The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

I originally had no intention of picking this book up for many reasons; there was a lot of hype, the reviews were mixed when it first came out, and I had never read one of Neil Gaiman’s adult works (please Neil Gaiman fans, don’t beat me up with well-loved copies of Neverwhere! I will get round to it eventually….I mean I own it….that’s halfway there right?). Considering my aversion to creepy books I surprised myself when I picked ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ up at the library, but this is a fortnight of blog posts related to all things witch and spooky so I couldn’t leave out Neil Gaiman now could I?

Straight away, I found the writing style in this a lot easier to get into than previous adult Neil Gaiman books that I have attempted and I think it is because of the child narration. Also, it has a very atmospheric way of describing everything and it really reminded me of a scarier version of ‘Coraline’ in many ways. Being an adult novel, ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’ is a lot darker than Gaiman’s children’s fiction and I think this is what kept me reading in the end.

I won’t even try to tell you what the story itself is about because I think it’s best if you go into this blind, not expecting anything that happens.

This book was quite slow at points and at one point seemed to reach the climax making the end section drag slightly. However, the ending made up for this, with exciting action scenes, prolific dialogue between amazing characters, and a twist in the tale that could not be expected.

Overall, I did enjoy this book but I don’t think that it was necessarily my cup of tea; the writing style was addictive but I found that the story did drag in places and the pacing made it jarring at points. I would recommend this book to Neil Gaiman fans that haven’t previously read it, but I think if you’re like me and haven’t read any of his adult fiction, I don’t think that this is the best one to start with, in my opinion.

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