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Thursday, September 4, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Blurb (from the jacket):

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family's lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed—within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it.

His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duck pond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a fable that reshapes modern fantasy: moving, terrifying and elegiac—as pure as a dream, as delicate as a butterfly’s wing, as dangerous as a knife in the dark - from storytelling genius Neil Gaiman.

My take on the book:
This is my first Gaiman book. Heard a lot of praise about him, so started this book pretty excitedly.

This book - or maybe just this edition - was pretty odd by its anatomy. It's length is more compared to other books. So it stood out in the stack as the tall and slender one.

I haven't read the blurb, but I have an idea of the story from what I've heard from my friend. All he says about the book is that, "There is a world, nay universe inside a lake." Having heard him say that so many times, a weird had budded to read this book and I finally decided to read it, when it won the GoodReads Choice for Best Fantasy 2013. Perhaps, I have started reading this due to the very few - almost nil - books I have read from 2013, except for few contemporaries, which are not considerate-worthy.

When I learnt that the protagonist was a seven-year-old, I was even more excited that I was actually reading a children's book. But nowhere was it mentioned so. However, a few pages into the book, since the chills started to happen, I had the same feeling of children's book no more. If there was one word that could describe this book, it would be: Chilling. Even scene sent a chill down my spine. I literally shivered at few scenes. It felt absurd that I was hoping a children's story!

Being my first Gaiman, I am pretty much in love with his language and narration. His way of characterization and all was splendid and very intriguing. His use of words and all seemed ideal and it all make me want to write like him: simple and intriguing. For an author of such fame, I was expecting complicated prose with indecipherable words. No amount of words could express my joy to find the otherwise.

However, I don't know, but I felt that there was something amiss in the story. I felt that the author had written it and had rushed through it due to the deadlines laid down by the publishers. Don't ask me why, but I felt so. It was just my gut feeling and there is nothing more to it. Otherwise, it was a fine.

Overall, it was pretty fresh to my reading itinerary. A very intriguing and gruesomely chilling book...



Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Author: Neil Gaiman

ISBN (edition I've read): 9781472200327


Read between: 28-08-2014 to 05-09-2014

Publishers: Hachette

Pages: 248

MRP: ₹ 399

The best deals for this book could be found here:  

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