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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE: finished reading (*SPOILERS*

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message 1: by Stefan, Group Founder + Moderator (Retired) (new) - added it

Stefan (sraets) | 1667 comments Mod
Here's a general topic for people who have finished reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Warning: Spoilers likely!


Theresa (gossamerchild) I bought this as soon as it came out as Gaiman is probably my favorite contemporary author. However, as I had been waiting most of the last decade waiting for his next adult novel to come out I was slightly distracted (and disappointed) by the shortness of this. I have to admit I was distracted enough not to give the book its full due. Silly I know, but it's amazing what can influence your initial impression of something. I will definitely reread this, and I'm looking forward to what people have to say about it.


Mike (mikespencer) | 48 comments Just read this last month. I thought it was fantastic, but I guess I'm a bit of a sucker for Gaiman's style. I actually listened to the audio version, which I think is the way to go. Gaiman narrates it himself and does a wonderful job.


message 4: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
I finished this last night and loved it, though I can see how the length could be disappointing if you didn't know it was such a short book in advance of reading it. But I thought it was just lovely. Gaiman really has a way with words.


Theresa (gossamerchild) I try very hard not to pay attention to pre-publication buzz in order to AVOID the disappointment. That didn't work this time.


Sarah | 132 comments I thought it was a lovely book. Slight, but lovely.


Nikita (nikita42) I've only read a couple books by Gaiman, but have loved both. His imagination creates amazing worlds that I easily get immersed in.

This book is definitely a great modern day fairy tale. Lots of themes about growing up and losing innocence.


Banner | 46 comments I had only read one other Gaiman novel before this (and that was several years ago). I enjoyed this so much I started reading some of his other books. He seems to have some common themes with "coming of age" stories.

He also seems to like cats or else he writes about them a lot. While I'm not a cat person I did enjoy the delicate bond between boy and cat.


Random (rand0m1s) | 830 comments I enjoyed this book. I find that I prefer Gaiman's shorter works to his longer ones.

I am having a hard time putting this into words, so forgive my clumsiness.

It seems this book could be looked at on two levels. The first is mythic. The Hempstocks seemed to parallel the fates, maiden, mother, and crone.

However, you could also see the events in a more mundane fashion. The more special bits are just figments a child's imagination. And while I don't see this as the case, it give the story a more dark feeling.

One part of the story that bothered me. (Not bothered that I didn't like it, but bothered because, well I'm not sure why.) Specifically the scene where Ursula Monkton is being defeated. He blames her for making his dad do those things to him.

She says that she never made anyone do anything. That she just tried to give them what made them happy.

Do you believe her? I do, yet that means that everything his father did to him that night was of his own actions and desires.

What do you think?


message 10: by Shel, Moderator (new) - rated it 5 stars

Shel (shel99) | 2241 comments Mod
Random wrote: "Do you believe her? I do, yet that means that everything his father did to him that night was of his own actions and desires.

What do you think? "


I believe her too. About the father, all parents have moments where we get frustrated with our children - we don't actually WANT to harm them, but a creature like Ursula Monkton who thinks that she's really helping people by making money appear out of nowhere wouldn't understand that.


message 11: by Bev (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bev (greenginger) | 20 comments I am a bit of a newbie with Gaiman and have been told that this book was very young but hey I enjoyed it anyway. Nice little story but why the big price I wonder??


Sandi (sandikal) | 338 comments Bev wrote: "I am a bit of a newbie with Gaiman and have been told that this book was very young but hey I enjoyed it anyway. Nice little story but why the big price I wonder??"

I would say that it's not young at all. Yes, it does seem like a kid's book, but the themes are definitely not kid-friendly. It would be okay for a teen, but not any younger because of the child abuse and the sex scene.


message 13: by Bev (last edited Sep 11, 2013 10:18AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Bev (greenginger) | 20 comments Sandi wrote: "Bev wrote: "I am a bit of a newbie with Gaiman and have been told that this book was very young but hey I enjoyed it anyway. Nice little story but why the big price I wonder??"

I would say that it..."


I agree with you but I have seen many who think it is not deep enough or was too childlike. It may be because it includes mythology and has almost the feel of some of todays kids books.
I personally do not think that and did enjoy it. The depth was the writing not the story.


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