09 June 2014

TLC Book Tour: Neil Gaiman's, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Click on the image to buy the book from Powell's
I saw the world I had walked since my birth and I understood how fragile it was, that the reality I knew was a thin layer of icing on a great dark birthday cake writhing with grubs and nightmares and hunger.
I don't really think that this book needs my endorsement.  I mean, people love this thing.  And Neil Gaiman is super famous (he thanks Stephen King for, like, hanging out with him on his acknowledgments page).  This is my first time that I have read a prose book by Gaiman.  I read the first few Sandman comics when I was in college, and I loved their twisty-ness, but I was just pretty sure that I wouldn't like the books.  I mean, I really wanted to, because people were sort of like this about them:


But, for me, I'm just not that into magic (magical realism, fantasy worlds, even ghosts, pretty much).  Now, this is only true in books, because I happen to love magic in movies.

In the first forty pages or so of this book, I was still feeling pretty skeptical, because there was definitely some magic.  The style of the book is lovely, and there are great descriptions of quaint and delicious sounding meals that I would love to eat, basically right now.  However, there were also some moments that I just couldn't quite get on board with, not because they didn't work in the narrative, but because they didn't work for the kind of reader that I am.

Then, as I got more into the story, and starting wondering, "Okay, what next?"  I started to like the book.  I didn't love it, but I liked it.  I appreciate Gaiman's imagination, and his sense of what it is like to be a child, and how that is different from what it is like to be an adult.  And, in this book, what he is able to do, is inspire the childlike in the adult reader.  And it is kind of awesomely dark, and although I don't like magic, I do like dark...

And the quote above sort of sums up that delicious darkness that I so loved in movies like The Dark Crystal when I was a kid.  And this book, as well as being about a man who revisits a very strange episode in his childhood, is just about what it is to be a child and to court the darkness that we grow even more afraid of as we grow up.  Even though it isn't exactly my cup of tea, I can appreciate Neil Gaiman's talents, a I will most likely revisit his strange worlds again.

Title:The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Publisher:William Morrow
Date: 2013
Genre:Literary Fiction

178 pages.
Where I got it: the awesome TLC Book Tours - click the link to visit the other blogs on the tour

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.

    ReplyDelete

I love your comments. Thanks for making me a happy blogger.

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