“…Old Mrs. Hempstock sniffed. “Now, don’t do anything stupid. Approach it with care. Bind it, close its ways, send it back to sleep.”
“I know,” said Lettie. “I know all that. Honestly. We’ll be fine.”
That’s what she said. But we weren’t. “
Gaiman’s narrative is so very sincere, so pure and believable – he draws horror from the eyes and the mouth of a seven-year old boy with such vivid words it’s hard for the reader to stand aside and not be there in the dark, there, drowning in the vastness of magic and real life scary things. Coming across death and going back from it, crying over lost possessions, crying over missing the touch of the small kitten’s fur against your skin, making friends, then losing friends, understanding adults, being afraid of them, being amazed by them – it’s a pack full of feelings, doubts, fears, joys, sacrifices. Really horrible lurking shadows from somewhere beyond. Bright and powerful saviours of ancient places and enormous in time – having known the creating of Moon and the Ocean that stretches afar. One lane, one farmhouse, one boy running away into a world of his own. Bits of young Gaiman and his childhood playground. His books, his comfort in the written words.
It is a simply magnificent book that might make you cry. A wonderful adventure to where its dark. All through the eyes of a young boy. But what I see might not be what you’ll see. Take a look yourself. Walk the lane, visit the Ocean at the end of it. You might find something.
“Different people remember things differently, and you’ll not get any two people to remember anything the same, whether they were there or not…”
Your experience is your own. The book smells good and it feels good, the weight of it none, the touch of it gentle as that of the surface of still water.
*italic text contains excerpts from the novel. All credit for that goes to Neil Gaiman.