Friday, August 2, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
2013, William Morrow Books

Synopsis: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

The Good: Neil Gaiman has a way with words, making even the dullest or most bizarre of stories feel almost poetical. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is no exception. The book flows beautifully and quickly, much quicker than even it's short length would suggest.

The Bad: The story was just bizarre. It comes off as a children's story written for adults - much like the original fairy tales. Which could have worked well, but just didn't. Suicide, infidelity, child abuse, and what I believe to be fairies, although it was never really spelled out. It was beautifully written, but a jumbled mess.

No comments :

Post a Comment