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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Paperback – 10 Apr 2014

1,114 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Headline (10 April 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1472200349
  • ISBN-13: 978-1472200341
  • Product Dimensions: 16.6 x 2 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,114 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,367 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Neil Gaiman is a tour de force of creative talent. He is the bestselling author of Coraline and Stardust, both of which are major motion films. Neil also co-wrote the script for Beowulf starring Anthony Hopkins and Angeline Jolie. He is the creator/writer of the award-winning Sandman comic series and has written several books for children. His latest title, The Graveyard Book, won the Teenage Booktrust Prize 2009. Neil has been immortalised in song by Tori Amos, and is a songwriter himself. His official website now has more than one million unique visitors each month, and his online journal is syndicated to thousands of blog readers every day.

Product Description


'Gaiman is, simply put, a treasure-house of story, and we are lucky to have him' (Stephen King)

'Gaiman has a rich imagination...and an ability to tackle large themes' (Philip Pullman) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Book Description

From New York Times and Sunday Times bestselling writer Neil Gaiman, comes a novel of memory, magic and survival, about the power of stories and the darkness inside each of us.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

75 of 77 people found the following review helpful By BookWorm TOP 500 REVIEWER on 4 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition
A fabulous atmospheric fantasy novel by one of the recognised modern masters of the genre. 'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' is a brilliantly written story - gripping from the first pages, with interesting characters and a narrator you can root for, and a gloriously dark edge underlying it. The narrator is a middle aged man who revisits his childhood home and remembers an extraordinary series of events that happened when he was aged seven. The book evokes the feelings of childhood perfectly, particularly the fear and helplessness, but without running into problems with the narrative voice by having the narrator an adult looking back.

It is a 'plot driven' novel where plenty happens and it is often exciting and hard to put down. But there is a strong emotional undercurrent, and many genuinely poignant moments. It's very well balanced and manages to tug at your heart strings without actually appearing to do so, as you're so caught up in the drama.

Even readers who don't usually go for 'fantasy' books would likely enjoy this - it's accessibly written, and its themes of loss of innocence and taking on responsibility are universal. It's also a thumping good yarn that is hard to put down. The length is short - under 150 pages, and the pacing perfect. Gaiman is good at building up suspense and the middle section in particular had me jumping at shadows. There's a creepy, unsettling feeling that is created, and the ending is moving.

Although it's a book about a child and childhood, it wouldn't be suitable for young children. However I think teenagers from around 12 upwards would appreciate it and enjoy it. There are some mild sexual references and it's a bit scary, but no more so than many other books for this age group.
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Valerie L. Pate on 17 Oct. 2014
Format: Paperback
Neil Gaiman is such a remarkable author. One of my all time favorites. I have always marvelled at how well he can interweave fantasy and reality. You don’t seem to lose that familiar grounding of the world we know, even as you are delving into the mysteries of otherwordliness that creep up on you from the pages of his award winning novels.

Although this theme of reality spilling into the unknown (or vice versa) is one of Gaiman’s familiar formulas, there is something so very different and unexpected about this latest tale. We enter into the reveries of a middle-aged man who has returned to his hometown for a funeral. The childhood recollections, told in a very believeable first-person narrative, seem wholly commonplace and plausible. The exact sort of memories that Gaiman himself might have; and indeed he has revealed that he drew heavily upon personal experiences when writing this book. Somewhere along the way, however, the reader is almost imperceptibly drawn into a world of supernatural wonderment. There are dangers so completely evil that the seven year old protagonist should be hiding away beneath the blankets; yet children are always more accepting of the unexplainable, and so he finds himself caught in a thick web of mystical wickedness. By his side, however, is a girl as wholesome as the fresh milk she serves him from her farm; but also as brave as any mythic hero and as sagely as the dawn of time.

It is a journey that you will not forget easily. It is childhood lost and fairytales rekindled. It is one of a kind, and only Gaiman could have crafted such a complexly enchanting tale.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Half Man, Half Book on 4 Aug. 2013
Format: Hardcover
On returning to his home village a man in his early forties starts to remember the things that happened to him when he was seven. A lodger appears at his home, and shortly after is found dead in his fathers car. He is there when the body id found and is sent to the nearest farm, where the Hempstocks give him breakfast. The death of the lodger opened a rift between this world and another, and dark things begin to happen to him. Lettie Hempstock, she says she is 11, but has been 11 a long time, aids him against these dark forces.

What Gaiman has done here is to take memories, the innocence of childhood, the fears of that age, and fairy tales, blended them together and distilled the essence into this exquisite tale. The Hempstocks are worldly and wise, and care deeply about all the things around them. The events that take place and the dark forces that swirl around this Sussex village are some of main fears that a child can confront, and yet the writing is compelling and deft.

You never get to know the name of the main character as I think Gaiman wants you to think that it is him, or possibly even you, experiencing these events. The way that the main character remembers means that reality, the dreams and nightmares, are all intertwined and you are not sure what is really happening, or is in his mind.

It is a melancholy tale, and the ending is quite powerful. Really enjoyed this and can highly recommend it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Bookbloke on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback
My second journey into the magically enchanting world created by Neil Gaiman, my first was Neverwhere and I have been itching to delve back in ever since.

This time the story follows the recollections of a middle aged man returning to his former home that he, his sister and parents occupied before it was demolished. Something that remains of that past is the small ramshackle cottage situated at the bottom of the lane where our protagonist made friends, at the age of 7, with an 11 year old girl called Lettie Hempstock. Delving into these memories our narrator recollects events unbelievable, haunting and truly magical.

Written from the perspective of a 7 year old boy, one who loves to read and doesn’t fully understand the actions of adults, Gaiman captures the innocence and naivety perfectly and this coupled with some of the experiences makes it hard for the reader not to feel a sense of nostalgia when reading this novel. Gaiman’s enchanting way with words and his whimsical style tell a story that turns the mundane fascinating and the magical all the more memorising and wonderful.

This is a story of one boys revelation that the world where everything is ordinary exists alongside one with an orange sky, filled with monsters and magic and otherworldly beings. The boy is pulled into this world after the suicide of an opal miner who was a lodger at his home. The suicide awakens a being that exhibits powers to manipulate adults through the use of money. It is during this time that the young boy meets Lettie Hempstock, her mother and Grandmother.
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