The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
I have not read much by Neil Gaiman, but he has been an author who has always intrigued me. I saw the movie Coraline and have the book still to read, and I have always been interested in his comic series Sandman. The first book of his I ever read was The Graveyard Book. I entered to win it in a Goodreads Giveaway right before it first came out, and when I didn't win I thought it was interesting enough to read anyway. It took me awhile to get into that one but I really liked it.
I went through the same thing with this book. I entered to win this book and then the audio book but didn't win either. I was still really interested in reading this, so I put my name on the reserve list at the library. Finally I got around to reading this book, and I am so glad I did. This book was weird, and at first the biggest collection of random thoughts, but it was engaging, entertaining, and it held my constant attention. This is a book for adults, and I get that. I have read a few reviews that people liked the book but felt it was more suited to YA. I think this can be, but for me it was all about remembering a simpler yet more frightening time. As an adult I tend to forget the magic and wonder that is being a child. This book may have been written in a style that is more fitting a younger reader, but I felt it was meant for us as adults to remember our own imaginations.
I connected with this book in a sense that I felt I could have been our narrator. I was a lonely kid who would rather play in my own Batcave or lab than be out with neighborhood kids. I tended to have my own little world, and I was very happy to be the only one in it. I don't regret being a loner at all. It is part of who I am, and this is a strong characteristic of our main character. He is an adult who is reflecting back on being a seven year old boy trapped in a world around him he just couldn't explain. Neil Gaiman wrote this book in a narrative almost biographical style that made me have to keep telling myself, "This is fiction, nothing like this happens in the real world". I liked suspending reality a bit while I read this. I liked being amazed by the events unfolding around me.
This was a really good book, and I am so glad I read it. Eventually I will make it through more of Gaiman's writing. I would love to talk more about this book, but I'm not sure if I can do that without ruining some of the things that happen throughout this story. If my review has peaked your interest even a little I would encourage you to read this. I think it is worth it, and I am really glad I found the time to work this in. I am going to give this 4 out of 5 stars. There were a few things I would have liked a little more explanation about which might have bumped this to all 5 stars. Still a great book though.