BOOK REVIEW: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – by Neil Gaiman


Title: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Magical Realism
First published: June 18th 2013
Finished reading: February 18th 2015
Pages: 255
Rating 4,5

“That’s the trouble with living things. Don’t last very long. Kittens one day, old cats the next. And then just memories. And the memories fade and blend and smudge together.”


After reading American Gods and The Graveyard Book last year, I instantly became a Neil Gaiman fan. His prose is easy to read and highly enjoyable, and I like the magical realism, myths and fantasy elements he incorporates into his stories. The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is no exception. While this novel has a slightly different feel than the other two I’ve mentioned, I still highly enjoyed this story. I haven’t read many books which fall under the magical realism genre other than those by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende, so I’m pleasantly surprised this novel ended up being just as good. It’s a modern fairy tale story full of magic that will end up enchanting you completely if you let it. The unnamed male character travels back to his childhood and back to a world where everything seems possible. Warning, The Ocean At The End Of The Lane is actually quite a dark and haunting story that is not really suited for little ones… But it will transport you back to your own childhood and the brilliant prose makes you read this story like a dream. Definitely recommended to fantasy fans!


When a man travels back to his childhood home to attend a funeral, he didn’t realize he was about to travel back to his own childhood as well. Without knowing why, he goes back to the farm at the end of the lane where, when he was seven, a girl named Lettie Hempstock used to live. She was a very special girl, and soon memories start coming back of how remarkable she really was. But this past he starts to remember is too strange to be true, or is it? It all starts with the little pond behind the farmhouse she used to call an ocean…

A man that had visited his house all those forty year ago ended up killing himself in a stolen car at the end of the lane, and soon strange things are starting to happen. Something scary and dark was unleashed as the man died, and the little boy couldn’t understand what was really happening. But little Lettie and her family did know, and they decide to get rid of the darkness… Although that might not be that easy.


It’s hard to describe this story without taking its magic away, so I’ve decided to keep the summary short. What I can say is that if you like reading fantasy and magical realism novels, you will probably enjoy reading The Ocean At The End Of The Lane as much as I did. Lettie is a great character and even though Ursula does become annoying, it’s mostly because she has to be that way for the story to make sense. The kitten in the story makes me want to name my own black kitten Ocean by the way; awesome name, although it doesn’t work well in Spanish…

17 thoughts on “BOOK REVIEW: The Ocean At The End Of The Lane – by Neil Gaiman

  1. Pingback: Listing The Reading | It's All About Books

  2. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Rating | It's All About Books

  3. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Author | It's All About Books

  4. Pingback: Listing The Reading By Title | It's All About Books

  5. Yay! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it, Yvonne! I remember being pulled in so deeply by this story, and I finished it a matter of days. Lettie was probably my favorite character of the “cast,” although her mother and grandmother were also awesome in their own right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, the whole Hempstock family is pretty awesome. Neil Gaiman was able to create a story that is both beautiful and haunting at the same time… And it’s definitely a book that is hard to put down unfinished. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it as well!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Glad you enjoyed this one; it’s a favorite of mine. You mentioned that it’s different from the other Neil Gaiman books you’ve read, and I think that’s one of the things I love most about his books: each is truly original and absolutely amazing in its own way. You can read Fortunately, the Milk and Neverwhere and be shocked they’re by the same author . . . except that there’s an underlying excellence of style that carries through. Fun! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right, every Gaiman book is unique in it’s own way… And I loved every since one so far. I still have Neverwhere waiting on my TBR shelf, so I’m excited to be reading that one soon as well. His writing style is brilliant and he is definitely one of my favorite newly discovered authors!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I read this book a while back, and the more I think about it the more I like it. I really need to reread it again- I haven’t found a book since that captures the same feeling of magic mixed with reality. Neil Gaiman is an amazing storyteller!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, Gaiman truly is! I fell in love with his writing style after reading American Gods last year, and he hasn’t disappointed me so far with his other books. Neverwhere is next up, and I’m having a feeling that one will be good as well.


  8. Pingback: Month In Review: February 2015 | It's All About Books

  9. Pingback: Best of 2015: January – June | It's All About Books

  10. Pingback: #FlashbackFriday – February Edition | It's All About Books

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.