Book Reviews

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane By Neil Gaiman


Published: June 18th 2013 by William Morrow Books

Format: Hardcover

Page Count: 178

Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Horror, Magical Realism

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.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly’s wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.


Spoiler Free Review: 

Neil Gaiman is known for his creepy, horror novels. To me, he’s known as the man that haunts me at night. I really do admire his ability to create a story that has my imagination running wild at night. However, I did find The Ocean at the End of the Lane to be more eccentric than creepy.

The writing definitely held the same creepy atmosphere that most of Gaiman’s books have. In fact, the writing felt very whimsical at times. The story is actually mostly magical realism, one of my favorite genres. As for the actual story, it was rather short but I think it’s more of a short story than a novel. I didn’t mind too much, the plot kept me entertained as well as creeped out. I didn’t think much of the main character, but I loved the ladies at the Hempstock farm. They were all so peculiar and strange, but still full of spunk and sass. 

Overall, this book was fun Halloween read. Neil Gaiman is always my go-to when it comes to horror books. If you’re looking fro an eccentric, creepy read, I would recommend this book or any others of Neil Gaiman. 

Rating: 3/5


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