My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A beautiful little gem of a story.
Yes it’s short and probably overpriced for the length – if that’s really an issue for you, do what I did and go to the library. Frankly, I was glad to finally see a best-selling author NOT padding a book with 100+ pages of unnecessary digressions in order to make it into a better doorstop.
This is a tale of longing and regret. Some reviewers have protested that it can’t be an “adult” novel because it’s about a seven-year-old boy. But the boy’s story is remembered by a middle-aged man and I think that’s very much reflected in the mood and language of the piece. The adult keenly feels all the mistakes he’s made in his life and wonders now whether he is worthy of the great sacrifice someone once made for him when he was very young. In fact, only now that he’s in his forties does he begin to understand how great that sacrifice was. So to me, it’s a very adult story.
It’s hard to get specific about the plot, however, without giving away major details. This being Neil Gaiman, of course there’s brilliant, evocative language, vivid imagery, and an assortment of mythic characters who seem like everyday people (and vice versa). All that is quite enough to make it a worthwhile read for me.
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (moviesmusic7.wordpress.com)
- The Ocean at the End of the Lane (ladygeekgirl.wordpress.com)
- An “Accidental” Novel? Neil Gaiman Talks about The Ocean at the End of the Lane (tor.com)