Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Source: Kindle Purchase
This was my first Neil Gaiman novel. Friends of mine that like him, REALLY like him, so I wanted to give him a try. I chose to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane as my first Gaiman novel because the cover is so darkly beautiful.
The story is pieced together with decades old memories of the main character about a time in his life when some pretty amazing things happened to him. It is a strange story and I found myself spending much of time my time with this book wondering how on earth Gaiman comes up with his ideas. What goes through his mind to decide “Oh, I’m going to write about a giant stick figure (?) made out of fabric”? I didn’t love this book but I also didn’t hate it. Probably the main problem for me is that I went into not knowing what to expect. From the synopsis, I thought it was going to be a slightly dark mystery. I guess in some ways it was that, but it was also so fantastical that I often didn’t know which end was up while reading. The strong element of fantasy definitely surprised me (remember this is my first foray into Gaiman).
While I was left feeling a little unsettled by the story, I will say that I believe Gaiman is a master of storytelling. When he described the main character being in the bucket of water, and his feeling of knowing yet not knowing, of all knowledge being just within his grasp, it was amazing. He (Gaiman) was able to put the feeling of dreams into words. Because of his control of words, I am planning on reading more work by Neil Gaiman, and this time I will be a little more prepared.