The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: A Novel

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The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: A Novel

by Neil Gaiman

HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS | May 26, 2014 | Trade Paperback

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: A Novel is rated 4.619 out of 5 by 21.

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a new novel of the impossible made all too frighteningly real.

"They say you cannot go home again, and that is as true as a knife . . ."

A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things, but when he gets there he learns that nothing is as he remembered.

Wondrous, imaginative, impossible, and at times deeply scary, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is classic Neil Gaiman and has captured the hearts of readers everywhere.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.51 in

Published: May 26, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062255665

ISBN - 13: 9780062255662

Found in: Science Fiction and Fantasy

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from Hauntingly Beautiful A bitter-sweet tale that blends the very real terrors of child's mind with the fantastical, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one that I could not put down and one that won't leave my mind.
Date published: 2014-10-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Magical Here's the thing with Neil. I don't like the titles of his books. I don't particularly like the covers of his books but after I read them I love them all the more for those two reasons. Lettie Hempstock and all the Hempstock women deserve a serious of books. Ok they don't deserve it they're fictional but I'd love to read more advertures featuring those gals!
Date published: 2014-10-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down I read this book in an afternoon, and really, I could read it again today. It's dreamy, all-engrossing, and ridiculously entertaining.
Date published: 2014-09-09
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Awesome !!! I read this book in one sitting and could not put it down. Awesome book. Takes you back to your own childhood. .Nothing like a great adult fairy tale to make your day.
Date published: 2014-08-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worthy of all 5 stars This honestly is one of the best books I've ever read.
Date published: 2014-07-08
Rated 4 out of 5 by from What imagination! I almost put this book down as I thought I was going crazy with what I was reading:( But I knew it was like nothing I had yet to read (was my1st book by Gaiman) so I kept reading. Was very Harry Potterish with all the odd 'beings' and words, but I honestly could not put it down. Glad I read it, such an imagination he has.
Date published: 2014-01-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from A GROWN UP FAIRY TALE The reader never learns his name; only that he was a little boy who never really fit in with his family and enjoyed the company of his books more than that of people. We meet him at the beginning of the book and cannot be surprised that he has grown into a somewhat cynical and disillusioned adult. That is until he returns Sussex and takes a drive past where his childhood home once stood. Suddenly he remembers the summer he was seven and the interesting events that occurred after he met Lettie Hempstock and her unusual family. Neil Gaiman is best known as an author of children’s books. With this book he has bridged the gap and written a wonderful fairy tale for adults. Filled with mysterious strangers, unusual happenings, a strange family that makes him feel more comfortable than his own and a little girl who makes him believe her pond is the ocean and who wants nothing but be his friend, the book quickly draws the reader in to a world filled with wonder and magic. The only prerequisite is that the reader be willing to suspend reality and enjoy the adventure. This is a short book, quickly read but filled with so much heart and so much adventure that it will stay with you after you close the back cover.
Date published: 2013-10-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A STORY WITH DEEPER MEANING In childhood, a boy of 7 struggles with a difficult relationship with his mother and caregiver. When he becomes overwhelmed, he leaves the family's property, which he is forbidden to do, and through a relationship which begins with the 11 year old daughter of a more loving family, he discovers the strength to deal with his fears. Beautifully written. It challenged me to reflect on where I find comfort and courage.
Date published: 2013-10-01
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating I listen to audio books back and forth in the car on the way to and from work. Usually I leave the discs in the car to be continued the next day. Not this time. Neil Gaiman himself is the reader on the audio version of his latest book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane. There is something magical about hearing an author perform their own work. And in this case - it truly was magical. Our unnamed narrator returns to his childhood home for a funeral. He vaguely remembers a house at the end the lane and drives down to see if it is still there. When he arrives, he begins to remember bits and pieces.....especially eleven year old Lettie Hempstock, who befriended the then seven year old narrator. Lettie live with her mother and grandmother. Out back of the farmhouse is a pond - one Lettie used to call the ocean. And as our narrator wanders back to it, he remembers more....something dark was set loose that summer. How to describe my thoughts? The book encompasses good and evil, friendship, love, loyalty, faith, fear, innocence lost, magic, adventures and of course monsters.....It's scary, sad, nostalgic, heartwarming, thoughtful.... Cautionary advice - this isn't a tale for children, even though it is written from a seven year old's viewpoint - there are adult scenes and themes. You could read/listen to The Ocean at the End of the Lane and get something different from it each time. A fantastical tale, a tale of childhood and our fears that most could relate to or perhaps a glimpse into Gaiman's own childhood. What a treat to hear Gaiman read his own tale - the inflections given, the pauses taken, the emotions imparted - all from hearing them spoken out loud. And at the end of the last disk, I felt like a child whose parent closed the book and turned off the light with a 'it's time to go to sleep now." And I never did - I always relived the story and wondered what else might happen. The Ocean at the End of the Lane left me with exactly that feeling - and that's a good thing.
Date published: 2013-09-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Imaginative, haunting, and sweet. Never have I wanted Chapters to implement half-star ratings until now. This book was so close to perfection, but I can't deny I had issues with it from the beginning. It's with a heavy heart that I have to give The Ocean at the End of the Lane 4-stars even if it really deserves 4.5 stars. Reminiscent of Gaiman's other novel, Coraline, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was dark, haunting and very original. In fact, it's the book I kind of wish Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children turned out to be. The atmosphere of the two books was similar, always so eerie and mysterious. But I think Gaiman did a better job at bringing the whole story together at the end. Not a single word was wasted; if a word appeared in The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it was there for a reason. In addition to spooky, this book was also very inventive, which is why I would recommend it to fans of Spirited Away. In that film, the world-building is beyond anything I've ever seen. It had a very unique story and set of characters, but at the end of the day, it's a story about finding yourself. Just like The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Gaiman, reminiscent of Coraline, give our main character an incurable curiosity mixed with childhood innocence. I truly believed in the 7-year-old's innocence and naive perspective on the world. And it wasn't just the main character who possessed such qualities. So did Lettie Hempstock. In fact, I would be wrong to call our narrator the main character in this story. Lettie outshone everyone else in the novel. She possessed the curiosity of a child, but the sense of security/comfort of an adult. If you and Lettie was to go on a play-date, you knew she would try the craziest things and open your eyes things you usually disregarded. But you somehow knew, no matter how crazy and dangerous the games appear to be, you'll always be safe with Lettie by your side. So why on Earth did I not LOVE the book? Well, I think Gaiman paid so much attention to bringing the whole story together at the end of the story, the first 40% of the book was written as springboard for the last 60%. The first 40% was slow, in my opinion. There were details within the first chunk that at the time appeared excessive. Often times, I wanted to say "Okay, I get it. Move on." to the book. If only I could have altered the pacing of this book, I would gladly give it 5-stars. (Perhaps Old Mrs. Hempstock can help me with that...) Ultimately, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a book filled with comfort and love, despite being eerie and dark. And, most importantly, it makes the reader miss her home. (Please excuse me while I go hug my family). P.S.: I listened to this on audiobook. It was narrated by none other than Neil himself, so I highly recommend it. Edit #1: I didn't know this was optioned for a film. I really hope they do something similar Coraline, and not live-action.
Date published: 2013-08-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not at all what I expected I heard Gaiman's name but had never bought one of his books. This one was a great introduction. In a one night read, I fell into his wonderful imagination that produced the perfect characters for his story. Life can be changed and manipulated but not completely forgotten. This was really good reading.
Date published: 2013-08-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dark and Wonderful Neil Gaiman's latest book "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" reminded my why I like his fiction so very much. It is a short, compact tale that encompasses universes (ours and a few others). It is a tale about the power of childhood and of friendship. It is also a book for those of us who spent much of our childhood in books. "Books were safer than other people anyway." (9) In the case our protagonist, this definitely proves to be the case. In "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" adults, prove themselves singularly dangerous. The lodger becomes a suicide, discovered by the narrator and his father. His mother seems strangely detached from the family and finds fulfillment in socially approved good works (raising funds for wells in Africa) and at a job (ironically in an optometrist's office, helping others see more clearly). The most dangerous adult of all though, is the nanny Ursula Monkton, who seduces the father both body and mind. The only adults who seem safe are those who by any rational adult measure, are those one would steer away from, the Hempstocks. "I went away in my head, into a book. That was where I went whenever real life was too hard or too inflexible." (58) loved the bookish protagonist, who, like me, escapes into books, where the world makes sense and, where the troubles of life can be suspended until one is ready to emerge back into the real world. "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" is classified as adult fiction, but in an interview with Jian Ghomeshi on CBC's "Q", Gaiman said that he believed this book could and should be given and/or read to children (link here to the full interview). As a secondary school teacher/librarian I AM going to find a class to read this marvelous, dark, vividly imagined work to this year. I love Gaiman's play with the oldest forces in our and other universes. The cleaners for example, what are they, where DO they come from? Gaiman, hooked me with "American Gods" and, although I've not followed his epic graphic novel series "Sandman", I'm becoming very tempted to delve into this as well. I'm not sure what Gaiman does to hook me, but he's definitely got me on tenterhooks for more.
Date published: 2013-08-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Captivating and Quite Remarkable As one of the other reviewers wrote, this, embarassingly, was also the first Neil Gaiman book I've read. I bought American Gods years ago and it's been sitting on my shelf ever since (not for much longer now). Reading this book was a real treat. I bought it on a whim, and boy, did it impress. As the fantasy genre goes, there seems to be an evergrowing correlation between long novels and popular success. The Harry Potters novels became longer and longer. George Martin's series as well. This short fantasy book is equally as powerful, and crams quite a meaningful story into a short novel, by any standard. From the start, Gaiman deftly plunges the reader into the psyche of his unnamed protagonist. What really makes this character so special is the ease with which readers of any age can relate to him. Just as each and every one of us once saw the world through our own unique bright lenses, Gaiman's story can as easily be read as a pure fantasy or as the imaginings of a creative child. Overall, a great read, and an excellent introduction to the writings of Neil Gaiman.
Date published: 2013-08-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic! Well, ahem, uh, this is a little embarrassing... this is the first Neil Gaiman book I've read. And it was everything that everyone said it would be! I absolutely devoured it. Gaiman writes with ease and confidence and has an imagination that rivals that of (in this reader's opinion), Koontz and King. This book was thrilling, sad, and the perfect escape. I really enjoyed Gaiman's characters and I could not put this one down. Now I've got to get his other books. 5 Stars!!!!
Date published: 2013-07-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth it I haven't been buying physical books much lately because of the dawn of the ebooks and such but this one by Gaiman is one of the books that you have to have a physical copy. The quality of the paper and the way it's been bound is great, nice to see and hold. It's not a hard read and it's something that's quite entertaining as you go a long. It's a short read that you may or may not find some questions right after which in my case I did. I'm going to see if I can ask the author later about those questions and see if he'll reply or not. I recommend buying this book and try to get lost in the world that he's portraying. I wonder if I'll see an adaptation of it either on TV or the movies someday.
Date published: 2013-07-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fabulous, as always Neil knows how to write a story. Pick it up, read it, pass it along, tell others to read it, read his other books; you won't regret it.
Date published: 2013-07-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Neil Gaiman's Fantasy at its Best What I can say about Neil Gaiman’s new book that hasn’t already been said…it’s amazing and flowed as smoothly as water as I read it. Back to my own childhood…the belief I had in disbelieving things. Where all things were possible. Where the most wonderful things could happen and I wouldn’t question why. This is a short book…but it’s just long enough to take the reader into the other side of the tapestry of this world. Where do you feel safest? What in your world comforts you enough to stop you from looking at the other side? Do you believe… Write fast please, Mr. Gaiman…I would like to read your next book as soon as possible.
Date published: 2013-07-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fast paced, dark, yet longing and wise The Good Stuff Gaiman is a brilliant storyteller with a gift for a language that is unequal Neil's imagination and ability to create imaginary yet real worlds is also a gift Fast paced, dark, twisted, everything you expect and love from Gaiman The magic place of childhood before you grow up Not a word wasted. I wish I had the words to convey the brilliance of his writing. His words are almost poetic and so beautiful you can almost feel them wrap around you and drag you into his mind Sacrifice, leaving childhood behind, but longing for it Wanted to read this as soon as Gaiman discussed the inspiration behind the book. You can feel how personal this book is to him even if you don't know the background Friendship and sacrifice also another big theme of the story As in many other of his books Gaiman understands and conveys what childhood is, not the happy, sweet innocent time that parents want it to be, but more dark and uncertain (but still one of joy and wonder) The Not so Good Stuff I was a wee bit confused at times (but lets face it that probably more to do with my lack of intellect than Gaiman's talent) Favorite Quotes/Passages "As we age, we become our parents; live long enough and we see faces repeat in time." "Adult stories never made sense, and they were slow to start. They made me feel like there were secrets, Masonic, mythic secrets, to adulthood. Why didn't adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?" "I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I found joy in the things that made me happy. The custard was sweet and creamy in my mouth, the dark swollen currants in the spotted dick were tangy in the cake-thick chewy blandness of the pudding, an perhaps I was going to die that night and perhaps I would never go home again, but it was a good dinner, and I had faith in Lettie Hempstock." Who Should/Shouldn't Read Marketed as an adult book, but I disagree, think 11+ would get something from it Obviously fans of Gaiman's other book will enjoy If you like something a little bit spooky but with insight and heart - this is definitely for you 4.75 Dewey's I purchased this from work - cuz it's Gaiman and the man has an incredible gift
Date published: 2013-07-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Loved this story Couldn't put it down. A one day read, and a very good read too.
Date published: 2013-06-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Imaginative and Scary. Great Read When you read a book as unusual as this, with border-line horror undertones and an adult fairy tale feel, stretching your imagination, it has to be a Neil Gaiman book. This is basically an adult fair tale even though the main character is primarily a seven-year old boy through most of this book. The story is clever, disturbing, and innocent all at the same time, plus it has a surprisingly touching story. I have to say, that for a fairly short novel (it was originally supposed to be a short story), it is a great read. I would definitely give this a 5 star rating.
Date published: 2013-06-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from from Neil's journal source: http://journal.neilgaiman.com The Ocean At The End of the Lane is a novel about memory and magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us. It began for our narrator forty years ago when he was seven: the lodger stole the family's car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. 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 a menace unleashed -- within his family, and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a ramshackle 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. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac -- as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
Date published: 2013-01-16

– More About This Product –

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: A Novel

by Neil Gaiman

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 192 pages, 8.13 × 5.5 × 0.51 in

Published: May 26, 2014

Publisher: HARPERCOLLINS PUBLISHERS

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0062255665

ISBN - 13: 9780062255662

From the Publisher

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman comes a new novel of the impossible made all too frighteningly real.

"They say you cannot go home again, and that is as true as a knife . . ."

A man returns to the site of his childhood home where, years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things, but when he gets there he learns that nothing is as he remembered.

Wondrous, imaginative, impossible, and at times deeply scary, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is classic Neil Gaiman and has captured the hearts of readers everywhere.

About the Author

Neil Gaiman was born in Portchester, England on November 10, 1960. Gaiman worked as a journalist and freelance writer for a time, before deciding to try his hand at comic books. Some of his work has appeared in publications such as Time Out, The Sunday Times, Punch and The Observer. His first comic endeavor was the graphic novel series The Sandman. It is the comic book he is most famous for and the series has won every major industry award, including 9 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, 3 Harvey Awards, and the 1991 World Fantasy Award for best short story, making it the first comic ever to win a literary award. He writes both children and adult books. His adult books include Stardust, which won the Mythopoeic Award as best novel for adults in 1999; American Gods, which won the Hugo, Nebula, Bram Stoker, SFX, and Locus awards; and Anansi Boys. His children's books include The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish; Coraline, which won the Elizabeth Burr/Worzalla, the BSFA, the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Bram Stoker awards; The Wolves in the Walls; and The Graveyard Book, which won the Newbery Award in 2009. He also co-wrote Good Omens with Terry Pratchett. He is currently working on making a film of one of his early books, Neverwhere. His most recent work is entitled Fortunately, the Milk.

Editorial Reviews

"Gaiman (Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories ''waiting at the edges of things,'' where lost innocence can be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost." - Publishers Weekly (starred review) on The Ocean at the End of the Lane

"Gaiman mines mythological typology-the three-foldgoddess, the water of life (the pond, actually an ocean)-and his own childhood milieu to build the cosmology and theater of a story he tells more gracefully than any he''s told since Stardust...this lovely yarn is good for anyone who can read it." - Booklist (starred review) on Ocean at the End of the Lane

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane... is soaked in myth and memory and salt water and it is so, so lovely." - Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus on The Ocean at the End of the Lane

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