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Review: "The Ocean at the End of the Lane," by Neil Gaiman


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If there is a scale for enjoyment of a book that goes from 1 to 10, I give this short novel a 10+++++++++. I cannot remember enjoying a book as much as I did this one. That does not mean that I am recommending it to everyone because I am aware enough to know that this is not "everyone's" cup of tea. If you have any knowledge of Neil Gaiman you will already have a step up on what I mean.

This is reported as a YA novel, and I suppose that's the correction label, but it has a very minute hint of sex (that really doesn't matter), but the damn thing is scary! I feel that this might make a really good, suspenseful, scary film, but I'm not sure about the audience because it's not bloody, or R rated, there are no real ghosts, but in the right hands it could be excellent.

More about the writing. Neil Gaiman has this British color and realistic sense that paints a picture so clearly that I could have walked across those farm fields or stood within the safety of the fairy circle. On the opposite end, those sick birds who "eat the world"...I fashioned a picture of them in my mind that absolutely was bizarre, awful and terrifying. And who would not be in love with Hettie Lemstock and the entire three generations of Lemstock women. They were powerful, knowledgeable, sarcastic, honest and kind. They kept the world in order. And isn't that what we remember our own grandmother's and ancestors doing. They were the solid ground under our feet. They kept the world turning while our fathers went about working.

The world is unbelievably brutal and beautiful in turn, resilient and fragile, accessible and undeniably obscure. Gaiman brings all that wrapped in lovely words and an embrace that can turn you into a child again. Hail Gaiman!!