Tuesday, June 16, 2015

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman

Well, when I saw this audio book at the library I had forgotten that Tami had already written a review, but this book is new to me, and so I wanted to write my own review.  Ah, well. Neil Gaiman has a very good reputation among certain reading circles that I know. He is guaranteed to provide quality writing and creative storytelling. 

Summary: This book is presented as a man trying to recount his childhood on a rural road with some interesting neighbors, the Hempstocks. The tale starts with the family renting out a room and one of the tenants dying. This leads to a series of supernatural events that involve a spirit that goes around giving people what they want with disastrous results.

Much of the story has the next tenant, Ursula Munkton, as something of a villain. She seduces the boy's father and controls their lives. Much of the boy's problems come directly from Ursula.

Lettie Hempstock is a young girl living with her mother and grandmother. The three of them know more about the universe than they let on, with only hints sprinkled about the story. Lettie helps the boy with his problems and that forms the bulk of the book.  

What I Liked: This story is written almost in the style of magical realism where the world is presented as normal, but normal has a broader definition in the book than for we in the real world. This is partly because the main character is a child who is still getting oriented in the universe and asks questions more out of curiosity than disbelief.

What I Didn't Like: This is a forgettable story, for the most part. I couldn't write this review without reading a synopsis first, which I find surprising.

Rating: Entertaining.

Also Read by this Author: The Graveyard Book.

Reviewed by: Nick

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