A story about a little boy and a number of supernatural women who make his life very interesting for a few days when he is seven years old. The nature of these women, and of reality itself, is never fully explained. When our young hero asks about such things he is told that he doesn’t need to know about them and he wouldn’t understand anyway.
The Ocean at The End of the Lane brings to mind The Night Circus and Neverwhere in that hidden just below the world we know and think we understand is a vaster and much more interesting world beyond our knowledge. Just as Moby Dick is more than a book about whale hunting, Neal Gaiman’s books are about more than a few days of adventure. Unlike Narnia and Wonderland and Oz where it’s all about the people you meet, visiting The Ocean is a more personal experience, the source of Enlightenment. Of course, it takes a while to get to that revelation. First we have to hear the story of a dead kitten and an opal miner.
The Ocean at The End of the Lane is filled with small details and events that lead up to major cosmic events. But even the cosmic events are shown to happen on a personal level, to matter greatly to our seven year old hero. And even though his hero’s journey is just down to the end of the road, it’s still a great bit of business.
Neil Gaiman does a great job at reading his book, he has a nice delivery and a clear and a pleasant voice. He also sounds as if he greatly enjoys telling the tale, something that is often lacking from the more serious minded audio book readers out there. Neil Gaiman is also a damned good writer, I love the ebb and flow of his sentences and I like the way the story moves.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane CDwas a good listen and was over all too soon.