Publisher: William Morrow Books
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Rating: 4 out of 5
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman was quite a peculiar read. Not my usual cup of tea, but this book exuded brilliance and oddity at the same time. Gaiman’s particular story-telling reminded me strongly of Victoria Schwab’s: gorgeous, strange, and breathtaking. I’d say my first Neil Gaiman book was a success.
To my surprise, the reader never learns what the main character’s name is. The story starts off with a forty-something year-old man, in which he revisits his childhood home. That’s where the truly story begins, with a seven year-old boy. This boy was easily lovable: at such a young age, there were hardly any flaws, and he was purely innocent and curious. Some positive qualities do start shining through though, like determination and bravery. Lettie, an 11 year-old girl, becomes the boy’s friend and savior, and her sweet nature was also endearing (she is not a love interest!).
The plot was entertainingly different. The first half of the story was rather.. Plotless, but in no way was it vapid or snore-worthy. I was intrigued with the boy’s life at home, and I simply wanted to know more. Gaiman has that talent of captivating the reader without too much happening. Less meant more, in this case. Now, the second half of the story really picked up, and even after finishing the book, I can honestly say that I don’t think I fully understood the magical realism/paranormal concept. I was confused, but not to the point that I was frustrated. Gaiman touched on the paranormal aspects lightly, just enough to leave the reader wondering for more.
Being a rather short read (181 pages!), this book just flew by for me. By far one of the most different, yet beautiful books I’ve read this year, I’m definitely a fan of Neil Gaiman now. The Ocean at the End of the Lane had me captivated with it’s simplistic plot, lovable characters, and interesting paranormal qualities. Lastly, this book is very quotable; I will end this review with: