The Ocean at the End of the Lane

oceanThe Ocean at the End of the Lane is one of those novels that grabbed me from the start and didn’t let go. It is a slim little volume, easy enough to read, but it leaves you feeling that you’ve learned and lost something in the reading. It is the story of a man who once was a boy and a few days that were filled with wonder and terror. It is about a pond that is an ocean, and such an ocean it is.

It is about nature, and dreams, and memories. But it is also about life and growing up, finding yourself, and finding the magic in small things. And it’s about cats and women and wisdom. It’s a novel that has all the essence of a fable, something that has been part of story as long as there have been stories, and yet is entirely new. Neil Gaiman has a way of doing that with his words, weaving tales that are at once new and eternal.

I could make comparisons to The Graveyard Book or Coraline, even to Big Fish, but the novel is really a creature all its own. As with these works, it takes you into a world that makes you doubt the truth of reality and experience, makes you wonder if there is more to be seen just beyond the edge of your vision.

I can’t say much more than that. It is such a privilege to have received this copy for review from William Morrow.




a bit of fluff

Watched the “City of Ember” movie last night and though it has been a very long time since I read the book, I cannot say that I recall there being giant mutant moles in the pipeworks. But I may be wrong about that. Were there really mutant creatures in the book?

Otherwise, the movie was excellent. Much more fast-paced than the book, but it still managed to remain true to the story.

Work has been slow lately, so I’ve managed to read two books while waiting around for no-show appointments: Neil Gaiman’s The Graveyard Book and Lauren Willig’s The Secret History of the Pink Carnation.

The Graveyard Book was a wonderful read. Bod’s graveyard family is charming and not the least bit macabre, and Bod’s transition to young adulthood makes for an unexpectedly touching story. And yes, I cried as I read the last chapter.

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation really was just a bit of fluff. I had it in the “to read” pile for ages, so I thought I’d give it a go. It’s a sort of romantic comedy with a historical twist, so it has its funny moments, but not enough to inspire me to read the sequels (There are about four others?). Cute and silly, but enjoyable as a quick read.