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

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Goodreads | Waterstones

This is what he remembers, as he sits by the ocean at the end of the lane:
A dead man on the back seat of the car, and warm milk at the farmhouse.
An ancient little girl, and an old woman who saw the moon being made.
A beautiful housekeeper with a monstrous smile.
And dark forces woken that were best left undisturbed.
They are memories hard to believe, waiting at the edge of things. The recollections of a man who thought he was lost but is now, perhaps, remembering a time when he was saved…

This was my first Neil Gaiman book, and I’ve been recommended it more than once by friends and colleagues! After booking to see the West End play, I knew I wanted to finally pick it up before seeing it on stage. I finally picked it up the other night, just days before the play, and ended up finishing it in just one evening.

I read the beautiful illustrated edition with artwork by Elise Hurst and it fit the book so well. Hurst has done a beautiful job of creating haunting, dark, shadowy illustrations that compliment the scenes perfectly.

Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. 

I wasn’t sure what to expect from Gaiman, having not read anything of his before, but I knew it would be whimsical and dark. However, I found this book a lot more grounded than I expected, with more of a real life focus and magical elements, than a complete fantasy world.

I loved the writing and found it emotive but so easy to read. I flew through this book and easily read 100 pages in 45 minutes, which is very fast for me! This illustrated copy is around 80 pages longer than other editions, and I definitely feel like the artwork helped break up the reading experience and therefore made me speed through even faster. I just found that once I picked it up, I didn’t want to put it down!

Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.

Overall, I feel like this one was a great one to choose as an introduction to Gaiman, and I’m excited to pick up another. Which do you think I should pick up next?

★★★★★
4.5 out of 5 stars

-Beth

May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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4 thoughts on “Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

  1. Pingback: October Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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