The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Review

books16f-4-webDo you remember when you were back in high school and you had to do the mandatory readings in English class, and there were always these books that the majority of class would say, “I HATED THIS BOOK” while a few people would say, “I loved it! <3”? I was usually one of the kids that said “I loved it!” when everyone else hated it. Now I’m not saying I HATED The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I’m just saying I don’t think I understood it to its full potential.

Also keep in mind, yes I admit, this is the first Neil Gaiman book I’ve ever read. YEAH YEAH LAUGH IT UP, I don’t have people to recommend me books…sadface for me. So my review is probably not going to be as great as it should be, and I’ll probably get older, look back, and say to my younger self, “WHAT THE HECK!? This was like the best book ever!” But for now, I’m sticking to my honest opinion of what I felt. So if you don’t agree with anything I’m saying, you’re welcome to say so. If I fully just…did not understand what this book was about feel free to leave a comment about that too.

We start off with an unnamed man, who returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Wow that’s kind of depressing. While going off to think and reflect upon his life, he decides to revisit places he spent his childhood. He ends up wandering about to a farm at the end of the road where his house used to be. It’s there, he wanders behind the farm to a small pond, a pond a childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock, said was an ocean. From there, he starts to recall what happened when he first met Lettie and her family, and how that meeting was going to change and affect his childhood forever.

There is no question in my mind that Neil Gaiman writes EXCEPTIONALLY beautiful novels a

nd stories. They are just downright creative, beautifully written, and pure poetry. Words just seem to flow from this man’s hands to create a beautifully told story that was captivating as well as brilliant all at the same time.

Author – Neil Gaiman

I’m very happy Neil chose to write this book as a small novel rather than a short story. I think a short story would not have done this book justice. There’s just something magical about it. From the Hempstock family, to the Flea, and Varmints, they all carry a sense of wonder and magic to them

that’s out of this world. Literally rather than figuratively.

I’m not going to lie though. I will admit to being pretty lost as to whether or not I was getting the message the book was trying to relay. I had to ask my good friend, who will be referred to as Christopher Robin, to explain the story in a simple way that made more sense to me. He’s the one that actually inspired me to read it in the first place.

Books like this touch you. In the end, the last few pages, everything just sort

of comes together and you feel that uneasy sense of calm. Yes. UNEASY SENSE OF CALM, yeah it’s a thing, that you feel when you’ve been so incredibly touched and mind-blasted, that now you understand yourself a little better and understand the world a little better.  I was definitely moved.

**It was very hard not to give anything away but I don’t like to add spoilers to my review.

3/5 Hearts of Love

Buy The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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6 comments

  1. ” I don’t have people to recommend me books…sadface for me.”

    I can be that “people”! 😀

    I’ve read that Neil “turned down his blender” in this story. So some bits are true. Especially that bit about finding a man who killed himself in the car he stole from Neil’s family. Then there’s something about his failed marriage too.

    Although most things happening there are unbelievable and even the narrator himself forgets about it every time he leaves the Hempstock’s place. It’s like saying that everyone of us had unbelievable magical childhood experiences but often we just forget about it. I love that quote at the beginning of the story. It pretty much sums up the book.

    1. Yay~ Definitely drop me a line if you want to recommend me something. I should have a CONTACT ME page DOH~!

      Christopher Robin, who I mentioned in my review, explained why the narrator kept forgetting things differently, which I think is a bit more magical. I’m not disagreeing with what you think, the story is open to interpretation of course, but this is what he said to me which I think makes a lot of sense.

      “The Hempstocks are like guardians of Earth and they protect our world from things that shouldn’t exist there. After the Narrator saw and went through all that, they had to make him forget because he knew things he wasn’t supposed to. If he carried that knowledge into his adulthood he’d go mad. Which is why he had to forget everytime he left, because Lettie wanted him to have a normal/better life.” (Obviously paraphrased). I like his explanation better, it seems more magical and heartwarming. But I guess cause we’re just such nerds/geeks that we think this 😛

      1. I actually get a notification when someone replies to my comment. It’s on the upper right corner.

        Your friend’s explanation works too. It reminds me of the british tv show Doctor Who, how the doctor had to remove the memory of Donna about the time-travelling stuff so she won’t go mad.

      2. I’m still getting used to wordpress and how the reply works cause some people don’t get my comments when I reply to a comment they’ve made OTL.

        HAHA~ We’re big Whovians, Christopher Robin and I. So that’s probably where he got his ideas. That’s probably why I liked it all better. It was just a big ball of wibbly wobley timey whimey stuff 😉

      3. You love Doctor Who too!

        I can’t wait for the anniversary special and for the new doctor as well!

      4. Yup~ I’m a die hard Whovian c: Can’t wait for the 50th I hope it’s as good as they say it is. New Review coming up. I was supposed to write it today but…I was sleep deprived.

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