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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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Archive: Other Books > The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman - 3 stars

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message 1: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 9374 comments This was my first Neil Gaiman, and I know a lot of people have loved this book. I didn't love it.

I didn't hate it either. I think it just wasn't my thing. Not my favorite genre. I don't mind the magical realism part. Its just that its conventions weren't well developed or explained to me. Which left it eerie and haunting. And the no memory dream state thing - I never liked that. And little kids in a lot of supernatural trouble that they cannot manage? I find myself upset. I'm going with three stars.

I really couldn't comprehend why this was on the family drama list, and high up on it too. I guess I am narrow minded in that way. The Nest, Little Fires Everywhere, Commonwealth, the Great Alone, Truly Madly Guilty - I can see it. But this one? Because he was part of a family and so was Lettie? I guess I felt it was possibly fantasy, but then I didn't know what that category entails. Certainly some magical realism was the driving plot.


message 2: by Cynda (last edited May 10, 2018 12:20PM) (new)

Cynda  (cynda) Amy wrote: "This was my first Neil Gaiman, and I know a lot of people have loved this book. I didn't love it.

I didn't hate it either. I think it just wasn't my thing. Not my favorite genre. I don't mind the..."


So many other readers so love Neil Gaiman, yet I have felt no impetus read his books. I get magical realism. Maybe some day.


message 3: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments How was the writing style in your opinion? I've heard Neil Gaiman is a very talented writer and Star Dust has been on my tbr longer than almost anything. Do you think you'd give another one of his books with a different plot a try?


Susie | 4488 comments I feared you wouldn’t love it. Oh well Amy. Plenty more books in the sea.


message 5: by Amy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Amy | 9374 comments Plenty more books in the library! LOL. PBT is great for expanding me. I actually generally love magical realism. It just didn’t sit right with me in this book. I also felt it was a little bit like the lightning thief. Except that it wasn’t. You guys know I love myself a good witch. Or some decent magic if it’s done well. I don’t much know whether the writing was good or not. I think it was more drawn in by what was happening.


message 6: by annapi (last edited May 10, 2018 06:16PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

annapi | 5159 comments I'm another one that doesn't quite get Gaiman's popularity. I find it seems to be a guy thing - at least it seems to me that his most rabid fans are male. But this book I thought was one of his better ones, I liked it more than Neverwhere. I liked Stardust and Graveyard Book too. But I don't see anything to rave about, and I'm never inclined to read him on my own.

Magdalena, if you like fairy tales Stardust will be right up your alley. Actually, this one might be too. He has a wide range, so you shouldn't dismiss him outright if one of his books doesn't suit you.


message 7: by Magdalena (last edited May 10, 2018 11:37PM) (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments I do love fairy tales so I'm going to have to give Stardust a try one of these days maybe if it fits a monthly tag. I'm not sure if this one would be my kind of thing or not.


message 8: by Jen (new) - rated it 3 stars

Jen | 1545 comments Magdalena wrote: "I do love fairy tales so I'm going to have to give Stardust a try one of these days maybe if it fits a monthly tag. I'm not sure if this one would be my kind of thing or not."

If you like audio, you should listen to him narrate the book. He is fantastic when reading his own books! I loved Stardust but I think I’m part because i listened to it. I have this one 3 stars. But i highly recommend doing his books as audios.


message 9: by Magdalena (new)

Magdalena | 414 comments Thanks I'll check it out! I love when authors successfully narrate their own books it always makes the experience a little more special.


Rachel N. | 1614 comments I've read 4 Gaiman books and gave each of them four stars. I don't think his books are necessarily more targeted to males. I like his writing style but I can see where it wouldn't be to everyone's liking. There are definitely plenty more books in the library :-).


Ladyslott | 1880 comments I agree with Jen - Gaiman's narration of his books are wonderful. I especially loved The Graveyard Book on audio but everyone I have listened to have been great.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6406 comments I wouldn't call this magical realism ... I'd call it paranormal fantasy. To me, magical realism involves "realism" in a big way. Odd things happen but they are viewed as completely "real" and realistic to the characters. For example, in Louis de Bernieres's The War of Don Emmanuel's Nether Parts cats grow to the size of panthers and long-dead conquistadors come to life to join the army. Or, in Like Water for Chocolate Tita cries until a literal flood of tears cascades down the stairs.

I gave this book only 2 stars. Just not my genre of choice, though I do recognize why Gaiman is popular, especially with the young adult crowd. And I agree with everyone who applauds him as a narrator on his audio books.


Book Concierge (tessabookconcierge) | 6406 comments Oh ... I loved Gaiman's The Graveyard Book (4 stars) ... and I listened to that audio as well.


message 14: by KateNZ (new)

KateNZ | 2671 comments I am a big Gaiman fan, but I only liked this one rather than loving it - it’s by no means my favourite. I wondered at the time whether it had layers that I wasn’t reading properly, but maybe I just didn’t click with it. Neverwhere is probably my #1, American Gods and Anansi Boys are also really enjoyable (though harder going) and Stardust is fab (I love the movie as well but it’s quite different). I dip into his short stories sometimes - entertaining short diversions :)


Susie | 4488 comments That’s interesting Kate. I had the reverse experience! If the three I have read, this was my favourite and Neverwhere was probably my least, within The Graveyard Book falling somewhere in the middle. I plan to try American Gods next. I add my voice to the chorus of those who love him narrating his own books. He really is wonderful, and it so rarely turns out to be the case with other authors.


LibraryCin | 9079 comments Going on memory, but I think I rated "The Graveyard Book", "Neverwhere", and "The Ocean at the End of the Lane" all 4 stars. However, thinking back, I feel like I really liked "Neverwhere" best.


Michelle (MichelleBookAddict) (maslme) | 186 comments I read and loved Gaiman’s Neverwhere book. Then I read Stardust because I love the movie and ended up liking the book (though loving the movie more because of the cast). Then I read Ocean because it was short and I thought it help with my reading slump last year. I loved it! It’s so much darker than the other two books I’ve read and less fantasy. I’m hoping to read some more of his but so far Neverwhere is my favorite.


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