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The Ocean at the End of the Lane By: Neil Gaiman

by onetreeview, November 18, 2013

end of lane

Review by: Hannie

 

I couldn’t get you to the ocean,” she said. “But there was nothing stopping me bringing the ocean to you.”

It’s gorgeous. It’s a magical, poetic and imaginative: 180 pages of absolute … gorgeousness. 
If you’re anything like me, chances are you will adore this boy from the start: Here is a 7 year old boy that is considered ‘weird’ because he likes books more than anything else in the world. And chapter 1 starts with: “No-one came to my seventh birthday party”, this despite plenty of cake available. (Awwww)

I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled.”

It’s a coming-of-age story that fits into a small bucket, and you can interpret that in many different ways. Part of it feels like the nightmare dreams of a 7 year old boy: there’s a new, terrifying nanny and she appears to know exactly where you are, all the time. When she’s angry, she gets bigger and there’s just no escaping her. Then, as if matters couldn’t get worse, there is a hole in your foot! I tell you, a hole! I think we’ll need a kilometer of band-aid and a kilo Nivea WonderCream.

You wonder where this story is going; how on earth did we end up here after a prologue like that? But then those last pages put a new spin on matters. And it made me want to read the whole book again. That wouldn’t be a bad idea, I bet this is the sort of book you can read a dozen times, and adore it every time a little more. It’s just too special, kind of stop-eating-the-cake-special.

Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands; perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.”

The only book I read by Gaiman before this one, is American Gods. I loved it: epic, grand, original. This book is a totally different animal, it’s a smaller story – I tell you, it fits in a bucket! I have a few more Gaimans stuck in my tbr-pile; and I think they will all move closer to the top now. 

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