Friday, 9 January 2015

The Ocean at the End of the Lane * Neil Gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. 

Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. 

When a forty year old man returns to his hometown for a funeral, he finds himself driving back to his childhood home but not knowing why, especially driving down to the end of the lane that was at the bottom on his house. 

When he gets there he meets an old woman, and not just any old woman, there's something different about her, something that draws him in to her. He has a feeling that he knows the woman, but he's never seen her in his life.  

Then it all comes back to him, walking down to the small pond behind the old woman's house, he soon remembers why he knows her, his childhood and the dreaded memories that comes with it. 

Going back fourty years ago in the past, the young man is seven years old in his large farm house that he shares with his Mother, Father and younger sister and everything is perfect. Until a man starts to come and stay over to help his family, the Opel Minor he's called and  the seven year old boy isn't too fond of him, especially after he runs over his best friend, a little black kitten. Things all start to change. 

When their family mini is found down the lane by the police, the boy and his father go to pick it up. Only to find that it's not as white as it used to be and there's a dead man in the back of it, the man being the Opel Minor. 

Soon the events start to take on a snowball effect as one by one things start to get worse, there is a new nanny in town for the boy and his sister, and no one believes him that she is evil, apart from Lettie, Mrs Hempstock and Old Mrs Hempstock. So when the boys father becomes under the Nanny's spell and tries to harm his son, the young even year old decides to take action. 

With the help from Lettie and get family, they go on an adventure to try and track down the Nanny and the source of where she came from, to try and banish her back to where she belongs, all the while as things start to become a lot darker, and scarier. 

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, is one of the many books by the author Neil Gaiman. The book came out in 2013 and I have only just got round to reading it, it's been sat in my Kobo library for a year collecting dust and I do not know why I didn't pick it up sooner, I am ashamed. 

This is the first book I have read by Gaiman and it certainly will not be my last, I have watched film adaptations of some of his books, such as; Coraline and Stardust and I loved them, Coraline being one of Sam and I's favourite films to watch together, so why haven't I read the book yet? 

I feel I will like Gaiman's books a lot as they are magical and fairy tale like, but very dark. They remind me a bit of Ray Bradbury's books, which is a good thing! Seeing as Bradbury is one of my favourite authors!

I adored Lettie and the other Hempstocks, the way she has been written is fantastic, she's like a young heroine and it was a pleasure to read about her and her family, I loved the way she was a little mysterious too. I felt for the boy as he just wanted to be normal or so I felt he did, but something always happened that put him back to square one. 

The seven year old boy to me, is just trying to conquer his fears and he does just that, though as the book gets darker and more creepy, I do feel for the boy, but he does ever so well in growing up. The way his story is told is brilliant, it makes you feel like your seven again and all you want to do is go exploring, Gaiman has written this character out wonderfully, capturing the life of a true seven year old and just showing how the boy feels, thinks and wants to do. It's very imaginable and believable, it makes you feel that YOU are that seven year old yourself, and that nothing can harm you. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you truly read and see through the seven year olds eyes, the way Gaiman has wrote this book, it makes you feel like you are transported into the book itself and that you are actually the character inside the book. 

Truly a brilliant read, I would recommend to all will definitely be reading this again in the future. 

I will give this book 10 out of 10 

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