When you read a story that will stick with you forever, you’ll know right from the beginning. After the first chapter, the first page, the first line even. „The Ocean At The End Of The Lane“ is such a book.
When I put it down, I wanted to start reading it all over again. Which is weird for me, usually I want the story to continue, to learn more about the characters and the world. But this time, I just wanted to read this story again, over and over again.
Everyone kind of just knows that Neil Gaiman is a great fantasy author, whether you have read a book of him or not. I had not. But I watched him read from some of his books a few times (only on YouTube of course) and Neil Gaiman is a person you never forget. I urge you, if you pick up a book of him for the first time, and you have never heard him speak before, watch a video on YouTube of him reading, maybe even reading from the book you are about to start (or maybe you want to hear him read Green Eggs and Ham for charity, which is maybe the best thing on the internet ever). He has a voice that will stick with you throughout the book. His voice in writing makes his story teller voice come alive, he will read the book to you in your mind (to me this makes sense, I hope to you too).
I hope you haven’t stopped reading above on the word fantasy, because „The Ocean At The End Of The Lane“ isn’t just fantasy. In fact, in the beginning I thought it wasn’t fantasy at all, and in the end I’m still not sure. The story is, something different. Incredibly different. While there are fantasy elements, it’s all told from a point of view of a little boy who loves books. Do you remember how you thought a teacher you didn’t like was an alien, or how that girl you liked seemed so magical? What if they were?