Author : Neil Gaiman
Narrator : Neil Gaiman
Publisher : Harper Audio
Genre : Fantasy
Summary : A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie – magical, comforting, wise beyond her years – promised to protect him, no matter what.
My first experience with Neil Gaiman, American gods, left me with a sort of bad taste in my mouth. I dropped it midway and haven’t picked it up since. But that resulted in the terrible assumption that I would dislike all his books. Then one day Coraline came to mind. A friend posted a four star rating for it on goodreads and I checked it out. I haven’t read it yet but a few other friends who have the same reading tastes as me loved that book. So I carefully went through their reading list and picked up this one which was snugly nestled among their ‘five star reviews’ lists and ‘favourite’ lists.
Neil Gaiman narrates this book himself making it a much more magical experience. I did not expect his voice to sound so pleasant. I did not, honestly. But the English accent with the gentleness of his voice lent a beautiful sound to the 7 year old protagonist of The Ocean At The End Of The Lane. He even does a great Ursula Monkton. And Lettie. The story itself is masterful, YA fantasy at its scary best. I did not notice any pauses, I did not wish it was different anywhere in the middle; I did not put the book down except for the day there was an all-day power cut because I didn’t want a dead phone.
I loved it so much that I’ve decided to check if he has narrated any of his other books and get my hands on them. I think Neverwhere or Stardust will be the first on my list.
Do listen to this book, it takes hardly any time but leaves you feeling sad and glad and desperately wanting a little black kitten with a white ear. I gave it four stars, simply because I wish it had ended with Lettie……. Well. I won’t spoil it for you. Go listen to it. Or read it.
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