Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Truth is, there aren't any grown-ups. Not one, in the whole wide world.

Why I read this book

Books were safer than other people anyway.

As I mentioned on the Good Omens review, I wanted to read a book by Neil Gaiman. I heard a lot of talk about this book and the moment it became available on OverDrive I snatched a copy.

What the book is about

The book tells us the fantastical story of a young boy that is confronted with very old magic; through it a lot of his childhood believes (in the world, in their parents in himself). Through his friendship with a "weird" girl and her family, he will encounter situations that will mark him for life...even if he can't remember them.

First impressions

I have to say, I was not expecting to be terrified to continue reading this book. I don't know who Gaiman does it, but the magic in this book is frightening. I'm used to getting this feeling with Stephen King, that need to look over your shoulder while you are reading, but I was not expecting this in a book marketed as fantasy, albeit I realize that was naive of me. This is not a bad thing mind you, the feeling I just described is accompanied with the eagerness to know what is going to happen next.

Final thoughts

I liked this book, very much. Even though I was not expecting a suspense fantasy story I loved the build up that the author uses to make you want to turn pages and at the same time fear doing so. The mythology constructed by Gaiman for this book takes (I feel) a lot of items from Nordic or Celtic fairy tales and it is easy to follow and give the characters a place in my head, without placing them fully according to a definite history.

The creepiness of the story comes not only from descriptions (the foot, oh dear heaven, the foot) but also from the fact that at a certain point you start feeling like you are the protagonist and then the angst of being seven years old again.

I loved that the main character is a bookish kid, but off course this is me feeling identified with him, which off course never hurts.

I didn't love it simply because there were a bit of strings hanging at the end (will not discuss them to avoid spoilers).

I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else

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