Hey, guys! I am super excited to talk about a book I had been meaning to read for forever, and that is The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. I enjoyed this even more than I originally thought I would. I thought the story was super original, I loved the writing and the world, and it was just really fabulous. But I am really excited to get into my thoughts, so let’s go ahead and jump right in!
“Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.”
Wow, this book was definitely not what I was expecting. I’m not sure what I was expecting exactly, but this definitely was not it. It was weird for me because I originally thought this was magical realism for a hot minute until I came to realize it was actually dark fantasy, which I am totally okay with. Fantasy is my favorite genre, but it was just surprising to me is all. I was hoping to like this because it is one of my girlfriend’s favorite books, and I am so glad I did enjoy this.
This story in one word is definitely unexpected. I was not expecting the story to go in the direction that it did. I honestly went into this blind, which I am super happy about, and it just went to really dark places, which I was not expecting, but I really loved. I just really became immersed in this story, in the world and the characters and the mystery of it all. I just really loved seeing the limits that Neil Gaiman was willing to push, how far he was willing to go in terms of the impossibility of this plausible and dark fantasy tale about what really happened when this man was a young boy.
The characters also just seemed super real and tangible while also having this aura of mystery and intrigue and just impossibility. They had this magical and whimsical feel to them, which I thought was super interesting. I loved the mystery of only knowing the names of the Hemstock family while not knowing our main protagonist’s name or his family. It really showcased that the story might be told through the eyes of that boy, but its the story of the Hemstock family that is really the central focus, and I really loved how Neil Gaiman portrayed that.
This story overall was just really intriguing and interesting, and I just really enjoyed it. I absolutely adored the writing and I thought it was super interesting in regards to the characters we meet and the intense, gripping world we are introduced to. I think it was a solid read, and I highly recommend you check it out if you haven’t already.
And there you have it! That was my review of The Ocean At the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. What is one of your favorite dark fantasy tales? Comment down below! I would love to know. And that is going to be it for this review today. Thank you all so much for reading this, I hope you enjoyed it, and I will see you next time!