What in the hell did I just read? I consider myself a pretty decent Neil Gaiman fan, I loved American Gods, I was all about Coraline, and I even liked The Sandman graphic novels, but this new book right here, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is seriously trippy and I want to go wash my hands after reading it. There’s just something about this book that gave me the heebie jeebies, and I’m sure Mr. Gaiman thinks that’s a good thing, but I’m not sure I do.
This book starts out seemingly normal. A man visits his old stomping grounds after a funeral, then he starts to tell this wicked tale from his childhood. It all begins with a girl that he isn’t quite sure about, and a pond that she claims is the ocean. This girl, Lettie, is very peculiar indeed, and is able to see and do things that just aren’t possible. Of course, as a boy, he can’t seem to stay away from her and gets wrapped up in a lot of things that he can’t quite explain.
Also, he has a very mean and nasty nanny who wants to lock him in his room all the time, she is nice to everyone else in his family, but she knows something about him that she doesn’t like. Her name is Ursula and she sure is a witch. Things start happening to the boy, like he chokes on a coin, he has a worm crawling in his foot that he has to pull out with tweezers (the imagery for this part of the book was impeccable), and many other things that he just can’t explain.
Finding out the truth about little Lettie and her family is an awakening for the boy, and everything starts to make sense when he discovers what is really going on at the house by the “ocean”.
This book is super short, it’s magical in a very freaky way, and it’s written very well. The twist got me as well, I just had a very uneasy feeling when I was reading this. Maybe that was the point of the book, but I’m just happy I finished it. I give it 3 out of 5 stars, I definitely have read better Gaiman books.