“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing. Inside, they look just like they always have. Like they did when they were your age. Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.”
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Star rating: ★★★★ ☆ 4/5 stars
Format: library eaudiobook
Summary: A middle-aged man return to the town he grew up in and relives some strange and frightening memories from his childhood involving a girl named Lettie Hempstock.
Review: I thought this book was really interesting, it was really unique from other things I’ve read. I don’t even have anything to compare it to.
The fact that the protagonist and several other characters are never named didn’t even occur to me until really close to the end of the book. Normally that sort of thing really nags at me the whole book. This one didn’t bother me, which is really impressive.
There are a lot of unanswered questions that I have about the book which is why I didn’t give it five stars. I wanted to know why he can’t keep his memories, I get when he was a kid but he’d been back as an adult several times and loses his memories each time. I also really wanted to see Lettie return, I was waiting for her to show up but it never happened.
I liked the magic aspect of the book, some of it I wish that I had more of an idea how magic worked in this world. It was weird how the Hempstocks and Ursula’s true forms were fabric, I wanted to know more about that but it just was never addressed. Most of the magical elements were just presented and given no explanation. The protagonist was eight at the time though so he didn’t question it much either.
The book kept me engaged through the whole thing which was great. It didn’t slow down at all. I think I could reread this book and discover more that I may have missed on the first reading.
Recommendation: Neil Gaiman is usually a solid choice and this book delivered. If you’re looking for a different fantasy book then give this a shot.