Friday, February 7, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman (audio)

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

Where to begin? First, I'll never doubt Neil Gaiman again. When I started this I wasn't sure. It wasn't grabbing my interest and I wasn't feeling the narration. But once Lettie and the narrator (he is never named) go into the woods to see about the thing that was unleashed, I got interested and then I didn't want to stop. And then Ursula Monkton came to the house and I really didn't want to stop. I wanted to see how they dealt with her and where this story was going and who were Lettie and her family? Of course only a few answers are provided. And that's okay. I liked that framing of the story and how it is told as a flashback and the ending was great too. It is a beautiful fairy tale-like story and I enjoyed it immensely.

5 hours, 45 minutes
The narration was provided by Neil Gaiman. This is the first book I believed I've listened to of his with him as the reader and I enjoyed his reading.  I've heard he is a good narrator and I've heard right. I would definitely listen to another one of his books with him as the narrator.


  1. I love Neil as a narrator. So glad you liked it. I need to try this one.

  2. I think you just sold me. I want to listen to this audio!


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