The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman | Review

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Publisher: William Morrow Books

Release Date: June 18, 2013

Pages: 181

Source: Library

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:

The Ocean at the End of the Lane - Quote

rating system 4 out of 5


8 thoughts on “The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman | Review”

  1. I haven't read anything by Neil Gaiman Jen! I'm thinking this definitely isn't my usual cup of tea either, but it's sometimes fun to step outside the box of my preferred genre and try something a little different. It sounds like a really memorable story!


  2. “Gaiman has that talent of captivating the reader without too much happening.”

    I completely agree with that, Jen! I started this one a week or two ago, but lent my copy to a friend so I haven't been able to finish it yet. I really loved what I'd read though. I'm glad to see you enjoyed this book overall. Fantastic review. 🙂


  3. I've heard much made of Neil Gaiman's work over the years but I've yet to read one of his works myself. It can be a little intimidating, given the hype now surrounding his name and the vast backlist of novels to choose from. Where do you even begin to familiarize yourself with his work? That said, I've heard wonderful things about The Ocean At The End Of The Lane and given its relative brevity, that might be a good place to start! I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed it despite a little confusion, and I'm definitely intrigued by the fact that the reader never becomes privy to the protagonist's name. I can't say I've ever heard of that concept before.


  4. I've only heard wonderful things about Neil Gaiman's writing but I've yet to pick up a book of his. He must write wonderfully for you to have enjoyed this without there being much of a plot. Great review, Jen. I'll have to pick up one of his stories someday. 🙂


  5. I, too, have heard countless things about Neil Gaiman, so it really is time to pick up something by him, and this seems like the perfect place to start! It's so cool that you never find out about what the MC's name is. The plot does seem strange… but I'll take your word that it really isn't boring. This one does seem peculiar, but that's just my cup of tea,

    Lovely review, Jen, and I love that graphic girl! ❤


  6. Great to hear that your first Neil Gaiman experience was a positive one! My first (and only) Neil Gaiman book was Coraline – which sounds like it might be a bit similar to this one! Also short, young and loveable characters. I would definitely love to give this one a read sometime! I totally concur about his writing. Really great review, Jen!


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