I had heard about Neil Gaiman‘s book, The Ocean at the End of the Lane a couple years ago by chance. I sort of keep tabs on what Mr. Gaiman is doing because he’s such a fascinating writer/author. But it wasn’t until recently when I was talking to one of the volunteers at my library, that I found out that my branch held a copy of this book. The volunteer had read it and she said it was rather disturbing and found she couldn’t read it at night. She had to keep putting it down because it bothered her, even though she enjoyed the style of writing.
Well, I decided to see if the library still had the copy on the shelf, and with luck, it was there. That was on Tuesday. The volunteer mentioned that ‘oh, so you want to try this disturbing book?” and because, yes, I was checking it out, I did.
I finished the book Wednesday afternoon. That could mean one of two things. Either one, I loved it, or two, I just had to see what happened. Let’s go with love. I’m not sure that’s a strong enough word, but it’s adequate.
I have not read a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work, but what he is very good at doing is pulling in the mythical and the nonsensical and turning it into a captivating and utterly wonderful story. With The Ocean… he has maintained what I call The Neil Gaiman. It is so him it is perfect.
It wasn’t a disturbing story. I could have read it through the night had I wanted to stay up. The story left me wanting more, as his usually do, and I absolutely love this little novel. For those not used to Gaiman’s work, though, they might find him very strange indeed. But for me, as a writer myself and one who has read her fair share of juvenile fantasy (which includes Harry Potter, Twilight, and others of that ilk) he is a brilliant writer. He makes you feel things you didn’t know you had in you and the story captures you.
I could go on and on about this book, but suffice to say, I won’t be taking this particular volunteer’s opinion any time soon. Another thing, Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus, absolutely loved this book. I love The Night Circus, so, you see, this is clearly my style.
If you are a fan of Mr. Gaiman’s work, or of that style, I highly recommend The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It is a quick and unique read. Brilliant in every way….
Now to go hunt down a copy for myself.