Best. Book. Of. Ever. The End.
You are going to see a lot of reviews like this over the next few days and weeks and months about The Ocean at The End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and here are some of the reasons.
- It's got a gorgeous cover and a mysterious title which hopefully means lots of readers will pick it up and give it a try. If they do, they're probably going to love it.
- It isn't a long book, only 178 pages, so it's easy to get through in an afternoon or evening. Many readers will do just that. I finished it less than twelve hours after it landed on my door step. It would have been sooner if I hadn't had to eat or take care of my child.
- It's a perfectly-paced, imaginative, slightly-dark tale full of beauty and wonder, sadness and love. Pretty much, it's a perfect Neil Gaiman story. It's also just a perfect story.
- It's a great entry novel for readers who haven't tried Gaiman before. It's easy but incredibly deep -- kind of like Lettie Hempstock's ocean (which you'll have to read the book to find out about).
I could go on about characters without names, opals, kittens, water and shadows but those are just details, bits of the story. The perfection of the tale is how Gaiman brings it all together, holding the reader's hand through nostalgia, comfort, sadness, fear and forgetfulness. So when you see the positive, gushing reviews, let them lead you to your local indie bookstore where you can pick up a copy.
Starting back at the beginning,