The Ocean at The End of the Lane: A short impression

“…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.  “


After closing the last page of Neil Gaiman’s “The OcThe-Ocean-At-The-End-Of-The-Lane-by-Neil-Gaiman_thumbean at The End of the Lane” I am a bundle of feelings. It’s a novel to read in one breath, in one sit.

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.

Balcony version

*italic text contains excerpts from the novel. All credit for that goes to Neil Gaiman.

2 thoughts on “The Ocean at The End of the Lane: A short impression

  1. Thank you for sharing this experience, Cindy. This is more interesting than any plot synopsis or fan gushing that I’ve read in the novel’s big release. I love an intimate experience of a worthwhile book. I think you’ve pushed me to give Gaiman’s prose one more shot.

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