Currently Reading: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gaiman
It would not be fair for me to write this review without you being aware of the fact that I adore Neil Gaiman (and not because we share a name). Gaiman writes clever, engaging, and exciting fantasy novels that make you see the world completely anew. And isn’t that everything you want in a book? I could write an entire review about the strengths of Gaiman as an author. I won’t. But, I could. Now that my bias is clearly stated…
I am an engineer. We don’t use words like beautiful, haunting, emotionally-drawn, or mysterious. These irrational and immeasurable words are meaningless to the very structured mindset we pride ourselves in having. Yet, this short novel was all those things to an overwhelming degree. Writing this review has been a challenge for me because I am so programmed to write technical, measurable reports. How do I draw from this training to adequately describe the feel of lost, sorrow, and nostalgia that I felt when I finished this beautifully tragic tale? When I finished this story, I missed my childhood with a longing and yearning I have never before felt.
This novel is the essence of childhood.
There are monsters. And because there are monsters, there is courage, strength, and prevailing good. There are moments of such simple and profound insights, you will throw down the book and wonder why you’ve never thought it that way before. You will feel the entire world is missing out until they too have read this tale. As you finish, you will regret with what haste you have devoured the story. You will feel a loss that such a beautiful, haunting story cannot again be experienced for the first time.
You too will adore Neil Gaiman (and perhaps hate him for having such control over you).
Neil Gaiman stated this novel was meant for anybody who has been eleven-years-old. And, I hope everyone who has been eleven-years-old does read it.
-A Bookish Girl