The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Pond at sunset - medium

Pond at sunset by Michael Loudon

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is an intriguing mystery that started life as a short story commissioned by Jonathan Strahan and grew into a novel. It begins with a man returning to the place where he lived as child, and continues with his childhood memories as he relives a series of unhappy and sinister events. Did they really happen, or was it all boyish imagination in his head?

As a seven-year old he is a self-reliant boy but he has no friends and spends much of his time reading. Does he have an overgrown imagination? We learn that as an adult he “makes art”.

” Growing up, I took so many cues from books. They taught me most of what I knew about what people did, about how to behave. They were my teachers and my advisers. In books, boys climbed trees, so I climbed trees, sometimes very high, always scared of falling. In books, people climbed up and down drainpipes to get in and out of houses, so I climbed up and down drainpipes too……”

I enjoyed the shadowy atmosphere in the book and the descriptions of very normal events perhaps turning into something very supernatural and magical.

Read the book and discover what you think.

These are a few podcasts which you might enjoy. The discussion between Neil Gaiman and Philip Pullman includes the books they enjoyed in their youth, the role of fantasy in their work, and their experiences with religion amongst other things.

Mrs H.

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