to become this years ‘it’ book, and deservedly so. I read something on twitter that Neil retweeted. It said this:
figmentj ”I can see why none of the reviews say what the new
@neilhimself book is about. It’s not about what it’s about, it’s about everything else.”
I think this sums up the book perfectly. Please go and read it.