Book Review: The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Book Review: The Ocean At The End of the Lane by Neil GaimanNeil Gaiman’s The Ocean At The End of The Lane is an imaginative throwback to childhood fantasies and fears.

I actually paid for a signed first edition copy of Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean At The End of the Lane. Those of you who know me are probably shocked. I usually only pay for independently and self published authors, so this is a change of pace for me. But as always, I will make an exception for Neil Gaiman.

As an author myself, Gaiman has probably been the one writer who has most inspired me. Through his works (both in comics, graphic novels and books), I have learned about the art of true storytelling. The Ocean at the End of The Lane provided me with this very same experience. There are so many widely-published authors out there who are very good writers, but they still can’t live up to the storytelling ability that Gaiman has all but mastered.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane begins with an adult who is remembering a time from his childhood. These memories, which start out hazy and then begin to clear, involve an adventure with a young girl (who is so much more than that) who shows him a world he never knew existed – a world of magic, wonder and villains made up of old dust rags. ┬áIt is about a man who is looking back and fondly remembering the things that both excited and terrified him the most during his childhood, those things that we all too often forget as adults.

Gaiman has a way of looking at the world with a child’s eyes. He can take ordinary objects and make them fantastical (the monster essentially made of dust rags). It is a gift that is rare in today’s world and has always served to stand Gaiman apart from other writers in similar genres. I can almost imagine that at times, just for fun, Gaiman wraps a sheet around his neck and sees himself as a superhero. Perhaps it’s a case of refusing to grow up (and we should refuse… often) or some sort of magical writer’s ability, but reading his work has always made me feel like I was a 10-year-old hiding under the covers after bedtime to read.

The Ocean At The End of the Lane is only second in my all-time favorite stories by Gaiman (Stardust being the first). It’s a must-read, something I encourage everyone to buy it and support an author who always that stands out above the rest.

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