If you can’t remember something, is it truly forgotten? An Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman asks perhaps the same question. An Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is a book that will shake you out of your existence and keep you there until a few days. Is there someone who said, “Books keep me sane?” Got to find that person, books can actually drive you to insanity and throw you back in a second with its end. This is that kind of book.
Summary: Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touch-paper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.
Review: All of us at some time in our life escape into books or music or both and that has the power to shelter us from something we want to avoid, at least for the time being. This books narrator is no human, it’s a cat. Yep, sewn things continue to lead the stories in Neil Gaiman’s stories. Neil Gaiman’s children’s book even though most of them contain magic and horror are truly wonderful. Perhaps that’s because he writes for his kids.
So, The Ocean at the End of the land begins with a man in his late forties visiting his hometown for a funeral. After the funeral he revisits his old home where he grew up along with his sister. Somehow, he remembers Lettie Hempstock a girl who lived just down the lane and claimed that there’s an ocean in her backyard. Out of curiosity he goes down the lane and meets Lettie’s Grandmother and mother. Once there he starts remembering his childhood.
Filled with magical beings, horror, magic and ocean in the backyard this book leaves us with wonder. Confusion at most if you do not read it nicely. It fills you with awe just how beautifully friendship develop between kids and how serious they take their friendship. After four years and ten times reading this book still amazes me. Friendship, sacrifice, courage, magic, wisdom, faith and the very fabric of reality are the center of this story.
For Neil Gaiman a story begins somewhere around LMNOP and goes around to wrap the rest of the A-Z. Country lanes have never been so charming and magical cow, terrifying childhood memories.
Confusing? But do you love reading children novels, horror, fantasy, magic all twisted to tell a tale that is age-old? I’m sure you will love it. 🙂
Lastly, I want to end this post with a an answer to the question I asked at the start of this post… If you can’t remember something, is it truly forgotten?
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