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July 19, 2013 / minusbar

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman

It is with reluctance that I admit this is the first Neil Gaiman book that I have ever read. However, I can say with confidence that it will be far from the last. “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” is one of those rare fantasy stories that not only captivates you, but transforms you to a childlike state. I’d not realized how much I’ve grown up, but it was refreshing to be pulled back into such an innocent and simplistically wonderful story.

Forty years ago, our narrator, who was then a seven-year-old boy, unwittingly discovered a neighboring family’s supernatural secret. What happens next is an imaginative romp through otherwordly adventure that could only come from Gaiman’s magical mind. Childhood innocence is tested and transcended as we see what getting between ancient, mystic forces can cost, as well as what can be gained from the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating tale that is equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky. —Robin A. Rothman

The story is given from the perspective of an older man reflecting on his nearly forgotten memories of himself as a young boy. Those memories and feelings slowly begin to come back and we are metaphorically transported into the mindset of a child who loves treats and a good book (Naturally, I could relate to him). I’ll refrain from revealing anything else about the wonderfully charming plot, but the real strength of this novel is the tone. The perspective of the narrative was beautiful, the innocence and unknowing of a child felt nostalgic to me, and the elements of fantasy came subtly at first until they consumed me as I read on.

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway! This is a must-read for anyone who grew up on classic fantasy. Gaiman has written fables for a new generation, simplistic stories that inspire a childlike wonder that adults often seem to lose. Although this may be labeled as a novel for adults, I would gladly argue that this is a novel any young person would also enjoy.

If you love reading fantasy and value your time, it is my sincerest belief that you should invest in this book.

Amazon buy link Here.


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One Comment

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  1. Dusty / Aug 11 2013 5:01 pm

    I feel the same. It was my first Gaiman book as well, I’ll be reading more soon. American Gods looks really good to me.

    It is childlike fantasy, but in a way that gets to the core of adults. Nice, simple review. Exactly what the book deserves.

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