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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
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About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the New York Times bestselling author of the novels Neverwhere, Stardust, American Gods, Coraline, Anansi Boys, The Graveyard Book, Good Omens (with Terry Pratchett), The Ocean at the End of the Lane, and The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains; the Sandman series of graphic novels; and the story collections Smoke and Mirrors, Fragile Things, and Trigger Warning. He is the winner of numerous literary honors, including the Hugo, Bram Stoker, and World Fantasy awards, and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Originally from England, he now lives in the United States. He is Professor in the Arts at Bard College.

Reviews

"[W]orthy of a sleepless night . . . a fairy tale for adults that explores both innocence lost and the enthusiasm for seeing what's past one's proverbial fence . . . Gaiman is a master of creating worlds just a step to the left of our own."--USA Today on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "Remarkable . . . wrenchingly, gorgeously elegiac. . . . [I]n The Ocean at the End of the Lane, [Gaiman] summons up childhood magic and adventure while acknowledging their irrevocable loss, and he stitches the elegiac contradictions together so tightly that you won't see the seams."--Star Tribune (Minneapolis) on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "[A] compelling tale for all ages . . . entirely absorbing and wholly moving."--New York Daily News on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "[A] story concerning the bewildering gulf between the innocent and the authoritative, the powerless and the powerful, the child and the adult. . . . Ocean is a novel to approach without caution; the author is clearly operating at the height of his career."--The Atlantic Wire on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "The impotence of childhood is often the first thing sentimental adults forget about it; Gaiman is able to resurrect, with brutal immediacy, the abject misery of being unable to control one's own life."--Laura Miller, Salon "[W]ry and freaky and finally sad. . . . This is how Gaiman works his charms. . . . He crafts his stories with one eye on the old world, on Irish folktales and Robin Hood and Camelot, and the other on particle physics and dark matter."--Chicago Tribune on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "Gaiman has crafted an achingly beautiful memoir of an imagination and a spellbinding story that sets three women at the center of everything. . . .[I]t's a meditation on memory and mortality, a creative reflection on how the defining moments of childhood can inhabit the worlds we imagine."--Journal Sentinel (Milwaukee, WI) "This slim novel, gorgeously written, keeps its talons in you long after you've finished."--New York Post on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "Ocean has that nearly invisible prose that keeps the focus firmly on the storytelling, and not on the writing. . . . This simple exterior hides something much more interesting; in the same way that what looks like a pond can really be an ocean."--io9 "In Gaiman's latest romp through otherworldly adventure, a young boy discovers a neighboring family's supernatural secret. Soon his innocence is tested by ancient, magical forces, and he learns the power of true friendship. The result is a captivating read, equal parts sweet, sad, and spooky."--Parade on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "'The Ocean at the End of the Lane' is fun to read, filled with his trademarked blend of sinister whimsy. Gaiman's writing is like dangerous candy--you're certain there's ground glass somewhere, but it just tastes so good!"--Bookish (Houston Chronicle book blog) "His prose is simple but poetic, his world strange but utterly believable--if he was South American we would call this magic realism rather than fantasy."--The Times (London) on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE "Poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening, impeccably rendered, it's a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them and the price we pay."--Kirkus Reviews (starred review) "When I finally closed the last page of this slim volume it was with the realization that I'd just finished one of those uncommon perfect books that come along all too rarely in a reader's life."--Charles DeLint, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction on THE OCEAN AT THE END OF THE LANE

Gaiman here departs somewhat from his previous books, instead featuring greater emphasis on investigation of the human condition and a more subdued fantasy element. The main character revisits his boyhood, particularly a series of formative events surrounding his friendship with a girl named Lettie Hempstock. The plot rapidly evolves from reminiscent to scary to downright life-threatening, with profound reflections on mortality inherent in the drama. In this ominous environment, seeming evil is explained as a misplaced desire to please, and the ocean at the end of the lane is a liquid knowledge bath transcending space and time that helps rescue the boy. In fact, Lettie is one of the keepers of the ocean, and she and her family represent caretakers who manage the equilibrium of our world and protect the hapless. As we learn the full extent of our narrator's relationship with the Hempstocks, the absolute necessity of the act of forgetting becomes clear. VERDICT Scott Smith's The Ruins meets Astrid Lingren's Pippi Longstocking. A slim and magical feat of meaningful storytelling genius. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/12.]-Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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