The Ocean At The End of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

Publisher: William Morrow Books
Published: June 18, 2013
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy
My Rating: 5/5

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

I always tried to evade this book before. I think it must be the title that somehow revered me from reading it. The title was ambiguous and quite frankly, I was intimidated by the genre. Thinking about it now, I think I was quite ignorant for thinking so. I shouldn't have doubted Neil Gaiman! After all,
he's the master at this game! This book left me with the same feelings I have after reading every Neil Gaiman's books. That feelings are of awe, wonderment, starry eyed and quite light headed. 

The writing are truly Gaiman's signature. Only  he can string ordinary words together into beautiful sentences that always manage to take my breath away. It reminded me of why I love to read in the first place. None of other books I've read recently get to satisfy the deficient feeling I get from reading too many words that fails to ignite any passions from within me. It's almost euphoric to be reading Neil Gaiman's stories. I guess that's how readers gets high.

The story was unconventional. It used the very facts of unadulterated life as the elements in the story. It was both saddening and illuminating to see how a kid view the world. Neil Gaiman definitely did a great job in narrating the story from the point of view of a seven year old. The villain in the story was also different from the norm. She was only trying to help others but in ways that were not entirely helpful. It just goes to show that it's not that great to get everything we want.

The meaning of the title was lost in me before I read it. I was lost in my head from trying to figure it out without reading the book. After reading the book, though, I finally know the truth. It just makes the title all the more depicting now.

Despite the point of view from a seven year old, nothing in the story was child-like. The thoughts and understanding of the seven year old boy was child-like alright, but, the events that happened was definitely not. There were some real scary things here. Even I shuddered from reading it. Thus, it became all the more saddening to to read how a seven year old struggled to make sense the things that were happening to him and the things he saw. It gave us a perception to how different we are from a child, how the childhood innocence fell away as we grew older.

The ending was sad and I was like:

Leave it to Johnny Depp to cry magnificently!

Although it was sad, I am glad that it happened that way. It's perfect how it ended. After all, the saddest books are the ones that stay with you for a very long time.

One event really stayed in my mind. I still can't get over it.  Only one word is sufficient to picture that moment and my utter disgust towards it. If you've read the book then you will get it. If you don't get it then read the book! That one word is: WORM! BLOODY WORM! YOU GAVE ME NIGHTMARES!
Ooops, that's not one word.
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