The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

Synopsis (from amazon)
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.


Neil Gaiman started off writing ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ as a short story for his wife when they were apart, but it just kept growing. You can sort of tell that he was thinking about her at the time. The narrator keeps speaking about stories or books as a comfort and an escapism, I can see that as being what Gaiman intended this story to be for his wife. I put a few of the most interesting quotes on my tumblr, but I think this one sums it up the best:

“I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible “

In a way it is more ‘adult’ than the other books I’ve read by Gaiman. I think it’s because it’s narrated by the main character as he looks back. It’s more introspective and that gives us the sort of insight that a present narrator wouldn’t give. Looking bak he could see things which he might not see at the time.

It still had the normal Gaiman fantasy and action-y bits which stopped it being too thoughtful, but actually I preferred the times when the narrator was just thinking. The thoughtful times I suppose.

There’s some interesting messages in it too about an adult’s relationship with his own childhood. About how looking back can be a comfort, and about how we never really loose that childhood part of ourselves, it’s just often hidden by life.


Buy it:

Kindle (£0.99)

Paperback (£3.85)

Other reviews:

Reading is the Ultimate Aphrodisiac

Under a Gray Sky

Alison Mccarthy

Curiosity Killed the Bookworm

An Armchair by the Sea

Words for Worms


Did I miss your review? Post a link in comments and I will add it here


Filed under Fantasy, Fiction review

4 responses to “The Ocean at the End of the Lane- Neil Gaiman

  1. Catherine

    I like the fact that you give the price. I bought it the other day on Kindle as it was on offer. I can’t wait to read it!


  2. Pingback: Sunday Surfing 9/8/15 | Lucybird's Book Blog

  3. I didn’t know the origins of this work so that was interesting to learn about and helps me understand Gaiman’s writing here more than I did – thank you. I liked the book, but wasn’t transported by it as I had been with Stardust and Neverwhere.

    Stephanie Jane


  4. I hear really good things about this one. I’ve only read one Gaiman but I know people love his work!


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