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TBE reads: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

I had heard so many good things about Neil Gaiman’s writing, but something was stopping me from delving in that until now I hadn't been able to put my finger on. I think that having largely steered clear of anything fantastical or magical apart from good old Harry Potter throughout my degree had left unable to tap into that childlike sense of imagination I once had. I was stuck in the real world with no desire to leave it. A foray into the weird and wonderful mind of Gaiman has definitely changed that.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a book that requires you suspend your disbelief wherever possible, as a man returns to his childhood home town and recalls some events from his youth that, witchcraft and monsters notwithstanding, are a little out of the ordinary. A local suicide that seems somewhat suspicious sparks the narrator and his friend Lettie (who claims the pond on her farm is in fact an ocean, hence the title) to investigate. This results in a series of traumatising events, weird and wonderful discoveries, and not necessarily the happiest of endings.

The adult part of my brain began a psych evaluation on the narrator - I wondered why he would ever make something so ludicrous up! The kid in me however was totally routing for the characters, desperate for them to triumph against evil. I think in this way you could liken the story to a kind of Life of Pi situation. Has this all been dreamt up in this boy's head to cope with the family turmoil that's more than apparent, or is this for real? I think readers will of course believe whatever they want to. As a kid I always wanted to believe there was something more than our human world (I don't think I'm alone in having waited for a Hogwarts letter), and this totally taps back into that.

The writing style is also just beautiful, and Gaiman definitely has a talent for painting vivid visions of creatures that are entirely mythical and downright scary. The ending is so delicately described that I was truly left in awe! If you're looking for something a bit different to read this is an excellent choice! This might have been my first Neil Gaiman novel but I doubt it'll be the last.

Have you read any good books lately?


  1. Ah you've completely just sold this to me, I've added it to my 'to read' list! (which is so very, very long!)

    Jodie @ Jodetopia x

    1. It's one of those stories that made me feel richer for having read it - deffo one to add :) My list is so long at the moment too!

      Thanks for reading x