Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Locus Award for Best Fantasy Novel (2014)

A man visits his childhood home after many years away. His old house is gone but the farm at the end of the road is still there along with its pond. He remembers an eleven year old girl named Lettie Hempstock who lived there, and who had claimed that the pond behind her house was an ocean. He met her when he was seven years old and had since forgotten how they met and what happened when a sinister woman named Ursula Monkton came to look after him and his sister while their parents were away. Everything he has forgotten starts to come back to him.

I listened to the audio this time (read by the author) and really loved the narration. I ended up listening to it twice. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

“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. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”

“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.”

“Nothing’s ever the same,” she said. “Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.”

“I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.”

“Peas baffled me. I could not understand why grown-ups would take things that tasted so good raw, and then put them in tins, and make them revolting.”

View all my reviews

Published by Beth @ Beth's Bookish Thoughts

This blog is for my thoughts on reading. A couple of my friends on GoodReads have blogs, so eventually I decided to start one myself. I hope to get involved in the book blogging community and become a better reader and writer! I am not accepting copies of new books for review, but I would be interested in new editions or new translations of classic authors. Find me on Upwork (as an editor) in the profile link. From September 2018 to October 2020 I blogged at Blogger.

9 thoughts on “Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

  1. I absolutely loved this book when it was first release but it's been awhile since I read it. I'll add the audio to my list of audiobook recommendations (I don't listen to audiobooks but I keep the list in case I change my mind one day :P).


  2. If I didn’t have a TBR pile as high as my head I’d be tempted, on the basis of your well-chosen quotes, to read this again now.

    Oh, and great to have you on WordPress — I’m now following your posts!


    1. Gaiman is a fantastic audiobook narrator. Do you listen to audiobooks at all?

      I think there might be some formatting errors as a result of the transfer – I will have a look at those posts soon. I think WP will be easier to work with than Blogger in the long run, though.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not drawn to audio books — though I know it works for many ‘readers’ — yet I can see the attraction of novels read by the authors themselves.

        Formatting errors must be irritating. I’m currently experiencing some glitches even on WordPress when I schedule revised posts, on the WP Reader they sometimes come out as a mangled form of old and new, I’ve no idea why. But on the whole I’m pleased with the platform.

        Liked by 1 person

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