Wednesday, October 16, 2013

A short Book review - The Ocean at the end of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Got so motivated by our fellow bibliophiles in Infosys, that I finished, for the first time in my life, a novel in a day. And the novel I got was "The ocean at the end of the lane" by Neil Gaiman. Here are some of my views.


Have you read any of Neil Gaiman Books?


If answer is No - Get "The ocean at the end of the lane" , read through, enjoy every bit of it, and become a fan J. It is a very good book to get introduced to Neil Gaiman. It is "his" type of story telling.


If Answer is Yes - Well, it is an average book, should have been a short story. (at the end of the book, author does express that it started as a short story)


My views on the book

A couple of years back, a friend introduced me to science fiction and I was too reluctant to read anything from that genre. I thought it would be too boring and shallow to read anything in that genre. Then he said, "Wait why don't you start with something that can transition you from normal fiction to science fiction – say Fantasy". And he knew that the best book to start with would be American Gods. So over last 2 years I have read 3 books from Neil Gaiman – American Gods, Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile thing. One thing is for sure, the day you read Neil Gaiman, you know you have not read anyone like him before. Same goes with "The ocean at the end of the ocean as well", but if you have read him, your expectations from his works are sky high.


***little spoilers to make it interesting ****


Ocean at the end of the lane is a story about a 7 year old boy who is also the narrator. An unfortunate incident of death a miner in the car of narrator's father, at the end of the lane, takes him there. At the end of the lane is a house, where a Hempstocks live. Lettie Hempstock, who calls her pond an ocean and her Grandmother, who has seen the big bang, and was there when the moon was formed. The kids become friends and venture into unforeseen.


*** Spolier over****


The book reads almost like a nightmare; A grippingly told nightmare. Things happen, anything can happen, and you wade your ways through a fantastical world. A world where you will come across huge deadly creatures and beautiful monsters. An adult fantasy novel with a kid as a central character, has a trademark style of Gaiman. Where the picture he paints suck you in slowly. You root for the character as soon as you start knowing him. There are parallel worlds and people from those worlds who makes the story interesting. The story is written in a style that reminds you of books you read as a child – short sentences: crisp and active.


What it lacked in my view was depth. American Gods was a concept that I will never forget in my life. Every character had depth and was not just the actions it did. Same with his other 2 short story collection that I read. There are layers, and every layer has an in-depth detailing of philosophy, psychology and actions of the character. I missed that in this book. But nevertheless it is a good quick read.


No comments:

AddMe - Search Engine Optimization