Friday, September 27, 2013

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Why write this post?  I don't want to spoil this book for you by telling you about it. But, I do hope to remind you of the particular delights of a book well worth waiting for.  So many reviewers have said such wonderful things about this book - all well deserved.  What more can I possibly write?

Do you know how you wait for a new book and finally you have it and then you don't want it to end?  Do you know how you follow an author on Facebook and read about the upcoming book and how the author is progressing and you wait with anticipation  for the book to be out and in your hands?  Do you know how a new book for which you have waited turns out to be all you expected and so much more?

Neil Gaiman's own favorite reviews: " The reviews I'm liking best are ones like this one from PopMatters that tells you nothing about what happens in the book and everything about what it felt like to read the book."
From that review:
"Put simply, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is the best-written book of Gaiman’s career. It features a level of craftsmanship, focus, and control that we normally associate more with literary fiction than genre. The book is focused, lyrical, and profoundly perceptive in its exploration of childhood and memory, and it’s also quite frightening—like one of Truman Capote’s holiday stories by way of Stephen King."
And, Neil Gaiman says of the review from the Minneapolis Star Tribune,  "I think this is my favourite review so far. It does not talk about the plot, it talks about the book."

From that review written by William Alexander:
"In Neil Gaiman’s first adult novel in eight years, a man revisits his childhood home, and the past comes flooding back.... It is narrated by an adult, and it is addressed to adult readers, but the book is actually for the children those adults used to be. This is what makes it “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” he 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."
For me, it felt terrific to read The Ocean at the End of the Lane, at last and for the first time, which will not be the last time.  I hope you will feel the same.

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