(Buy it HERE.)
This book is like a collaboration between Stephen King and Roald Dahl after a brief consultation with C.S. Lewis and H.P. Lovecraft. It’s weird and whimsical and dark and otherworldly and veddy, veddy British. It should be awesome but it’s mostly just…okay.
It took me a long time to get into this short tale of British farmhouse faerie and an abrupt end to childhood. The first quarter of the book is so rambling and aimlessly melancholic that by the time things really began happening, I felt unprepared. This is unlike anything Gaiman has ever written, and in that way is a bit disappointing for me as a long-time fan. I can’t help but think that if this is a reader’s introduction to him, they’d be disappointed by his other work.
It’s not a bad book, though. The ending is one of the more emotionally interesting ones I’ve come across lately, the story has a classic fairy tale grace and triumph, and it’s descriptively lush. It’s not particularly compelling either–as stated before, it takes too long to get going and the characters are all a bit too familiar–precocious children, mean adults and a lot of one-dimensional not-quite-women. It’s worth borrowing but not buying.
4 stars and a Prozac prescription to The Ocean At The End of the Lane.
(However, if you insist on buying it, please consider doing so HERE via Bookshop.org, supporting both indie booksellers and this blog. (I am an affiliate of Bookshop and will earn a commission if you click on any of the links in this blog to make a purchase. Thanks!)