With the upcoming West End play due for release this year in London, it felt necessary to include The Ocean at the End of the Lane in my book reviews list.
Whilst this is not my favourite book by Neil Gaiman, there is something haunting and beautiful about the story that sticks with you several days after reading it.
Neil Gaiman conjures up a sense of nostalgia for a childhood disconnected from my own experiences and yet somehow familiar at the same time. Despite being labelled as an adult book, the narrative takes readers into a world filled with fantasy and characters often found in his YA works.
However, this story is intended for adults, though not because of its at times horrifying scenes. This tale requires the reader to be an adult who will be taken back into the mind of a 7-year-old boy. In doing so, you become lost in a world of childhood where the logic of adults seems lunacy; A place where ponds can become oceans.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane opens with a dull introduction that might dissuade younger readers. Thankfully, the further you read, the more gory and intense this story becomes. According to an interview with Neil Gaiman, this is intentional. Similar to Coraline, there’s some spine chilling scenes, (a certain worm comes to my mind), as well as Gaiman’s whimsical sense of evil beings with magic.
I cannot wait to see what a stage production will hold and how it might capture the essence of this book.