The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

October 30, 2014 Audio Books, Fantasy, Frightening 31

Greetings Bookworms!

I love this time of year. Autumn and pumpkins and baked goods and Halloween? Fall as a season is clearly a conspiracy of the universe to distract us mere mortals from the fact that WINTER IS COMING. (Thanks a lot, Ned Stark!) It’s a wonderful time of year to curl up with a book (or ten) and a nice warm cup of something nice and warm. (Cider? Cocoa? Coffee? Tea? Insert your beverage of choice.) Some books just go better with the season than others, though, and Neil Gaiman is a force to be reckoned with.

theoceanattheendofthelaneI recently finished listening to The Ocean at the End of the Lane as an audio book. It was narrated by Neil Gaiman himself. Holy crap, you guys! The man’s voice is so delicious I may never physically read another one of his novels. I just want to listen to Neil Gaiman read me bedtime stories. I swear that’s not as creepy as it sounds…

The Ocean at the End of the Lane begins with a middle-aged man returning to his hometown to attend a funeral. He is mysteriously drawn to a farm at the end of the road on which he once lived and is suddenly inundated with memories.

Forty years ago when our narrator was a 7-year-old boy, a boarder who was living in his home committed suicide. The suicide set off a chain of events both supernatural and unbelievable. The man begins to remember his friendship with the mysterious and remarkable Lettie Hempstock and her curious mother and grandmother.

I want to say Neil Gaiman is the master of this sort of speculative, supernatural, dreamlike fiction, but that seems wrong. Gaiman’s work is so unique that it’s practically a genre unto itself. Every time I finish one of his books, I feel like I’m waking up from a bizarre dream, equal parts nightmare and fantasy. If that description appeals to you in the slightest, go find the nearest Gaiman novel and start reading.

Tell me, Bookworms. Do you often remember your dreams? I find that mine are odd, vivid, and typically anxious. I’m wondering if that’s normal or if I’ve got more problems than I imagined. 

*If you make a purchase through a link on this site, I will receive a small commission. I can only hope it won’t present itself as a coin stuck in my throat in the middle of the night…*

31 Responses to “The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman”

  1. Akilah

    My dreams are often very vivid. That’s why I can’t watch creepy shows like Walking Dead or Supernatural or Buffy. And, obviously, I avoid horror movies like the plague.

    • Words For Worms

      I can only handle certain kinds of horror and still sleep, LOL. I watch The Walking Dead despite the likely nightmares, but I do much better with zombies/vampires/monsters than with evil demons and psycho killers.

  2. Leah @ Books Speak Volumes

    I can’t believe I still haven’t read any Gaiman. This needs to happen!

    I don’t remember my dreams very often, but they are usually scary or anxious. My job wasn’t super stressful, but I had so many stress dreams about tiny things.

  3. Amy @ Read a Latte

    I LOVED this book. You make me want to re-read it already and listen to the audio instead this time. I can never remember my dreams! Sometimes I feel like they’re RIGHT there but then they’re gone.

  4. Megan M.

    I’ve been wanting to read this one for a while!

    I do remember my dreams, many of which tend to be anxious. I have this one recurring dream that I’m in a room made completely out of windows and doors and a ne’er-do-well is trying to break in and I have to frantically check that every single window and door is locked so he can’t get in. I watched waaaayy too much Unsolved Mysteries and Rescue!911 when I was younger.

  5. Jancee

    I always remember my dreams, and they are always so strange. Like last night I dreamed about vampires, Wendy’s and war. I don’t even know what my psyche is trying to work out.

  6. ThatAshGirl

    Another one that has been on my “to read” list FOREVER. Love his style. Coraline creeped me the hell out. One of the down sides of having insomnia is that your REM cycles where you dream are typically very short so insomniacs tend to have mini-dreams that are usually not long enough to remember. I did have a recurring dream a few years ago about a guy breaking into my house and drawing pictures of me he’d leave at the foot of my bed. It was creepy and very detailed to the point where I knew HOW he was getting into my house.

  7. Hobbie DeHoy

    Ah, Neil Gaiman! One of a kind! We moved from our last house about five years ago and going back to that house is a recurring dream of mine. Possibly because, in a weird twist of fate, we know the person who bought it and we only live about a mile away now. The really peculiar thing is, in my dreams I’m always sneaking back into the house when the owners are away. The thrill of getting caught is definitely part of the emotion that colors the dream. And I have no idea why that is!

  8. Catherine

    Read Ocean and loved but now think I need to listen to it!

    Oh, Lord, do I dream- vivid, involved, and I almost always remember them. Sometimes include celebrities not being famous. Described one to a friend once and they said, “That’s not a dream that’s an opera.” Lately, lots of anxiety.

  9. Trish

    Yes his voice is so delicious. I LOVED listening to this one but I was so distracted by his voice that I didn’t get much out of the actual story. But I’d listen to it again! And again! Eventually I do need to pick up a paper copy.

    Remember dreams. Sometimes but not always. Usually just bits and pieces. I’m totally fine with that.

  10. Jenny @ Reading the End

    I’ve done dream journals now and then, and the more I write dreams down, the more dreams I’m able to remember. Lots of anxious dreams for me too! I dream all the time that I’ve forgotten I was supposed to be house-sitting for somebody’s pets and the pets are now dead. It is TERRIBLE. :p

  11. Kelly

    You’re right, this is the perfect book for fall! I think I read it in late spring and the atmosphere was not quite as fitting. 🙂
    As for my dreams…I usually don’t remember them very clearly, but then when I’m showering or eating breakfast or something later in the day, a small piece of the dream will pop into my head. But it’s been so long since I woke up, that I wonder if it was a dream or if it really happened? It’s all very confusing. I sleep like the dead though, so I think that’s why I don’t remember much.

    • Words For Worms

      I have that happen to me sometimes where something random will remind me of a dream. It once took me a while after I woke up to realize I hadn’t actually starred in a sitcom as a child…

  12. Jennine G.

    My voice has been gone for a week now…and that’s after I finished having strep throat. Now, I keep reading posts like this that remind me of books I really want to read and I’m thinking I may have to take some time off of work to…rest my voice. Yea.

  13. Katie @ Doing Dewey

    So far, I’ve only read The Graveyard Book and American Gods by Gaiman and while I loved his writing, neither of them was my favorite genre. This sounds really good to me though and I would like to read more of his books 🙂

  14. Rory

    I dream A LOT, and vividly, more often than not they are nightmares. And as a huge Gaiman fan, I cannot believe I still have not read this. For shame.

Talk to me, Bookworms!