Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

ocean-at-the-end-of-the-laneBy JANEY MONTEBON-DUTERTE

I originally wrote this in my Goodreads account. Forgive all the gushing parts of the review, which is basically, its entirety. It cannot be helped. Seriously, I tried.

But before the actual review, here’s a quick background of the book:

What is it: It’s a relatively short novel about a middle-aged man who comes back to his childhood home to attend a funeral, but finds himself pulled to his old haunt — a pond at the end of the lane. While seated there, he recalls a lot of forgotten memories about his childhood — a girl named Lettie who insisted the pond was an ocean, dark events concerning his family, and a whole lot of unlikely and magical incidents that took place when he was seven years old.

Sounds quite simple enough, right? Believe me, it’s not.

So here’s my Goodreads review:

As always after reading a Neil Gaiman book, I am at a loss on what to say, or think, or even feel. I finish the book, set it down, and my thoughts swirl around in an aimless, nameless vortex.

I don’t quite understand this effect on me. Maybe it’s because he’s not only my favorite author, his stories also hold a special, tiny, inexplicable place in the deepest part of my heart.

It’s been two days since I finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, yet somehow, it took me quite a while to pen down my thoughts about it. I enjoyed it immensely, that much I could tell you. But as to how, why, and what about the book particularly moved me, my face is about as blank as my thoughts.

Overwhelmed is the closest word I could use to describe how I feel. The book scared me, made me gasp in terror, troubled my soul, pinched at my heart, moved my imagination to new heights, and just basically did what few other books could.

It’s a simple enough story but with a gripping intensity to it. It stirs your imagination, makes you think of a lot of possibilities and what ifs, and all of a sudden you start looking at the world differently.

There’s fantasy and there’s horror. There’s happiness and there’s deep melancholy. It’s marvelous. It’s fantastic. It’s beyond words.

I’m still at awe.

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.


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