The first Neil Gaiman book that I read was neverwhere. That got me hooked. The second one was American Gods. Thus, I fell in love with Neil Gaiman’s writings.
The setting: A middle-aged man went back to his hometown in Sussex. He visited his friend’s house at the end of the lane, where an “ocean”, in reality a pond, exists. Suddenly his childhood memory came back, and he remembered the terrible, and amazing things taking place during his childhood.
Comments: Interdimensional monsters. Ancient beings older than the universe itself. Parallel worlds. Inexplainable bizarre phenomenons. Things beyong humans’ knowledge and control. Just a little bit more and you’ll get a Lovecraft. All told from a 7 years old perspective. Awesome.
As usual, I love Neil Gaiman’s imaginative story writing. Starting from neverwhere, I’ve enjoyed how he wrote a really imaginative world while keeping the story coherent and interesting. It continues in The Ocean at the End of the Lane, where I got hooked reading it – although I must admit I slowed down when Ursula came into the picture, because having your parents betray you as a child is just horrible! There are many things left unexplained, for example the origin of the ancient beings, who are the Hempstocks, what is the ocean, etc. But it only adds more to the fun as the readers are left speculating about the origin of those mysterious things.
The only downside to this book: it’s too short!
The verdict: read it!