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The Ocean at the End of the Lane LP: A Novel Paperback – Large Print, June 18, 2013
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Four girls on a trip to Paris suddenly find themselves in a high-stakes game of Truth or Dare that spirals out of control. Learn More
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Top Customer Reviews
It's a short book; it's enchanting; it's very well written...definitely top-quality fantasy literature. I'm not a fan of fantasy literature, but this book swept me away into such a delightful and fascinating series of incredible adventures--or should I say misadventures--that I could not pull myself away. The author is correct to warn that this is not a fable for children...the reality is far too stark and dark, and there are definitely some adult themes.
"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is a tale about a lonely bookish seven-year old whose life takes a terrifying turn into a dark and creepy reality. The child is never named, but in recent interviews, the author admits that this child is very much like he was at that age. The child lives in the lovely English countryside of Sussex--the same environment where the author grew up. And like Gaiman, the child is wise, responsible, and moral beyond his years. The parents are blithely confident that nothing bad could happen to their brilliant bookish son in such a bucolic setting. But of course, bad things can, and do happen, especially to the pure and innocent...
The parents have no idea that the Hempstocks--an eleven-year-old girl, her mother, and grandmother--who live by a pond at the end of the lane, are really a group of immortals who play at being human.Read more ›
Through a drowsy, overwhelming narrative, we follow the sudden, startling recollection of one man's past—one that is all of magical, terrible, and sobering. While visiting the little English country lane of his childhood, our unnamed protagonist reunites with a familiar face who prompts him to think of an old friend he hasn't thought about in years. Upon remembering one thing, he remembers everything.
Vividly Proust-like and told in calm, focused prose, this novel submerges readers into the sweet, wise, sometimes wondrous, and sometimes frightening mementos of a forgotten childhood, while expertly capturing the one-track mind of a seven-year-old boy. His memories immerse us into a world that is all of strange, fantastical, but still utterly believable—as well as introduce us to an intriguing character, Lettie Hempstock, who teaches us the most valuable lesson about being a friend.
The fantasy setting of the child's experiences is out of this world—literally. I don't know how Gaiman comes up with the most bizarre concepts and the most sinister of villains while still managing to sound so real, but he does it beautifully. The story definitely has dark undertones, but it is masked by the naïve tranquility of an ignorantly blissful child. Not only is this aspect of magical realism so smoothly incorporated, but the injustices and powerlessness of childhood are also exquisitely portrayed.Read more ›
The novel begins with a forty something year old man returning to the small English town where he grew up. His old home has long been demolished, but he is drawn instead to a dilapidated farmhouse at the end of the lane. When he arrives there, he begins to reflect on his childhood and the dark events that occurred at the place.
He was only seven years old when it began. A quiet boy, more at home with his nose in a book than playing with other children, he was an outcast within his own family. We learn that the family is struggling with money. They decide to move him from his own room to bunk with his sister, leaving an empty bed to rent out. With the arrival of the renter, a mysterious opal miner, dark events begin to occur.
The boy meets the three generations of Hempstock women who run the farm at the end of the lane. Lettie Hempstock, who claims to have been eleven years old for a very long time, immediately entrances the boy with her enchanting way with words and conviction that the pond that rests at the very end of the lane is actually an ocean. She agrees to allow him to tag along as she takes a trip to an odd place that lies somewhere between this world and the next. Upon their return from the strange place, an evil is released.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Heart-rendingly beautiful. This is how childhood actually probably is...full of secret worlds and monsters and mysteries never to be solved. Great read. Buy this book.Published 1 day ago by Heather
I wasn’t very fond of Neil Gaiman when I first picked one of his books up. It was either American Gods or Neverwhere, but his writing was too harsh for me at the time, and I didn’t... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Adrienne
One of Gaiman's best books. It's haunting and stays with you. Why aren't you already reading this book and agreeing with me?Published 1 day ago by AP
Not sure how or why but, in what often becomes a somewhat "different" ending, this story left me smiling as all of his stories do. Read morePublished 2 days ago by lucky in kc
I love Neil Gaiman and this is yet another wonderful example of his incredibly unique, magical style of writing. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kate
This book is absolutely gorgeous. If you get a chance, listen to the audiobook as well. I was spellbound.Published 4 days ago by Kit M
This novel is a modern take on a fairytale. Reading it for the first time feels like becoming reacquainted with a favorite childhood story. It's in turns dark, warm, and magical.Published 5 days ago by Emily the Excellent
This book was amazing. I wish I'd read it a long time ago. Adding it to those I will re-read numerous times.Published 6 days ago by Jessica Fleming