Sunday, 16 April 2017

The Ocean At The End Of The Lane by Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
First published in the UK by Headline in June 2013.

Featured in Cover Characteristics: Swimming

Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the book from
Buy the paperback from Speedyhen
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository

How I got this book:
Borrowed from my partner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond this 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 defence is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is an ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

Much like Stardust, also by Neil Gaiman, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is a traditional-style fairytale for adults and I thought it was absolutely wonderful. The story flows perfectly with vivid descriptions and larger than life characters. How does Gaiman manage to maintain such inventiveness while also telling fabulous stories? The characters are perfect for their situations I loved the Hempstocks and could picture Ursula in great detail. I had already read other reviews so knew that this is more a novella than a full-length novel and I think it's just about the right length for the story being told although I would happily have spent much longer within this book. As it is short though, I devoured all this fantastic escapism in a single evening.

Search Lit Flits for more:
Books by Neil Gaiman / Fantasy fiction / Books from England


  1. I am glad you could love this one so much. I've only read Trigger Warning by Gaiman, and it's high time I read some more. It sounds like he definitely knows what he is doing with the fairytale writing style and how to write a good novel.

    1. He's my favourite fantasy author and so prolific! I've read several of his books now, but Trigger Warning isn't yet one of them

  2. This is the only book I've read by Neil Gaiman so far and I agree with you, it's such a wonderfully different fairytale that really takes it to the next level. I'm hoping to read more of his books this year :) Lovely review, Stephanie!

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

    1. Thank you Laura! If you liked this one, I'd recommend you give Stardust a try too. My absolute favourite of Gaiman's (so far!) is Neverwhere