The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Neil Gaiman is one of our most brilliant, prolific and varied authors, producing children’s books, adult books, graphic novels and screenplays. In his latest adult novel, he returns to his hometown to deliver a eulogy and decides to take a walk afterward. He walks into his past as a 7-year-old boy, but living a very different story involving a family consisting of a crone, a housewife, and an 11-year-old girl named Lettie. Like the Celtic triple goddess, the three protect the earth from malevolent beings. Tremendous chaos and adventure ensue as the lonely little boy’s special friend Lettie provides the courage he otherwise lacks. One gets the sense that Gaiman was a lonely and rather odd little boy who spent most of his time with a book in hand and a cat on his lap (one of my own favorite preoccupations). I listened to this book on a long road trip and the miles just flew by. I recommend that format because of Gaiman’s childish, querulous voice. I would start listing his many awards, but would spend half the review doing so. Top shelf!