The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

imageA man returns to his childhood home for a funeral. Seeking respite from mourners he wanders to house of his childhood friend Letty. 40 years ago a man killed himself in the boy’s family car, just outside Letty’s farmhouse putting into motion strange events and releasing strange creatures. Letty promised to protect. Letty promised nothing would happen to him.

I finished this book a week ago and I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. A coming of age tale which is part fantasy, part horror, I found it truly terrifying. It is reminiscent of Coraline, also by Gaiman, but more developed. The character of Ursula Monkton is the stuff of childhood nightmares. She could rival the Child Snatcher (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang) in terms creepiness.

Some sources claim it takes inspiration the beliefs of scientology. The idea of the ocean and other beings from a different world. I know little of the subject but it’s an interesting concept and would certainly explain some elements of the book.

While it is well written, and certainly achieved the aim of creeping the hell out of me I can’t say I truely enjoyed it. For whatever reason it never really grabbed me. However that is purely down to personal taste and not a true reflection of the quality of the book. If your are a Gaiman fan it’s certainly worth a read. If you’ve never read him then at only about 180 pages it is a good introduction which won’t take a large amount of time.

Rating: 2/5

4 thoughts on “The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

  1. I’ve only started to read my first Gaiman book (American Gods) and haven’t finished it. I’ll have to put this on my list, not because I’m into horror or anything but because it’s short so it would be a quick read. Great post!


  2. Oh man, I loved this one and it had me hooked beginning to end. I thought it was just beautiful. It was also my first Gaimain, though, so when I read Neverwhere I didn’t like it quite as much as most seem to. I hope you get a chance to take another look at this one and maybe see if you like it better 🙂


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