BOOK REVIEW : The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

GOODREADS: A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. As he sits by the pond 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 touchpaper 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.

A book run by imagination. Quite not sure which part may be a product of the boy’s imagination or a reality in another world. Author takes us to a world filled with adventures, fantasy, magic, monsters, shadows, shape shifters, creatures and powerful beings.

As young as he was, he encountered 3 powerful generations of Hempstocks bound to protect him from the world he has no idea of. He encountered monsters in the form of a human being, creatures he was not aware of and through this process, he slowly overcomes his fears.

I think the monsters that started this story is the darkness that lives within all of us, greed. The depicted monster in the story thought she was giving the people what they want – which is MONEY. And what a good way to unleash the evilness than to shower a person with money?

  • Books were safer than other people.
  • Small children believe in themselves to be gods, or some of them do, and they can only be satisfied when the rest of the world goes along with their way of seeing things.
  • Adults follow paths. Children explore. Adults are content to walk the same way, hundreds of times, or thousands. perhaps it never occurs to adults to step off the paths, to creep beneath rhododendrons, to find the spaces between fences.
  • I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did., about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers.
  • Nobody 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 for everybody.
  • Monsters come in all shapes and sizes. Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.
  • Grown ups don’t look like grown ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. The truth is, there aren’t any grown ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.
  • ‘It won’t hurt’. Adults only ever said that when it, whatever it happened to be, was going to hurt so much.
  • I couldn’t get you to the ocean. But there was nothing stopping me bringing the ocean to you.
  • Nothing’s ever the same. Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. and people change as much as the ocean.
  • A story only matters, I suspect to the extent that the people in the story change.
  • Different people remember things differently.
  • Did I pass? ‘You don’t pass or fail at being a person, dear.’

To tell you the truth, I was dragging myself to finish this book as a challenge. It took me about 50 pages before I got hooked.

I have to confess. This is my first Gaiman book. But surely won’t be my last.

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