Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Neil Gaiman

This is the first Neil Gaiman book I’ve read, but won’t be the last. It seemed to pull me inside the story immediately and then rattled along at a great pace, I just couldn’t put it down. It is the magical story of a boy from an ordinary family living an uneventful life until everything changed and he ended up having a (fairly scary!) adventure with a girl who had been 11 for many years, entering the strange world she inhabits, or rather, that strange world comes over and inhabits his!

I didn’t realise until I’d finished the book that we never even find out his name, but it doesn’t matter, we get to know this 7 year old boy so well.

“I was not happy as a child, although from time to time I was content. I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”
“Also, in my bedroom, nobody minded if I kept the hall door half-open, allowing in enough light that I was not scared of the dark, and, just as important, allowing me to read secretly, after my bedtime, using the dim hallway light to read by, if I needed to. I always needed to.”
“Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”

Although the main characters are children, it isn’t a children’s book so don’t let that put you off. I’d like to say that everyone should read this book, but I know it won’t be for everyone. But if you love stories that race along, dragging you with them so you can’t put down the book, if you were a bookish child who lost yourself in stories, if the quotes above ring very true, if you love being scared by a bit of magic – then this book is definitely for you.


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