Ocean at the End of the Lane?

July 27, 2013

I Just finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. It’s a short read narrated by a 7 year old boy.   I really enjoyed this book and recommend it to adults who like syfy, fantasy, or who just enjoy a good story. However, I must confess I really like the author and therefore and slightly prejudice. Fair warning: This is not a children’s book.

I believe Mr. Gaiman did a outstanding job of spinning the tale from a 7 year old’s point of view.  The following quote, for example, really sounds like something a 7 year old would think: “Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good when they were freshly-picked and raw, and put them in tin cans, and make them revolting.”  Just thinking, that’s really true isn’t it.

Another quote rings true every time I’m around my grandchildren: “I do not miss childhood but I do miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled.” Children find great joy in the small things: a bowl of ice cream, blowing bubbles, bouncing on a bed, taking a bath. I wonder what is the age we lose our wonder off all things and become adults?

Summary: the boy meets a young girl at the end of the lane. They struggle against supernatural entities! One of the sides win and the story ends.

Actually, the story is a little more complicated than that.  The family takes in a South African opal miner who commits suicide in the family automobile. Then strange things begin to occur. For example the boy wakes up choking in the middle of the night with a coin in his mouth.  The young girl, Lettie, and he travel somewhere (maybe another dimension if you believe in the multi-dimension theory of everything) to stop the strange  things happening. They find the entity causing the strange things but inadvertently bring her back to our realm (or dimension). Then the story starts to get weird…

I’m not spilling the beans on the ending, you’ll have to read the book to find out what happens.