Review No.123 – The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane – Neil Gaiman

Headline, 2013

It began with a lie and a theft and a suicide. Forty years ago, a man killed himself in a stolen car, and with his passing woke something old and dark from beyond the world. The little boy who finds him does not understand death yet, but he recognises power. When a beautiful monster slips into his world and he finds himself alone, helpless and friendless inside her snare, there is only one place he can go for help: the farm at the end of the lane. Three women live there. The youngest sees an ocean in her duckpond; the eldest remembers the Big Bang.

This is a beautiful book. It is strange and sad and sweet, warm with charm yet laced with sharp shocks made all the more dreadful because they are seen through the eyes of a little boy. The ending feels somehow slightly incomplete, but perhaps that was intentional. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is, among all those other things, mysterious, and I for one didn’t mind that at all.


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