Hey guys, welcome back to Halloween Reviews! I hope you have enjoyed your stay thus far 🙂
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?
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.
Thank you so much for reading and until next time!