Catching up. This was originally posted on Goodreads, as well as my (now dormant) Geeks With Beaks site.
This is not so much a review, per se, as me just rambling away, struggling to find the words to describe how Neil Gaiman’s Ocean hit me in the feels, and made me question my existence, the universe, and everything in between.
I apologize in advance for my excessive use of the word “awesome” and variations thereof.
|Rating||Based on the standard 5 star rating, I give this book 10.
THIS IS THE AWESOMEST, BEST FUCKING BOOK I EVER, EVER, EVER READ. EVER!!!
|Genre||I don’t even know… Horror? Fantasy? Magical Realism? Wait, it’s AWESOME. The Genre of Awesome.|
|Details||Author: Neil Gaiman (Twitter: @NeilHimself)
0062255657 (ISBN13: 9780062255655)
Publisher: William Morrow Books
|Notes||Neil wrote it for Amanda Palmer; Amanda autographed it for me. As if it couldn’t be any more awesomer. (For the uninformed, Amanda is Neil’s wife, and one of the greatest musicians ever. In my humble opinion.)|
Memories are waiting at the edges of things… Such haunting words.
This book moved me in a weird, strangely beautiful way. I can’t quite explain it; I have no words. Most of the other reviews on Goodreadsdescribes The Ocean at the End of the Lane as being ‘childhood, in 181 pages.’ That’s close enough I guess, yet it is so much more.
It made me think about my own childhood, with some memories so vivid and clear, and others waiting on the edges of things, just out of my reach. Most of them are still out of my reach, but I feel a little bit closer to them, having read The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It made me feel like anything was possible again. Like when I was a child. Who knows, maybe I had a Lettie in my past. Or an Old Mrs Hempstock to clear it all away and make me forget. I don’t know. This book scared me.
And I truly wish I knew how Neil Gaiman did it. To write a master piece. In such a clear, simplistic way.
Okay, enough about me. In one short paragraph, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is about a man who returns to his childhood home after many years. As he sits by the pond (his friend Lettie believed it was an ocean. It really was an ocean) memories long forgotten came flooding back. Memories of an evil thing, a being that can’t quite be described, that came to their town, to his house, to his bedroom. Something so horrific that no child could quite grasp, or even understand it. It would have destroyed him if not for Lettie.
Neil Gaiman takes something supernatural, unreal, something from a horror story, and writes about it as if it was just another day. An everyday occurrence. Something normal.
It’s breathtakingly beautiful, and it still haunts me.
You simply have to read it.