My Review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

oceanI imagine this must have been a painful one for Neil Gaiman. There’s blood all over these pages. And truth be told, reading Ocean opened up a vein of my own. I am, after all, the same age as Ocean’s unnamed narrator and I’ll be the first to admit my feeling an instant kinship, not only with the forty-seven year old artist who pays a visit to his childhood home, but even more so with his seven year old self, duly resurrected through fractured memories.

This one, more than once, broke my heart, mainly because it had already been broken long ago and had never quite truly healed. Gaiman brings up all that long buried pain in this supernatural fable that is as fine a work as he’s ever produced. And that’s saying a lot.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is poignant and fantastic and brilliant and elegant and downright frightening. But for all its mythological cosmology, at its heart is a tender and painful remembrance of innocence lost and of childhood’s brutal sting.

But, by the gods, Ocean is majestic, in the purest sense of the word, and it’s got unbelievable heart.

There will be tears shed, I suspect, by many.

This is a book to be shared, to be treasured, to be revisited.

I could go on and on, but there’s a creek outside of Converse I need to visit where my own Lettie waits, and maybe, just maybe, she’s ready to come back to me, if only for a little while.


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