Don’t hurt me when I say this: The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the first Neil Gaiman book I’ve read. I had no idea what I was missing! His other well-loved novels are long and seemed a bit intimidating, like American Gods, but I think I need to reconsider.
I pretty much read The Ocean at the End of the Lane in one sitting, except when it got a little too creepy for me. That’s because everyone in my family went to bed early so it was just me in a largely quiet, dark apartment. I had to set it down and take a bathroom break.
I’ll share the publisher’s description of the book because I can’t do it justice:
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 an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.
I truly felt transported the entire time I was reading the novel. The narrator’s memories feel fresh and new as he re-lived them for the reader. Even though it’s a short novel at only 192 pages, it’s packed with non-stop action and creepy stuff. Creepy in a good way. One genre that I don’t read enough of but love is modern fantasy like Gaiman’s novel. I guess I have his entire backlist to visit now.
I’m not going to give away too much, so pre-order The Ocean at the End of the Lane. You won’t be disappointed.
I received a review copy of the book. This post contains affiliate links.