The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Ocean at the end of the laneBook’s Name : The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author’s Name: Neil Gaiman

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I’m unable to decide whether it’s a story meant for children or grown-ups. As I sit thinking about the book, the eight year old in me– the one who made books her friends, the one whose ideas were simple, the one who believed that existence of fairies is possible– is surfacing again. But then the adult in me is telling me that I won’t be able to appreciate the nostalgia if I hadn’t grown up first.

So I don’t who are better suited audience for the book. The book, from what I’ve heard, is directed at adults, but I believe that even teenagers(if not children) will enjoy it.

Synopsis

Gaiman’s narrator is an unnamed English man in his forties, who returns to his childhood home and  is drawn to familiar places which he has not seen for ages, and which evoke memories long buried. He ends up by the house of his childhood friend, Lettie Hempstock, and remembers when he was seven years old and how Lettie used to call the pond beside her house an ocean. Then comes the story of what happened when he was seven years old. Layer by layer, the dust from the past is removed and the complete picture is shown, and we, the readers, dive into the realm of fantasy.

What I liked

1) Magical Fantasy: Gaiman has used a perfect language to express fantasy. In fact, the memory are so layered that for one moment, I forgot that it’s not real incident, but of some fantastical event. The line between reality and fantasy are blurred so well that I was actually on the travelling in the mind of the narrator.

2) Prose: Excellent. The book has so much gravity and depth that I can keep on posting quotes throughout the review and still won’t be able to do justice to its beauty. The book shows why Neil Gaiman is considered a master of craft. Each sentence, each words flow in the mind creating a sharp image of our reality and book’s fantasy. 

This doesn’t seem enough because the book was a treat for my mind. But then sometimes, words cannot express how the book makes you feel. You need to read it to understand the feeling. I was rendered speechless by the book. I finished it two days ago, but I’m still brooding about what I read.

What irked me

Closure : The book shows the other characters too. Father, mother, and sister. I finally didn’t get the closure on his relationship with them. We know what happens with Hempstocks, but then how does the event influence his relation with his parents?

Overall Opinion

I loved the book. The review is short not because the book is not good, but because it had rendered me totally speechless. I want to read it again and then again probably to soak in the beauty of its language. 

Rating

Five Stars

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