#52 The ocean at the end of the lane – Neil Gaiman

Title

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author

Neil Gaiman

Genre

Novel, Fantasy, Young Adult

Readability

Easy.

Engagement

Low.

Score

score-1

Title (Original)

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Year of Publication

2013

Cover

The_ocean_at_the_end_of_the_lane_-_Neil_Gaiman

Short Description & Notes

In The Ocean at the End of the Lane , 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’s claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse where she once lived, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, and too dangerous to have happened to anyone.
It could have been a good story. However, turns out to be a good premise finishing in a flimsy end. It is Neil Gaiman’s least cool story until this moment.

“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.” – Goodreads: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Remarkable Quotes

“That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long.”

“It was not pitch-black. It was the kind of cloudy night where the clouds seem to gather up light from distant streetlights and houses below, and throw it back at the earth.”

“It was as if the essence of grandmotherliness had been condensed into that one place, that one time.”

“A story only matters, I suspect, to the extent that the people in the story change.”

Fun Facts

Neil Gaiman stars in one episode of the American/Canadian educational TV series Arthur. He inspires Sue Ellen, one of the characters, to become a graphic novel writer.

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