WINNER OF THE SPECSAVERS NATIONAL BOOK AWARDS 2013 BOOK OF THE YEAR
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the bestselling magical novel from Neil Gaiman, one of the most brilliant storytellers of our generation and author of the epic novel American Gods, and the much-loved Sandman series. 'Possibly Gaiman's most lyrical, scary and beautiful work yet. It's a tale of childhood for grown-ups, a fantasy rooted in the darkest corners of reality' (Independent on Sunday). If you loved the mesmerising world of Erin Morgenstern's The Night Circus or were drawn into J.K. Rowling's magical universe, this book is for you.
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 wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark.
"Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later... but they are never lost for good" and the most grim of those memories, no matter how faint, can haunt one forever, as they do the anonymous narrator of Gaiman's subtle and splendid modern myth. The protagonist, an artist, returns to his childhood home in the English countryside to recover his memory of events that nearly destroyed him and his family when he was seven. The suicide of a stranger opened the way for a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper, won over the boy's sister and mother, seduced his father, and threatened the boy if he told anyone the truth. He had allies a warm and welcoming family of witches at the old farm up the road but defeating this evil demanded a sacrifice he was not prepared for. Gaiman (Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories "waiting at the edges of things," where lost innocence can still be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is now a top US bestseller and a very great read.
This fable of a young boy discovering the power of the forces of life starts out like one of Gaiman's subtly dark magical children's tales and then lifts with powerful writing and fantastic images into a breath taking tale of old powers in conflict. Through the innocent eyes of a boy, we see murder and meet the three women who live at the end of the lane in a house whose backyard pond is an ocean.
It is indeed a stunning tale and not to be missed.