Sunday, September 1, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

by Neil Gaiman

Another genre that I seldom venture into is fantasy, but here it is and "adult fantasy" no less, which I will say right off did not work for me. I don't think it's because I am too practical, since I did enjoy the Potter series and Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and Watership Down. I think it was just that the fantasy in this book was so puzzling and pointless. The Ocean at the End of the Lane had potential, it was an interesting idea, but for me it lacked development and focus, and the true climax of the story kinda went by without much to-do.

In this story an adult male narrator is recalling a traumatic event from his childhood in which he accidentally becomes host to a "varmint" who travels back into our world. As it turns out, this varmint looks like a normal and nice person to everyone around him except for the three ladies who live at the end of the lane. The varmint causes chaos in the boy's world and he needs the help of these women to be set free. I did like the writing style in the last quarter of the book, an intermingling of some classic literature with this boy's current circumstance and the parallels between them, but otherwise it was just too jumpy and confusing. I also found some of the situations in the story bizarre and disturbing.

I haven't read any of Gaiman's previous books, but if you are a fan you'd probably like this since he claims it is his favorite. I also have a limited scope on fantasy, so maybe for you readers too.

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