Contact Me

Follow

Follow on Bloglovin
Powered by Blogger.

Google+ Followers

Follow by Email

Thursday, August 15, 2013
The Ocean At the End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

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.                               


Review: The Ocean At The End Of the Lane is a beautiful coming-of-age tale that perfectly captures the dark side of childhood while also providing some truly original imagery. The narrator's experiences, while fantastical, also display the real emotions children may commonly experience: loneliness, fear, and a sense of helplessness; of not being in control of their fate. The dangers the protagonist faces also work on multiple levels. There is the monster from another world and there is the abuse at the hands of a family member. There is the threat of being placed in a dark attic (a childish fear) and there is the threat of death. The perspective of an adult looking back to his childhood emphasizes this dichotomy. 

The friendship between this little boy and the kind but otherworldly Lettie Hempstock is at the heart of this novel. If I have any criticism to offer it is my wish that more time was spent developing this relationship, but as it stands I found the boy's first friendship touching. The Hempstock women are fascinating, as are the hints of the world they came from. The novel is brief and not much backstory is given on the denizens of the Hempstock farm and the various monsters but I am of the opinion that sometimes less is more. Too much explanation can bog a narrative down, sometimes things are best left to the reader's imagination. In this story especially, the mysteries add to the tone and themes. Children are often kept in the dark about many things, so is the teller of the story. 

Overall I would definitely recommend this book, it has an interesting and original mythology, lovely writing, layered villains, and captures real emotions. 

5 out of 5 kittens from the kitten patch.



0 comments:

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean At the End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

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.                               


Review: The Ocean At The End Of the Lane is a beautiful coming-of-age tale that perfectly captures the dark side of childhood while also providing some truly original imagery. The narrator's experiences, while fantastical, also display the real emotions children may commonly experience: loneliness, fear, and a sense of helplessness; of not being in control of their fate. The dangers the protagonist faces also work on multiple levels. There is the monster from another world and there is the abuse at the hands of a family member. There is the threat of being placed in a dark attic (a childish fear) and there is the threat of death. The perspective of an adult looking back to his childhood emphasizes this dichotomy. 

The friendship between this little boy and the kind but otherworldly Lettie Hempstock is at the heart of this novel. If I have any criticism to offer it is my wish that more time was spent developing this relationship, but as it stands I found the boy's first friendship touching. The Hempstock women are fascinating, as are the hints of the world they came from. The novel is brief and not much backstory is given on the denizens of the Hempstock farm and the various monsters but I am of the opinion that sometimes less is more. Too much explanation can bog a narrative down, sometimes things are best left to the reader's imagination. In this story especially, the mysteries add to the tone and themes. Children are often kept in the dark about many things, so is the teller of the story. 

Overall I would definitely recommend this book, it has an interesting and original mythology, lovely writing, layered villains, and captures real emotions. 

5 out of 5 kittens from the kitten patch.



No comments:

Post a Comment

Thank you, comments are appreciated :)