KayKay #CRB5 Review #36 The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Oceanattheend

**SPOILER ALERT**

My book reviews are written as a discussion of a book, and not as an advertisement.  Please be aware that there may be information that some would consider spoilers.  Continue on at your own risk!

This was book 4/6 of my vacation reads.  The long awaited Neil Gaiman adult novel. I even pre-ordered an autographed copy in addition to pre-ordering the electronic version, so my expectations were high. Was it creepy, mysterious and as well written as I expected it to be? Here is what I thought…

Plot

A seven year old boy’s parents has to rent out his room and one of those renters commits suicide in his family car.  After this there is some strange activity occurring where people start to receive money.  At the end of the lane was a family of 3 women the youngest appearing to be eleven. They know something is wrong and the girl, Lettie, takes the boy with her to bind the creature causing havoc. She does that, butt not before the Monster plants a worm in the boys foot and escapes to our world.  Back in our world the monster appears as a beautiful border in the boys house but she takes over his family. He finally escapes and Lettie helps get rid of her (in the process she “dies”).

I don’t think this book is defined by the plot, which seems weird in summary, but I agree with another review that I read- this book is about a feeling, not a thought.

Plot Score: 4/5

World Building
Sometimes I try to think of new creatures and monsters and worlds that haven’t been written about- and I find it to be very hard. This was an original world full of beauty and mystery and weirdness (and an Ocean the size of a pond-that fits in a bucket).

World Building Score: 4/5

Characters and Relationships

The unnamed narrator is a child wise beyond his years (similar to the narrator in The Universe versus Alex Woods).  He’s a bit of a nerd (no one shows up to his 7th birthday, but he seems to handle this pretty well):

“Growing up, I took so many cues from books.  They taught me most of what I knew about what people did, and how to behave”

Characters Score: 4/5

Life Lessons
“Adults follow paths.  Children explore”

Reminds us to keep our youthful curiosity and look beyond the surface.

Life Lessons Score:  3/5

Style
Defining Quote:  “Nobody actually looks like what they really are on the inside….People are much more complicated that that.”

I am not a big fan of long books full of lots of flowery descriptions and details that don’t add value to the book.  This felt like a long short story and to me, and was perfect. Every word was written to be read and enjoyed.
Style Score: 4/5

Final Thoughts?

-Bonus Beach Read Score: 5/5- I thought it was wonderful to be reading about a magical ocean, while I was floating in the ocean!!

Total Score and Recommendation

-24/25- This is a wonderful read (even if you are not floating in the ocean)

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