Books · Reviews

Halloween Review – The Ocean at The End of the Lane (Spoiler-Free)

halloween-ocean

Hey guys, welcome back to Halloween Reviews! I hope you have enjoyed your stay thus far πŸ™‚

So it seems I have become a Neil Gaiman fan recently… And this review just proves it. I know, I know, I’m a bit late in the game, but better late than never, right?

… Right?

spiders-divider2

The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

the-ocean-at-the-end-of-the-lane

A middle-aged man returns home to attend a funeral. He finds himself reminiscing about his childhood, his friendship with a strange, wise, magical girl named Lettie Hempstock, their adventures, and the pond that was actually an ocean…


Where to begin? This book was mesmerizing. Neil Gaiman is mesmerizing.

Again, I’ve decided to go with the audiobook as my previous experience had been so incredible. And, of course, Gaiman did not disappoint. His storytelling, his voice acting, the way he awarded each character with a singular personality, his absolute grasp of their essence, both young and old, male or female, human or not, and the way he seemed to be so immersed in his tale that no one would ever dare to pull him out, were astounding.

I was unaware this was targeted at an adult audience at first. But I realized soon enough that this was not going to be a spooky little tale, like Coraline. Oh no. This one was terrifying, vicious, unforgivable, provoking. Especially because it did not appear so. It caused me to hold my breath and the hairs on the back of my neck to stand. It was perfect.

I can’t quite put it into words how this made me feel. How it still does. It began very innocently, almost tentative, and then exploded in all its creepy glory. It tugged at my senses, at my grasp of reality. And it really made me ponder life’s greatest questions.

It was wonderful and sad and an epic adventure. I suffered so much for this little boy/grown man. I wanted to hug him and protect him, and tell him everything would be all right. I felt my mind drift back to my own childhood, my own fears and insecurities, my own memories. Unconsciously, I became this little boy.

I loved the Hempstock women, and their magical world. I loved the kittens. The things that were there and then weren’t. Stuff and nonsense. Snip and stitch. I despised everything and everyone one else that threatened to destroy this seemingly idyllic place and its inhabitants. I craved for a happy ending.

Gaiman’s writing was superb, as always. His imagination ran wild and free in this one, and I couldn’t be more glad. He managed to make nightmares come to life in the pages, haunting me throughout my journey. He also envisioned a fantastic protagonist and equally delightful sidekicks who will probably stay with me forever.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an amazing story. And it will certainly take me a few more reads to fully absorb the extension of its brilliance, like taking notice of the patterns stars create in the night sky. But for now, these 5 candy corns will have to suffice.

candy corns rating 5

spiders-divider2

~ Check out my previous Halloween Reviews ~

Thank you so much for reading and until next time!

signature-halloween


I hope you enjoyed this third Halloween segment! Have you read The Ocean at the End of the Lane? Are you a Gaiman fan like me? Please let me know your thoughts below q^β€Ώ^ q

handmade-social-icons-100handmade-social-icons-03handmade-social-icons-04handmade-social-icons-29handmade-social-icons-11

Advertisements

69 thoughts on “Halloween Review – The Ocean at The End of the Lane (Spoiler-Free)

    1. Me too! It was the third one for me (if you count Good Omens) but I totally feel you, it’s absolute brilliance ❀ That man is my new literary crush and I cannot get over how amazing he is.
      Have you read any more of his books since? And if so, what was your favorite? I'd love a rec as I feel so overwhelmed by the amount of books he has released over the years, I don't know where to begin hahaha

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Graveyard Book is my favorite. I’ve also read Neverwhere, Ocean at the End of the Lane, Good Omens, American Gods (sooo good!), and some of his short story collections. Definitely read American Gods if you haven’t yet. If you like short stories, Trigger Warnings is a good one.

        Like

        1. Ah, I’ve heard a lot about it πŸ™‚ It does sound super cool! I might give it a go soon, hopefully before Halloween… Since it’s spooky. All the others too, of course. I don’t think I’ll find one that I won’t like! 😊
          Thank you so much for these, Kiersten!

          Liked by 1 person

  1. Well…I am even later to the game as I haven’t read anything by him πŸ™ˆπŸ™ˆ Yes I know how awful that sounds. Still, it only means that I have a lot of cool stuff I have yet to read (not that I didn’t already lol πŸ˜‚). This was another terrific review, that makes me want to check this one out. Can’t say that I have ever listened to an audio book yet, but it’s something I want to experience as well someday. Pretty cool that one this one the writer itself is narrating it. That’s really awesome. Thanks for yet another terrific review πŸ˜€

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha that’s quite all right! I hadn’t either until a few weeks ago (well, I’d read Good Omens a few years back but it’s not the same, as he co-authored it with Terry Pratchett) so don’t feel bad πŸ˜‰
      I think this is one of those books you’d enjoy reading, seeing as you’re into horror. It’s more of a psychological kind of horror but a very well-written one, nevertheless. Perfect for little wusses like me πŸ˜‚
      In all seriousness, though, I absolutely loved it! It was so enchanting and creepy all at once ❀ To say anything more would simply spoil it.
      Audiobooks are not for everyone, but for a busy bee like me they're both a hobby and a necessity. I wouldn't be able to read that much otherwise, and it's such an awesome experience. If you enjoy podcasts and the like, you most certainly will get along with audiobooks πŸ™‚
      Yeah, that's what instantly attracted me to it. I feel because Gaiman wrote it, he was the perfect person to dive into these characters' heads and expose their thoughts and feelings to the world. And he did such a terrific job with it.
      Thank you so much for reading and for the kind words! πŸ˜€

      Like

  2. Oh this is a brilliant review for this book Sophie. I am a massive fan of Neil Gaiman’s writing but this is one of the few books by him I still have yet to get around to. I really have no excuse because I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about The Ocean at the End of the Lane and one of my favourite quotes is from this book as well. πŸ™‚
    God you’ve made me want to pick this up right away, and a five star rating is nothing less than I’d expect for one of Gaiman’s stories. πŸ™‚ ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Beth! To hear that from such a big fan of his means the world to me ❀ ❀
      I didn't remember much from what I'd read about it, or reviews I'd seen around, which was perfect because the less you know when you get into it, the better. It's all the more enchanting that way! I tried to make my review as vague as possible exactly because of that πŸ™‚
      What is your favorite quote, if you don't mind my asking? I feel it's really hard to choose, as there are so many wonderful ones, so I'm curious πŸ˜€
      Yes!!! That was my goal all along hahaha But really, it's great that it made you feel that way πŸ™‚ I'm thinking Gaiman will get nothing but five star ratings from me in the future! (Though I feel like I should be knocking on wood at this point lol)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right! πŸ˜€ ❀
        Ahh so this is a story it's better to go into blind then? I may give it a while before picking it up, long enough to forget the finer detail of the reviews I've read and the blurb as well. Oh I do think your review was vague. I got just enough impression to know you loved the book without being spoiled for any plot points.
        Oh it's β€œI lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.” There may be better ones than that in the book, I just have to read it to know.
        Knock on wood just in case, don't want to jinx yourself or anything! πŸ˜€

        Like

        1. Yes!! I think most books are like that, but this one is an absolute must!
          Ah that’s good to know πŸ˜„ I’m glad because I wouldn’t want to spoil anyone, yet at the same time it’s almost torture not being able to gush over it as much as I wished hahaha
          I love that quote! I think it’s so incredibly simple yet so true it hurts… One of the things I most loved about the main character was how bookish he was πŸ™‚ So relatable!
          Hahaha I just did! Better safe than sorry πŸ˜›

          Liked by 1 person

          1. I’ve had to review books like that. I always feel like as long as I can get my love of the story through without any major spoilers I’ve succeeded. πŸ˜€
            Ha, yeah I suppose especially for us blogging about books we’re always going to be able to relate to bookish characters.

            Like

  3. This review was so amazing I am in awe! You captured your feelings so so well and articulated! My extensive vocabulary when I talk about books is love is “asdfghjkl” but you did such a great job of describing everything!!
    I absolutley adore your Halloween Reviews and I’ll check this book out because your review has me so intrigued omg 😊.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh darn, now you’re making me blush!!! Thank you so much ❀ ❀ ❀
      Believe me, as soon as I read the perfect book I'm exactly like that. I need some time to process my feelings and giddiness and only then do I seat at my computer and type something remotely coherent LOL So don't be fooled, I am usually a complete emotional mess as well πŸ˜‚
      Thank you yet again for the kind and wonderful words! You have no idea how much that means to me ^_^ I'm so glad you've been enjoying this series so far, it really wouldn't make any sense without you guys ❀ And I'm having tons of fun with it, too!
      I definitely hope you do pick it up sometime, it is so worth it!!

      Like

  4. I really need to try both Neil Gaiman and audio books. I feel like I’m missing out by not trying both! The audio book of this title seems like a super interesting one so I might just try with that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, absolutely do!! You won’t regret it, Leah πŸ™‚
      I think any book narrated by Gaiman, especially one of his own, will be the best audiobook experience ever, especially for a newbie. He is so charismatic and entertaining and just utterly awesome, it’s almost impossible not to love him instantly.
      Would love to hear your thoughts on it if you do pick it up! Hope you enjoy it ❀

      Like

    1. Oh thank you so much!! That means a lot to me, that you think so ❀ ❀
      I tried my best but I know it's completely impossible to really get the message across – one has to read it to truly understand!!
      Another Gaiman fan, yay!! Oh you're so right, he's such a unique individual.
      I want to wrap him in a blanket and keep him by the end of my bed so he can read to me every night while I feed him cookies and hot chocolate πŸ˜‚ (if that sounded super creepy, it's because it is but I feel no shame to admit it).
      What are your favorite books of him? I want to choose the next one I'll read but am finding it so very difficult hahaha
      Thank you!! ❀ ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re very welcome!! ❀
        Yes he really is!! πŸ˜€ I love his work!!
        hehehehe that's hilarious!! Honestly I've always wanted to make him cry- and I know that sounds awful, but I just have a few friends who've met him and they all say that if you tell him you love his books, he'll tear up- I really wanna do that lol πŸ˜‰
        My *absolute* favourite is Anansi Boys (which comes after American Gods, which I liked too, but accidentally read after Anansi Boys) and then Neverwhere- which is such an incredible book!! (Plus there's an awesome Cumberbatch radio drama of it, which is well worth a listen once you're done with the book πŸ™‚ )
        haha I totally get that!!
        You're welcome!! ❀ ❀ ❀

        Like

        1. OMG that’s so adorable of him I can’t even ❀ ❀ I understand why you'd want that, then, and it's definitely not as creepy as my wish LOL
          Oh so one should read American Gods first, then Anansi Boys. Gotcha! And Neverwhere has a radio drama? With Cumberbatch? Sweet! I will definitely give it a listen when I can πŸ™‚
          Thanks!! ^_^

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha it was to me, at least! Especially because it involved kids, if that makes sense. Kids make everything even creepier πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚
      Oooh really? What’s your favorite book of his? I’m conducting a personal survey hahaha
      Glad to hear you’re thinking of reading this one, Trang! πŸ˜€

      Like

    1. I feel the same way, actually πŸ™‚ First, the fact that I thought this was going to be a children’s story and was thus unprepared for how deep and mature it was. Second, thinking I would enjoy it but not to the point of 5 stars! That was the best surprise of all ❀️
      Thank you so much! And I hope you find even more reasons to like it on the second try 😊 I really think it’s one of those books that require more than one first impression πŸ˜‰

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Well, Sophie, you did a pretty amazing job here at convincing me to add this book to my TBR right now. That was a beautiful review to read ❀ I only read one book by this author so far, it was Coraline, and it was a little while ago, but… I've always been curious and wanting to read more, especially after seeing so many quotes of his work around the blogosphere, on Goodreads and such. I feel like I'd be captivated by all of this ahah. πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Oh yay, mission accomplished!! Hahaha
      Thank you so much, Marie ❀️ It means a lot that you thought so! I couldn’t help it after reading such a beautiful book – the whole story enchanted me beyond end!
      I felt the same way and couldn’t be happier that I’d decided to read some of his other books, at last. I think you will absolutely adore them too! 😊 It’s hard to go wrong with Gaiman.

      Liked by 1 person

                1. So far I’ve really enjoyed Neil Gaiman’s stories, they were my favorites. But I liked The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and Stalking Jack the Ripper too (both of which I believe you’ve already read). I liked some stories from the Slasher Girls anthology, but not all.
                  Right now I’m kind of experiencing Halloween withdrawal and I still feel like reading spooky stories xD Do you have any recs?
                  Glad to hear it! ❀

                  Like

  6. I too have only recently really known the awesomeness behind Neil Gaiman’s work. My first NOVEL experience was with American Gods and that was a huuuuuge novel with such a great idea being explored in the most original way. I’ve heard great things about The Ocean at the End of the Lane and your review only confirms that this is one of his books that I just HAVE to pick up ASAP! Gaiman really knows how to deliver huh? I love how he explores a bunch of questions in a unique way. It just makes me appreciate his mind so much!! πŸ˜€ Wonderful, wonderful review, Sophie! πŸ˜€

    Like

    1. I’ve heard so much about American Gods! Especially since the TV show came out (I didn’t want to watch it before reading the book though).
      YOU DEFINITELY HAVE TO!! It’s so lovely, I can’t explain. And creepy. And sweet. And all the things πŸ˜‚ (I’ve exhausted all the pretty adjectives in my review, sorry!)
      Gaiman is such a talented person and I would love to meet him one day ❀️
      Thank you so, so much, Lashaan! Your comments always make my day πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t read Stephen King yet (shame shame shame, but I think he might be a bit too scary for sissy old me?) and as for Martin, I’m a fan of the show? And own the entire series? So that counts, right? πŸ˜‚
          I’d probably be speechless or mumble something idiotic in his presence before fleeing the scene. I hope I could manage to get his signature first, though. And shake his hand. His beautiful, talented hand *_*

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi! πŸ™‚ Your review is great! I was thinking about reading this book, but with Gaiman I have a love/heat relationship (I know… this is an unpopular opinion, but it’s the truth) and I wasn’t so sure. But after reading your review I am really curious. I know that I won’t read it in the foreseeable future because I have a ton of books to read before I can think about it, but I would definitely read it! And I want to meet this sidekick!!!

    Like

    1. Thank you, Susy! ❀️ Glad to hear it 😊
      Oh that’s a shame… Well, at least there are some books of his that you love? So it’s not all bad hahaha
      I can’t speak much either as I’ve only read two so far. So who knows how the others will fare? I hope great, though!
      I’m glad my review has made you curious enough to want to try it sometime. It doesn’t matter when as long as you do!! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  8. It’s great to read how much you enjoyed this (audio)book πŸ™‚ I have only ever read The Graveyard Book by Neil and promised myself to experience more of his writing but haven’t managed to squeeze him in as yet… I had gotten a lot of recs as to which of his books to read next and you know? This was one of them, so your positive review rather makes me want to shuffle my tbr list πŸ™‚

    Like

    1. Oh, I hope you do soon, Liz! I haven’t read The Graveyard Book but tons of people seem to love it as well so I guess I’ll be reading it next πŸ™‚
      I think this one was so well-written and well-paced and just a phenomenal experience altogether. It appeals to your childish side but is still a mature and tasteful read, if that makes sense. Couldn’t recommend it enough! ^^

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love your new Halloween design! The spiders are a nice touch, very spooky πŸ˜‰

    How do you make your reviews so beautiful? I felt like I was reading a story, not the review for one. And how all of your emotions for the book are displayed in such a magical way… Love it ❀

    Simi ~ simizat.wordpress.com

    Like

    1. Oh, that’s so sweet of you to say! I’m very happy to hear you like my designs, as well as my writing ^^
      It makes me all fuzzy inside to have it being called “beautiful” and “magical” because that’s exactly how I felt while reading Gaiman’s story. So at least those emotions came through the way I intended!
      Thank you so much, Simi ❀ ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I am currently failing to write this review (cause I crumble under the pressure of books that are too good to review xD)

    He does target adults, but… I feel like this book would have appealed to the child me as well. Maybe it’s one of those books you read as a kid and as an adult and find different things. Although I know there is non-child content in this book, but nobody ever knew was I was reading, so I could have totally read it xD except I don’t think it’s published in my country at all. Minor details.

    If you liked this, I greatly recommend Library at Mount Char (can’t EVER remember the author though). Please read that one. Please please please πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree… This would have been a great story for me to read as a child, even if it is a bit too scary for younger readers. There’s just that whimsical feel to it that Gaiman has accustomed us to that would have worked wonders πŸ™‚
      Thank you for the rec, Evelina! I’ll definitely check it out when I can ^^

      Like

  11. The only book I’ve read by Neil Gaiman is Stardust. Seems like I have a few more books I need to read by him LOL. This sounds incredible and perfectly creepy. Even better that its superbly written. After your review, I’d love to get my hands on this one as soon as I can!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply! I Promise to Answer and Comment Back on Your Blog ASAP :)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.