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The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane (2013)

by Neil Gaiman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
7,742619434 (4.09)1 / 633
  1. 233
    The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman (emperatrix)
  2. 171
    Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman (riverwillow)
  3. 161
    Coraline by Neil Gaiman (emperatrix)
  4. 131
    Something Wicked This Way Comes by Ray Bradbury (streamsong, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These atmospheric coming-of-age tales are magical and poignant as they dance around issues of good and evil. Though they contain plenty of dark undercurrents, they are ultimately hopeful.
  5. 60
    A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness (bookworm12)
  6. 60
    Among Others by Jo Walton (norabelle414)
    norabelle414: A young, bookish kid in 1970s England gets tangled up in magical and scary events larger than they are.
  7. 50
    Tom's Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce (rakerman)
    rakerman: There are similar themes of childhood and memory in The Ocean at the End of the Lane and Tom's Midnight Garden. The Ocean is a much more intense book, Midnight Garden is more wistful.
  8. 72
    The Dark Is Rising by Susan Cooper (Iudita)
  9. 40
    Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury (souloftherose)
  10. 30
    A Sudden Wild Magic by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
  11. 30
    A Fistful Of Sky by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (LongDogMom)
    LongDogMom: Similar style, magical family
  12. 20
    The Earth Hums in B Flat by Mari Strachan (-Eva-)
    -Eva-: Similar narrator in a similar environment, where magic is all around, but the growth of the character is the essential part.
  13. 20
    Slade House by David Mitchell (CGlanovsky)
    CGlanovsky: Sinister and supernatural worlds exist hidden inside an otherwise normal modern UK
  14. 32
    The Book of Lost Things: A Novel by John Connolly (bookworm12, bluenotebookonline, BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: These fantasy novels featuring boys who get caught up in mystical, mysterious adventures both have dark undercurrents that create a strong atmosphere of suspense. Their vividly imagined fairy tale-like worlds make the stories both wondrous and compelling.… (more)
  15. 21
    Spirits That Walk in Shadow by Nina Kiriki Hoffman (LongDogMom)
  16. 00
    Queen of the Dark Things by C. Robert Cargill (penbot)
  17. 00
    The Boneshaker by Kate Milford (Othemts)
  18. 11
    The Hounds of the Morrigan by Pat O'Shea (LongDogMom)
  19. 00
    The Particular Sadness Of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender (akblanchard)
    akblanchard: Both books use magical realism to illuminate family relationships.
  20. 00
    The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater (LAKobow)

(see all 23 recommendations)


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English (608)  German (3)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Swedish (1)  Danish (1)  All (619)
Showing 1-5 of 608 (next | show all)
Pretty much read in one sitting, and found it completely engrossing. Th depiction of childhood and the creation of worlds that are scary and comforting is spot on. Just wanted to keep getting pulled into it. Will reread again soon, likely. ( )
  Abbey_Harlow | Oct 5, 2017 |
read2017 ( )
  teachers.that.read | Oct 1, 2017 |
An awesome story of a man revisiting childhood home and memories. ( )
  SBoren | Sep 25, 2017 |
A haunting tale of evils both real and supernatural, this story follows our narrator as he remembers the events that changed his world as a 7-year-old child. When a lodger commits suicide in the family car, evil powers are unleashed that quickly threaten his life and those of the people he loves. In order to survive, he must become brave enough to face this menacing presence with the help of his new friends, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother, women wrapped in a kind of magic, who live at the end of the lane. This is a beautiful and deeply engaging tale that I couldn't put down. In short, I loved this book!

Bettina P. / Marathon County Public Library
Find this book in our library catalog.

( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
“Grown-ups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

Magical and so very memorable. I enjoyed every second of it.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane was such a breath of fresh air. This book is a testament to how stand-alones should be written. 181 pages and I can honestly tell you the book didn't need a single page more.

Neil Gaiman's writing style is so beautifully unique and powerful. He brings his words to life in a way that no author can.

The only problem I had with this book though is the fact that the magical aspect of it tended to be somewhat confusing at times. To this moment I'm still unsure of what actually happened - I don't know if that's only me or if it's just the way the book was written. However, it was still enjoyable and I more or less kept up with the main plot.

This will most definitely not be my last Neil Gaiman book. Really looking forward to reading his other books, especially American Gods .

( )
  fatmashahin | Sep 23, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 608 (next | show all)
The Ocean at the End of the Lane arouses, and satisfies, the expectations of the skilled reader of fairytales, and stories which draw on fairytales. Fairytales, of course, were not invented for children, and deal ferociously with the grim and the bad and the dangerous. But they promise a kind of resolution, and Gaiman keeps this promise.
added by riverwillow | editThe Guardian, AS Byatt (Jul 3, 2013)
[Gaiman's] mind is a dark fathomless ocean, and every time I sink into it, this world fades, replaced by one far more terrible and beautiful in which I will happily drown.
added by zhejw | editNew York Times, Benjamin Percy (Jun 27, 2013)
The story is tightly plotted and exciting. Reading it feels a lot like diving into an extremely smart, morally ambiguous fairy tale. And indeed, Gaiman's adult protagonist observes at one point that fairy tales aren't for kids or grownups — they're just stories. In Gaiman's version of the fairy tale, his protagonist's adult and child perspectives are interwoven seamlessly, giving us a sense of how he experienced his past at that time, as well as how it affected him for the rest of his life.
added by SimoneA | editNPR, Annalee Newitz (Jun 17, 2013)
Reading Gaiman's new novel, his first for adults since 2005's The Anansi Boys, is like listening to that rare friend whose dreams you actually want to hear about at breakfast. The narrator, an unnamed Brit, has returned to his hometown for a funeral. Drawn to a farm he dimly recalls from his youth, he's flooded with strange memories: of a suicide, the malign forces it unleashed and the three otherworldly females who helped him survive a terrifying odyssey. Gaiman's at his fantasy-master best here—the struggle between a boy and a shape-shifter with "rotting-cloth eyes" moves at a speedy, chilling clip. What distinguishes the book, though, is its evocation of the powerlessness and wonder of childhood, a time when magic seems as likely as any other answer and good stories help us through. "Why didn't adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and ... dangerous fairies?" the hero wonders. Sometimes, they do.

» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gaiman, Neilprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Coder, LaneCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Johnson, AdamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerner, Jamie LynnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
McKean, DaveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sasscer, AshleeCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"I remember my own childhood vividly ... I knew terrible things. But I knew I mustn't let adults know I knew. It would scare them."

Maurice Sendak, in conversation with Art Spiegelman,
The New Yorker, September 27, 1993
For Amanda,
who wanted to know
First words
It was only a duck pond, out at the back of the farm. It wasn't very big.
Books were safer than other people anyway.
You don't pass or fail at being a person, dear.
Lettie Hempstock said it was an ocean, but I knew that was silly. She said they'd come here across the ocean from the old country.
Her mother said that Lettie didn't remember properly, and it was a long time ago, and anyway, the old country had sunk.
I do not remember asking adults about anything, except as a last resort.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
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References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
When a middle-aged man returns to his childhood home in Sussex, England, for a funeral he remembers frightening childhood memories relating to the neighbor girl who promised to protect him from the darkness unleashed by a suicide at the pond at the end of their street.

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac - as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly's wings, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from the storytelling genius of Neil Gaiman.
Haiku summary
Adult narrator
remembers childhood events
when seven years old.

No descriptions found.

(see all 2 descriptions)

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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