The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
by Neil Gaiman
Paperback- $8.92

A brilliantly imaginative and poignant fairy tale from the modern master of wonder and terror, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is Neil ...

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  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by cape08fl (see profile) 08/15/13

At first, I was trying to put to much into the meaning or try and figure out the book. By the end, I read it and enjoyed it. It reminded me of The Shack.

 
  "A children's novel at heart" by mrsgirl (see profile) 08/20/13

I believe this to be aimed for children but please don't let that put you off reading this novel. I found it a beautifully told story about a lonely young boy befriending the wonderful Lettie Hempstock. An uplifting fantasy novel that I could not put down.

 
  "Bizarre" by FriendshipSisters (see profile) 08/26/13

Bizarre book. Read 75% and decided I didn't want to go on.

 
  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman" by thewanderingjew (see profile) 08/26/13

This author is a genius. He has written a very engaging fairytale for adults that started out as a short story and grew instead into a short novel which will cross age lines and be read by young adults and even some older middle graders, perhaps with some supervision. There is some sexual innuendo but nothing that remotely rises to the level of most books today.
The audio is read by the author, and contrary to my former belief that authors shouldn’t read their own works, this man does a superb job, so much so that I do not think any other reader would have done it justice. He simply mastered the emotion and the tension of each character, bringing this story to life. It is a supernatural fantasy without getting to the point of being silly, rather it is always entertaining and imaginative. It will make the reader smile because when you get right down to it, it is the battle between good and evil and the reader will want to know who wins and how.
Returning to his childhood hometown for a funeral, a man now almost half a century old, finds he is flooded with memories of his past. Lettie Hempstock, an 11 year old, was his friend when he was an insecure 7 year old, facing fear and danger. When he returns home, he finds himself at the Hempstock farm, where she once lived, wondering if anyone in her family still lives there. Sitting by the pond that Lettie once called an ocean, he relives the time, 40 years ago, when she saved him from a fate worse than death. Three women had lived there, Lettie, her mother Ginnie and Grannie. They are still living there which tells you that magic is afoot.
When Ursula Monkton was engaged by his mother as the new housekeeper, the excitement really began. To him, Ursula was the personification of evil, even as she professed to only do what people wanted, to only give them what they needed. Lettie, on the other hand, was her polar opposite. She was wiser than her years, good and kind; she was protective and also a friend when he needed one. Her mother and grannie seemed to be women of great power, possessing great knowledge. All of the Hempstock women seemed to have special abilities to shape things, to alter life around them and even to cast spells.
Ursula had really frightened him, when he was a boy, because he recognized that she wasn't really who she said she was, rather she was simply what Lettie called a “flea”. She had entered his body in the shape of a worm and wanted to take him over, make him her captive, so she could control her comings and goings in this world. She had the power to compromise the love of his parents and to influence his sister to love her. When Ursula made known her desire to hurt him and take over his family, she held him prisoner in his own house and locked him in his room. She seemed to have hypnotic powers over those she wanted to control. Somehow, he managed to escape to Lettie who helped him regardless of the great risk to herself.
The story is so simple, really, and yet utterly creative, so it is never boring as the author gets inside the mind of this man as a seven year old and allows the reader to witness and experience his thoughts, shame, growing pains, and real fear for his family, himself and the world. The emotional tug of the novel is real.
His concept of adults simply being children in an older body is more profound than it sounds, for even my 97 year old mother once said, inside this shell is still an 18 year old girl wanting to live. With simple truths, Mr. Gaiman shines a light on what is wrong with humanity. We simply want too much and find it hard to be satisfied which unleashes the monster in all of us. Fortunately, there are those waiting out there to rescue us, and he definitely shows us a way.

 
  "Fun Read." by april1 (see profile) 09/10/13

 
  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by tac48 (see profile) 11/16/13

A well written, arresting mystical folklore tale. Highly recommend it to people new to such a genre. Possibly not as wonderful to those who read may similar books.

 
  "Weird" by rachelczoghlin (see profile) 11/22/13

This book was very odd. Fantastical, bordering between childish and unbelievable.

 
  "Ocean at the End of the Lane" by AutumnJewel (see profile) 01/23/14

This book wasn't for everyone. If you don't like the fantastical and are in to straight realism- this is not the book for you. My book group compared it to other books like "Life of Pi." Most of the discussion centered around whether the actual story was real or only one young person's perception of it.

 
  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane Not a Dead End" by nbaker (see profile) 01/27/14

A whimsical story that on the surface speaks of spirits, timeless creatures and places and a mystical childhood for one little boy who befriends a little girl who is not all she seems. When you close the cover you begin the journey to find the story within the story. Much like Life of Pi, what is a story of finding strength in times of darkness, of overcoming fears, of losing innocense and catching the first glimpse of man's cruelty to man? Or -- was it just a fun story of the unimaginable, the unbelievable and the brief hope that magic is real? It may be a quick read but it is long on discussion.

 
  "Wonderful" by Abby0814 (see profile) 02/06/14

Great imagery, truly unique

 
  "Gets better as it goes" by rebeccalyr (see profile) 02/06/14

This book starts very bleak, written from the perspective of an introspective book-loving adventurous 7 year old boy with no friends. But as the story builds steam we cheer as he finds a friend in a non-human being in the body of an eleven year old girl. And what an adventure he lives!

 
  "Ocean at the end of the Lane" by MarySheffield (see profile) 03/19/14

Overall, the book had many messages that I think are very relatable to the average person's life/childhood. Not the paranormal aspects, but the relationships within the book itself.

 
  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by ccrbullock (see profile) 03/21/14

It was a compelling story that kept me interested in reading. Fear for the fate of the boy was the primary driver. Overall, most of the characters were not well developed.

 
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  "Foray into Fantasy" by Kwizgiver (see profile) 06/14/14

Some members of our group don\\\'t enjoy fantasy fiction, but everyone was able to enjoy the rich language, vivid characters, and eerie setting.

 
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  "One of Gaiman\\\'s Best" by rickimc (see profile) 10/01/14

Gaiman has totally outdone himself. This shorter work creates a whole new mythology and plenty of mind-blowing thoughts. Definitely one of his best works.

 
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  "" by janetannie (see profile) 01/11/15

Most like it, all thought it was well written for those that were not big fantasy fans. One hated. Good escape.

 
  "Mixed reviews" by kiwiob (see profile) 01/14/15

This book was a quick interesting read which bought with it great discussion from the group and dramatically different views of the events in the book. It is a very different read so keep an open mind.

 
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  "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by vernandglen (see profile) 10/23/15

Enjoyed the prose and quick read, just a little hard to follow. I would have liked more development with the story.

 
  "Fairy tale" by momcat56 (see profile) 10/27/15

my book club panned this.. only about 3 o4 out of 25 actually liked it.. rest said it was waste of time.. It is a highly imaginative story which strains credibility.. maybe an allegory but lost on most readers..

 
  "A little bit dark but a great read" by BookDivasReads (see profile) 10/28/15

If you've never read anything by Neil Gaiman, THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is the perfect book to start. Mr. Gaiman pulls the reader into the story with his beautiful prose and fantastical and somewhat dark imagination.

 
  "" by Bookbuddy101 (see profile) 01/06/16

 
  "Mixed views by group" by madriver (see profile) 01/04/17

This book was very easy to read, and a great choice for December (we meet the first Tuesday of each month, so read the books the previous month). But - it's a little weird and you have to keep in mind that the story is told from a child's point of view.

If you're suggestible, I would NOT recommend reading this is a quiet house at night, as I fell asleep before the halfway point and had a bit of a nightmare - that doesn't happen often.

 
  "" by ezimmerman (see profile) 02/26/17

 
  "The ocean at the end of the lane a " by 18cinnamon (see profile) 03/09/17

A 7 year old boy whose family has lost its money is forced to take in borders. When one of the borders commits suicide the girl at the neighboring farm takes him to her house. This helps him stay away from the traumatic suicide scene. The family next door is different maybe even supernatural. At age 47 he comes home from a funeral and finds himself back at the neighbors farm....I found it very boring and slow moving for such a short book. Possibly just not the genre I like

 
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  "The Ocean a t the end of the Lane" by Carolynr (see profile) 02/24/18

read the summary on your own, This is not going to be a book for everyone. It mixes fantasy, magic, darkness, alone with mythology and "lessons". Its short and an easy read. If the previous themes are not your thing, don't read it. If you are open to those, this is an excellent book

 
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