Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This may shock a few people, but I actually haven’t read a Neil Gaiman book before this one. And I’ll tell you, after reading this one, I can’t wait to remedy this situation – I have American Gods on my TBR pile (somewhere near the bottom, it’s been there awhile) and I’m tempted to start it now, at one o’clock in the morning. The Ocean at the End of the Lane was just that good!

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled.”

This book made me homesick. Listen, I live at home, but it made me wish for being 8 years old again, running through the grass and pretending that I was a squirrel from Redwall. I admit I was reluctant to read this book at first – I picked it up to serve as a quick read for the end of the year to reach my Goodreads goal of 12 books read in 2018 (I just made the goal last week, this will be my 5th book – I don’t think I’m going to make it).

Gaiman writes in such a lyrical way to draw you in, that I’m a little worried that I was bewitched to read The Ocean. It’s just on the right side of descriptive – not so long that I get bored, but long enough that I know what it is I’m supposed to be in the middle of. The farmhouses, the moon, the creatures, all of it described in such a way that I feel as though I’m right there, but it’s not stressful. Honestly, the whole book, story and all, is a little reminiscent to A Wrinkle In Time – it’s almost like a love song to one of my favorite books of all time.

I did click instantly with The Ocean which is not what I was expecting. I was rather expecting to have to put the book down, or finish it out of duty, but I didn’t have to do that at all. The supernatural element was refreshing and I was pleasantly surprised to discover it.

The whole book is about a childhood adventure, and about outgrowing those adventures and the memories that accompany them. It gave me a sense of longing for adventures that I don’t remember – things that got remembered differently, things that I don’t remember at all. It also jogged my memory, of building forts in the woods, of friends I haven’t spoken to in years, of my own “oceans.”

Do I recommend this book? Yes, I do. Am I immediately going to abandon my other books to pick up another Neil Gaiman? Yep, I probably am.

Did I just remember that Good Omens exists and also involves Terry Pratchett (who is on my list of top 5 authors – oh wait, I haven’t written that post yet)? Oh heck yes.

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