24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Eerie, dark and enjoyable, but not a book for everyone,
This review is from: The Ocean at the End of the Lane (Hardcover)
In much the same style as he did with Coraline, the master of really imaginative and surreal fantasy returns with the Ocean at the end of the lane.
Once more we are launched into a dark and quite disturbing world in this tale about the adventures of a young boy when he was just seven years old. In much the same manner of Corlaine this book felt quite disturbing and I think that is because it seems to be written as though it is a children's book but the themes are far too adult and dark for me to be gifting this book to my nieces and nephew any time soon. The juxtaposition between the feel of a children's book and the almost horror style of dark fantasy that Gaiman creates just serves to brilliantly heighten the tension in the novel and the frankly skin crawling atmosphere is really quite powerful.
With the usual style of vivid images and surreal situations this book is just as imaginative as previous novels by this author and was also enjoyable.
However, this isn't a book for everyone and unfortunately it was not quite my cup of tea. Rather than this being because of the author doing something wrong it is more a case of something that he simply didn't do. I felt as though the story lacked any real substance in this novel. Whilst it is an interesting little tale it lacked the depth beyond the event itself and I didn't really get any sense of history behind the story. It simply felt like a story that popped up out of nowhere and disappeared again and had no real importance other than to the characters directly involved. Therefore this book lacked the intensity that I normally like to sink my teeth into.
As I said though this isn't a bad thing, it just isn't for me.
Overall I think that this is a good novel and will certainly appeal to a lot of people. However, when compared to earlier works such as Neverwhere, Anansi Boys, American Gods and even the Graveyard Book which was aimed at a much younger audience, this book didn't quite rise to the occasion for me. Still it is worth a read and I would recommend it to Neil Gaiman fans.