Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

A review of Neil Gaiman’s first adult novel since Anansi Boys; a short and dark tale, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

Do you ever recall memories of your childhood so fantastical, so awful, so magnificent that you stop a moment and think, “No! I’ve made that up! It can’t possibly be real! Maybe it never happened; I’ve just imagined it did…”

Because when you are little you know everything, you can see fairies and monsters, you can even fly, and you know so many wonderful things, so many terrible secrets… When you grow up, you forget them all, you can’t fly anymore and the monsters lurking in the shadows aren’t really there…or are they?

A man feeling lost after a funeral finds himself driving back to where he grew up. To the lane, to the farmhouse of the Hempstocks and he starts to remember, to remember everything; when he was seven, when a kitten might save your life, a duck pond might be an ocean, monsters might make your dinner, greed and death might wake ancient creatures from another world and the old lady down the lane may have been present at the Big Bang or even preceded it.

This was an absolutely marvellous story, fast and enthralling, a story I didn’t want to end and a memory I didn’t want to fade or if it must fade then I am glad that I can come back to it sometimes and remember it all, every heart stopping moment, every breath taking delight, every secret of every world that ever was, with a large cup of tea and a kitten to keep me company and maybe even keep me safe….

Category: Adult fiction

Publisher: Headline Review 2013

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