18 July, 2013

#BookReview :: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. 

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang. 

It was a pleasure to finally read Neil Gaiman’s work. I have heard & heard about him from lots of different sources and none of them have ever had an average thing to say – everyone simply gushes about this author’s works.

As a boy, the narrator was quiet and introvert. He would remain at home and read a book rather than go out and play with other children of his age. It was when the narrator was seven years old, his family rented out his room, moving him to bunk with his sister, to a mysterious miner due to financial crunch. But things were never the same again. When the narrator returns to his hometown as a forty something years old, his long suppressed memory resurfaces things that were extraordinary and not all so pleasant things. And well, then there’s the three Hempstock women who live in the farm at the end of their lane. Young Lettie has been eleven years old for quite some time now and is convinced that their pond is actually an ocean. As weird and mysterious they are, there’s more to the Hempstock women than meets the eye and they may be the only people who can help the narrator uproot the evil that seemed to have taken root at their little town.

Awesome. Amazing. Chillingly beautiful.

This novel left me speechless for hours after I turned the last page. Author’s language and narration style left me awestruck. There is no way anyone can describe it… one has to experience it for themselves to understand the wonder that this work is. What stands out the most is the author’s way of describing things through the eyes and mind of a seven year old boy. You cannot expect a seven year old boy to understand and describe the intricacies of a dress or a building, but you can expect him to remember his beloved books, his toys and the face of the mysterious lodger who took up his old room. And the author has done just that, described things the way the boy would see and remember it and not gone into details and description that would be impossible for a boy. 

The characters are well developed and engaging. The plot in itself is another wonder on its own. It gives you goose bumps at times, makes you nostalgic, makes you think and in the end leaves you with a powerful ending. 

This is a book that one should buy, read more than once and cherish for a lifetime.

Buy the Book

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