Finished the book The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman last night. It is a small little book, so was a pretty fast read. I’ve had this on my reading list for a while and finally had the opportunity to get into it. Now that I’ve finished, I’m still not sure I understand what happened or what was supposed to be happening in the book, but I enjoyed the story quite a bit. It was mystical, magical and strange, but enjoyable. I think this might be the most creative book I’ve read this year, so I’m giving it a five star rating.
The story is told in flashback mode with a now adult remembering a terrifying period in his childhood. You forget that you’re in flashback mode, because the majority of the story is told in this mode, rather than flipping back and forth. The main character is a 7 year old boy and meets an 11 year old neighbor after one of their house guests commits suicide near her house.
I honestly, didn’t know what was going on for the first fourth of the book, but finally suspended reality and went with it and it became much more enjoyable. It was very descriptive, and considering many of the characters in the book were mystical, he’s done a great job of taking the English countryside in the 1960s and turning it on it’s ear.
After finishing the book, I went to see if Neil Gaiman had any other stories I could read and noticed that he was also the author of the book ‘Stardust’ which was made into a fun movie a few years back with Claire Danes (she was a falling star). I picked up another one of his books to see if I’d like that story as well. I think I might want to read Stardust as well, even though I’ve already seen the movie. I read in another review that the Hempstock ladies (the little girl’s family) show up in that book too. I liked those kooky ladies.
I think now that I’ve finished I should read it again and try to discern a bit more of what was happening. Especially after discovering that Mr Gaiman is the same character that wrote a love story where one of the characters was a ‘falling star’. 🙂 This would be an excellent book for a book club, allowing everyone to debate what the heck is going on and if there are supposed to be parallel storylines going on etc. Mom – time to pick this book up so we can discuss.
That said – I will not be rereading this book this year – I just completed 32 of the 52 books I want to read this year, and am 4 books behind where I need to be at this point in the year to make my goal. Good news in this, on Monday I’m on a plane for 11.5 hours heading to Tokyo – so that should help me catch up (as long as I don’t get distracted by the video games I just loaded on my lap top, the tv shows I loaded on my surface and the giant fall Vogue I am bringing!) 🙂