Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Audiobook Review: The Ocean at the End of the Land

The Ocean At The End of the Lane By Neil Gaiman
Publisher: William Morrow books
Release Date: June 18th 2013
Source: Library
Format: Audiobook narrated by the author

My Rating:

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.
This is my second foray into Neil Gaiman, and I have to say that I am a fan. This is also the second time that I have read one of his books via audiobook. Both of which were performed by Gaiman himself. I love that so much, because I tend to appreciate the performance and inflection better since the author knows it better than anyone else. I am really enjoying Gaiman's work, so I'm excited to continue reading his books.

This book is more of a novella, as it first started as a short story and then evolving into a longer story. At first I wasn't sure where this novel was going, because it seems like it wasn't going to bring in any fantasy elements. Had the weird things not shown up and this had been a novel about a middle-aged man remembering his childhood, I think I still would have liked it because Gaiman's writing is just lovely. So I was really glad when our protagonist meets Lettie Hempstock and we find out just what exactly his new housekeeper is.

There were parts of this novel that made me so mad, because this little boy had a sad lonely childhood. No one showed up at his birthday and then right before he meets Lettie was probably two of the saddest beginning events in a book I've read. So I was so glad when he met Lettie and her mother & Gran and got to find out what a Flea and Hungerbirds were. Definitely some interesting spooky things going on there, that I think anyone who likes fantasy will enjoy.

I don't really know how I feel about the ending though. Again, I thought it was kind of sad, but I can't say much more without going into detail and giving it away. I did really enjoy this one, and I'm excited to read some more from Gaiman.

Happy Reads Everyone!