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The Resource Ocean at the end of the lane, Neil Gaiman

Ocean at the end of the lane, Neil Gaiman

Label
Ocean at the end of the lane
Title
Ocean at the end of the lane
Statement of responsibility
Neil Gaiman
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
It began for our narrator forty years ago when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed. Dark creatures from beyond the world are on the loose, and it will take everything our narrator has just to stay alive: there is primal horror here, and menace unleashed - within his family and from the forces that have gathered to destroy it. His only defense is three women, on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang
Tone
Writing style
Character
Award
  • Booklist Editors' Choice: Adult Books for Young Adults, 2013.
  • British Book Award for Book of the Year, 2013.
  • Goodreads Choice Award, 2013.
  • Locus Award for Fantasy Novel, 2014.
  • School Library Journal Best Books: Best Adult Books 4 Teens, 2013
Review
  • /* Starred Review */ In Gaiman’s first novel for adults since Anansi Boys (2005), the never-named fiftyish narrator is back in his childhood homeland, rural Sussex, England, where he’s just delivered the eulogy at a funeral. With “an hour or so to kill” afterward, he drives about—aimlessly, he thinks—until he’s at the crucible of his consciousness: a farmhouse with a duck pond. There, when he was seven, lived the Hempstocks, a crone, a housewife, and an 11-year-old girl, who said they were grandmother, mother, and daughter. Now, he finds the crone and, eventually, the housewife—the same ones, unchanged—while the girl is still gone, just as she was at the end of the childhood adventure he recalls in a reverie that lasts all afternoon. He remembers how he became the vector for a malign force attempting to invade and waste our world. The three Hempstocks are guardians, from time almost immemorial, situated to block such forces and, should that fail, fight them. Gaiman mines mythological typology—the three-fold goddess, the water of life (the pond, actually an ocean)—and his own childhood milieu to build the cosmology and the theater of a story he tells more gracefully than any he’s told since Stardust (1999). And don’t worry about that “for adults” designation: it’s a matter of tone. This lovely yarn is good for anyone who can read it. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: That this is the popular author’s first book for adults in eight years pretty much sums up why this will be in demand. -- Olson, Ray (Reviewed 04-01-2013) (Booklist, vol 109, number 15, p32)
  • /* Starred Review */ “Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later... but they are never lost for good”—and the most grim of those memories, no matter how faint, can haunt one forever, as they do the anonymous narrator of Gaiman’s subtle and splendid modern myth. The protagonist, an artist, returns to his childhood home in the English countryside to recover his memory of events that nearly destroyed him and his family when he was seven. The suicide of a stranger opened the way for a deadly spirit who disguised herself as a housekeeper, won over the boy’s sister and mother, seduced his father, and threatened the boy if he told anyone the truth. He had allies—a warm and welcoming family of witches at the old farm up the road—but defeating this evil demanded a sacrifice he was not prepared for. Gaiman (Anansi Boys) has crafted a fresh story of magic, humanity, loyalty, and memories “waiting at the edges of things,” where lost innocence can still be restored as long as someone is willing to bear the cost. Agent: Merrilee Heifetz, Writers House. (June) --Staff (Reviewed April 1, 2013) (Publishers Weekly, vol 260, issue 13, p)
  • /* Starred Review */ Gaiman here departs somewhat from his previous books, instead featuring greater emphasis on investigation of the human condition and a more subdued fantasy element. The main character revisits his boyhood, particularly a series of formative events surrounding his friendship with a girl named Lettie Hempstock. The plot rapidly evolves from reminiscent to scary to downright life-threatening, with profound reflections on mortality inherent in the drama. In this ominous environment, seeming evil is explained as a misplaced desire to please, and the ocean at the end of the lane is a liquid knowledge bath transcending space and time that helps rescue the boy. In fact, Lettie is one of the keepers of the ocean, and she and her family represent caretakers who manage the equilibrium of our world and protect the hapless. As we learn the full extent of our narrator's relationship with the Hempstocks, the absolute necessity of the act of forgetting becomes clear. VERDICT Scott Smith's The Ruins meets Astrid Lingren's Pippi Longstocking . A slim and magical feat of meaningful storytelling genius. [See Prepub Alert, 12/16/12.]— Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA --Henry Bankhead (Reviewed June 1, 2013) (Library Journal, vol 138, issue 10, p97)
  • /* Starred Review */ From one of the great masters of modern speculative fiction: Gaiman's first novel for adults since Anansi Boys (2005). An unnamed protagonist and narrator returns to his Sussex roots to attend a funeral. Although his boyhood dwelling no longer stands, at the end of the road lies the Hempstock farm, to which he's drawn without knowing why. Memories begin to flow. The Hempstocks were an odd family, with 11-year-old Lettie's claim that their duck pond was an ocean, her mother's miraculous cooking and her grandmother's reminiscences of the Big Bang; all three seemed much older than their apparent ages. Forty years ago, the family lodger, a South African opal miner, gambled his fortune away, then committed suicide in the Hempstock farmyard. Something dark, deadly and far distant heard his dying lament and swooped closer. As the past becomes the present, Lettie takes the boy's hand and confidently sets off through unearthly landscapes to deal with the menace; but he's only 7 years old, and he makes a mistake. Instead of banishing the predator, he brings it back into the familiar world, where it reappears as his family's new housekeeper, the demonic Ursula Monkton. Terrified, he tries to flee back to the Hempstocks, but Ursula easily keeps him confined as she cruelly manipulates and torments his parents and sister. Despite his determination and well-developed sense of right and wrong, he's also a scared little boy drawn into adventures beyond his understanding, forced into terrible mistakes through innocence. Yet, guided by a female wisdom beyond his ability to comprehend, he may one day find redemption. Poignant and heartbreaking, eloquent and frightening, impeccably rendered, it's a fable that reminds us how our lives are shaped by childhood experiences, what we gain from them and the price we pay.(Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2013)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10176743
Cataloging source
YDXCP
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Gaiman, Neil
Index
no index present
Interest level
UG
Literary form
fiction
Reading level
5.3
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Study program name
Accelerated Reader AR
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Good and evil
  • Women
  • Boys
  • Survival
  • Memory
  • Magic
Target audience
adult
Label
Ocean at the end of the lane, Neil Gaiman
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
954194
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
181 pages
Isbn
9780062255655
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780062255655
  • (OCoLC)813286810
Label
Ocean at the end of the lane, Neil Gaiman
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Control code
954194
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
181 pages
Isbn
9780062255655
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • (Sirsi) i9780062255655
  • (OCoLC)813286810

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      710 W. Cesar Chavez St, Austin, TX, 78701, US
      30.2713021 -97.7460168
    • Milwood BranchBorrow it
      12500 Amherst Dr, Austin, TX, 78727, US
      30.4223444 -97.7161692
    • University Hills BranchBorrow it
      4701 Loyola Ln., Austin, TX, 78723, US
      30.3093017 -97.6664785
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