Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

It seems like everyone is talking about the new hot Gaiman title, and for once I am too--at the same time instead of a year late!  I do love Gaiman, though I am a mid-level fan, not an obsessive one.  I've read all his books for years, but I don't buy them the minute they come out or anything, like I would with DWJ.

This is maybe his weirdest story yet, crammed into a small space.  It is typical Gaiman, squared--strange and nightmarish, told from a child's point of view but with the later comprehension of an adult remembering the events--all taken up to a power of 2, if you see what I mean.

The narrator is a middle-aged man who comes back to his home village for a family event, but gets distracted into finding where his old house used to be, and then going up the lane to the farmhouse of a friend he vaguely remembers knowing.  There he is plunged into reliving the experience he had as a small child, when the world turned inside out and this house was his refuge.

It's a gorgeous nightmare of a book.  And really, really strange; it's probably best not to read this as a first Gaiman title.  It makes a great scary Halloween read!

3 comments:

Ekaterina Egorova said...

Nightmare is the most suitable word. And I agree that it is really scary! While I was not impressed with the birds or the ragged things, the worm and the housekeeper were very, very disturbing!

Jenny @ Reading the End said...

I love how indebted this book is to Diana Wynne Jones. Its creepiness is very Neil Gaiman, but a lot of the adults' behavior could have come straight from a DWJ book.

(PS I miss her.)

Jean said...

That's true, Jenny. The oblivious parents, the angry dad, the caring old granny types...all very DWJ. I miss her too.