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Synopsis

A major new work from "a writer to make readers rejoice" (Minneapolis Star Tribune)—a moving story of memory, magic, and survival

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, 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, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.

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 and resonated in unimaginable ways. 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.

A groundbreaking work from a master, The Ocean at the End of the Lane is told with a rare understanding of all that makes us human, and shows the power of stories to reveal and shelter us from the darkness inside and out. It is a stirring, terrifying, and elegiac fable as delicate as a butterfly's wing and as menacing as a knife in the dark.

Book Reviews

The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Average rating
4.1 / 5
Magical Mystery
November 26th, 2015
Not what I expected, but read it cover to cover in a day. I felt like i was enchanted right alongside the characters.
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1 review
Good, but confusing
October 15th, 2015
The book was quite good, sometimes it was scary, sometimes it was nice, for me near the end it was a bit confusng. I think there was something to do with time traveltme chanve/fixing
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1 review
Interesting and confusing
October 11th, 2015
I read this book as a book club choice so it's not my usual genre but I found it so interesting until the end where it gets a little confusing. Overall though it was a good read.
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1 review
Not for me
August 22nd, 2015
I have read a few Neil Gaiman books because they come highly recommended, but I have to admit that I am not a huge fan. I don't really love his stories or characters.
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1 review
The Ocean At The End Of The Lane
January 3rd, 2015
Very imaginative and visually captivating. I was completely engrossed and stunned by the creativity.
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1 review
Dont start it on a week night
January 1st, 2015
I couldn't put it down. It starts off a little bit slow but quickly grabs you and pulls you along for a great adventure. Mr. Gaiman is one of very few writers that can write a book that makes me forget about everything I have going on in my life as I get swept into the lives of the characters. If you like this one check out American Gods.
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1 review
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
December 20th, 2014
I guess I just didn't "get it" but I thought this book was pretty pointless and not at all "captivating" and "mesmerizing"
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1 review
Interesting and imaginative
November 14th, 2014
I liked how this novel tied into Gaiman's existing Hempstead mythology - I enjoy oeuvre-wide arcs like Gaiman often does. Ursula is frightening villain - the storm scene is particularly memorable. Overall this book had the feeling of a good Diana Wynne Jones novel.
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1 review
Very good Gaimam
November 4th, 2014
Has all the elements of a good Neil Gaiman novel. A good blend of reality and mythology overlaid on a captivating plot.
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1 review
Great Book
October 7th, 2014
Always enjoy my travels my escapes when reading Neil Gaiman. This book this journey is worth the time. Enjoy.
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1 review
Ms. Page Turner
September 17th, 2014
Imaginative, real, haunting, strangely comforting and disturbing the Ocean at the End of the Lane makes you want to chase elusive memories with serious effort. Who knows where they might lead? A story that sweeps you away to a world of horrors and warm custard.
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1 review
The ocean at the end of the lane.
September 2nd, 2014
Was expecting great things from this book! Was looking forward to reading it. Started ok, did not like the middle. A little cheesy. I'd recommend the book for sure. I know plenty of people who would very much enjoy it. Short.. finished it in a day.
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1 review
Great
July 10th, 2014
Quick and fun
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1 review
Ocean at the End of the Lane
July 8th, 2014
Great read. Fast paced and magical.
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1 review
Great read
July 7th, 2014
Couldn't put it down, very different!
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1 review
Wendy
May 26th, 2014
Strange and fantastic and you can do it in this message. always sunny weather in this message to get to a great day.
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1 review
Love it
April 28th, 2014
Took a day to read but I was so engrossed I couldn't put it down
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1 review
Surprise!
March 2nd, 2014
I didn't expect anyhing like this book! The title reveals nothing and I certainly didn't expect something like this. Really an interesting book!!
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1 review
<3
February 9th, 2014
Beautiful, just like anything Neil Gaiman writes.
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1 review
February 8th, 2014
I liked this book because its different from the books I typically read. I found the story was engaging and made me want to read more. I would have liked the book to be a bit longer and found some pieces to be left unresolved, not sure if that was intentional for conversation purposes or not, but I prefer everything to be wrapped up with a bow.
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1 review
February 8th, 2014
There is, maybe, somewhere in rural Sussex a house, country lane and a farm and the end of it. And beyond farm there, maybe, is a duck pond which a girl once called ocean. What is certain, is that all of it, and more, really comes to life in latest book of Neil Gaiman (second to latest in fact, he just Publisher another one before I got round to read Ocean at the end of lane). As Gaiman’s works go, this book starts in surprisingly real, almost mundane and most of all tangible world. It is not a bad thing, I must say, but just bit surprising. On second thought maybe not so much, when we are looking at the world through eyes of seven year old boy. No wonder we can almost taste those burned toasts. Story get darker very soon: declining family fortunes, strains in marriage and perhaps even moment of abuse verging on murder. By then however we are already entering one of those world which Gaiman builds with his narrative. We again, sometimes with tightly held breath, enter that boundary zone between dream, nightmare and myth and walk on the edge between perceptiveness, rapture and madness. And when go through, across the worlds, through bucket into ocean and out of a pond, through fear, decision and sacrifice we end at back of old farmhouse, where perhaps not only former seven year old boy, now man in his forties, remembers again, siting on old bench by the duck pond. And as he starts his car to finally leave the story a return to his family we close this book still with a bit of distant look in our eyes , saying: Well, Gaiman did it well. Again.
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1 review
It was great.
January 28th, 2014
I enjoyed it.
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1 review
January 26th, 2014
A reflection of time spent as a small boy in the company of an unusual family at a neighbouring property, told by the adult many years later who appears to have been drawn back to the land and the three generations of women living there over and over again. As he tries to reconcile the events that took place, attempting to understand the impact of this family on himself, his own mother, father and sister, he creates a a visual of the mystical powers of of these women that is disturbing and dark.
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1 review
January 25th, 2014
This is a very interesting book. It is quite different. If you like fantasy, magic, supernatural, you would like this book. I wish that the book was longer though. Also the book ending is a bit disappointing, but still a good read.
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1 review
The ocean at the end of the lane
January 24th, 2014
Very well written in the voice of a little boy, this is not, however, a children's book. It is very frightening, whimsical and wise. The nameless boy meets a neighbour family, who completely change his reality. The women give him warmth and love and a sense of the mystery of life, in an otherwise stark world.
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Imaginative. Captivating. Wonderful character development. Doesn't disappoint. I have a good feeling about a sequel. I do hope I'm correct :)
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1 review
January 23rd, 2014
Not what I expected after reading the preview. More fantasy than I normally prefer but kept me reading. Some aspects I found chilling and absorbing. I will look for this author again
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1 review
January 2nd, 2014
More fantasy than I expected but an entertaining read that is original and holds your interest until the end.
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1 review
Fantastic Story!
December 30th, 2013
Totally recommend this novel. It was an interesting read :)
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1 review
Ocean at the end of the lane
December 7th, 2013
Just not what I expected.
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1 review
Strange but enchanting
November 30th, 2013
It took me a few chapters to get into the story and lose myself in the mystery and ambiguity of it all, but once you lose yourself in the fantastical and dark plot you almost feel like a kid again, reading a story that violates logic but makes sense just the same.
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1 review
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
November 20th, 2013
I can't get enough Neil Gaiman and this book was certainly no exception; just absolutely phenomenal and the perfect amount of creepy. One of the things I love most about Neil's writing is how personal his books always seem, like there's a very real part of himself in every book. This is something I've yet to encounter in any other fantasy author's work, but Ocean felt like that a thousand fold, as if Neil was right here telling me a story of his actual childhood. I can't recommend this book enough.
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1 review
3 of 3 people found this helpful
November 7th, 2013
I am still thinking about this story months after I finished the book. I have recommended it to many others. Such a wonderful rich and remarkably vivid story. Gaiman is such an excellent writer but with this book, he shows a softer side of his story telling.
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1 review
November 2nd, 2013
A book that makes you examine who the monsters and saviors of childhood really are, and do we ever really grow up?
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1 review
November 2nd, 2013
I found this a rather strange book. Easy enough and interesting enough to keep reading but overall, I did not like it that much.
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1 review
November 2nd, 2013
I was so excited to read this book. I had put myself on the waitlist at my library and waited months for it. When it came in, I started reading right away, thinking it was going to be a really good story. It was... in the beginning. Then, it turned sort of fantastical and I found it to be a cross between a children's fantasy book and an adult story. Personally, I didn't care for it and have found all the hype to be a letdown. I've never read anything by this author before, so I guess I'm missing something.
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1 review
A Dreamlike Masterpiece
October 27th, 2013
Masterfully written and evocative. The nostalgia of youth, weaponized into nightmare. Riveting!
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1 review
I can't swim
October 21st, 2013
I'd like to have the adventures the young man has in this book. The first few chapters I almost gave up on finishing the book but I gave it one more chance and that days reading and the rest of the book is nothing short of fantastic and the chapters I didn't like I changed my mind once I realized I loved this book! I can't swim-almost drowned when I was about 7 in the ocean. I Stay away from beaches like they are prisons, this book makes me regret all that and makes me want to put my feet in...
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1 review
October 20th, 2013
Fantastic mind bending novel, beautifully told, offering a wonderful view of middle-aged man's memories of his mystical childhood adventures.
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1 review
Nice read!
October 18th, 2013
A fantastic fairy tale for adults :)
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1 review
October 16th, 2013
A wonderfully lyrical and magical story of childhood terrors, rescue and sacrifice that works on many levels - as fantasy, as philosophy, as allegory. A glimpse into the darkness, the infinite and the unknown as only a child can understand. Loved it. Elaine
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1 review
October 10th, 2013
As much disturbing as it is fascinating, The Ocean at the End of the Road is a great book. I'd strongly recommend it. A roller coaster ride of a book that is near impossible to put down!
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1 review
October 8th, 2013
I am a lover of Neil Gaiman - there is something in his writing which, for lack of a better word, sparkles. For me, this book was a sharp departure from that. While filled with his usual air of mystery and depth, I found this book wearing, grinding, dragging. It couldn't have been so hopeless and depressing if it wasn't so well written, but I will never crack this open again. It is the story of the loss of innocence, the hopeless mindless pointlessness of life, and I just can't walk down that road again, to the house at the end of the lane, with the ocean that goes nowhere in the pond in the backyard.
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1 review
October 7th, 2013
Wow. Such a wonderful book. It is beautiful, scary, creepy, and unusual, all wrapped in a sweet package of under 200 pages. This was the second book I have recently that made me think of Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones, the other book being Among Others by Jo Walton. Not that these three books have similar stories, because they don't necessarily, but they do share similar elements. In Among Others, it was the importance of the books and stories read and treasured by the protagonist. In The Ocean at the End of the Lane, it is the strong and sensual yet repelling and frightening female character that terrorizes the protagonist. All three books share that sense of an old and hidden world beyond usual human understanding that contains both the potential for great evil and also for great truth and beauty. It would be impossible to describe all the elements neatly contained with Neil Gaiman's book except to say that they are many and varied. I think I will probably have to read this book a few times to really get a good hold on them.
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1 review
October 4th, 2013
This book is every book lovers dream. Whenever you are lost there is always a place where you can go back and remember. For those who are starting a new chapter in their lives this book is a good place to start. Just when you think you know what is going on, you realize you don't have a clue.
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1 review
September 9th, 2013
The title caught my eye! I am not a reader of this genre(at All!!) My daughters, both avid readers of this author , were astonished that I was reading this book...and rightly so! As I progressed I kept asking myself- why am I reading this?? So Neil Gaiman will not be on my Favorite list,though the book was well written,I do not enjoy the Unreal! I would somewhat compare him to the Barbara Vine books I have read,with the added twist of the fantastical / better to be left with a "what if", rather than a "no way"!
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1 review
Remembering the scary
August 27th, 2013
Do you remember being a child where fantacy and reality blurred and you thought if you looked sideways you might see that your techer was really a witch? Read this story and it will take you back to the time a when you were not quite sure what was real or in your imagination.
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1 review
Ocean at the end of the lane
August 19th, 2013
It took a while to get into this book, but it was good after I got going.
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2 reviews
Ocean at the end of the lane
August 19th, 2013
It took a while to get into this book, but it was good after I got going.
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2 reviews
Felt autobiographical
August 19th, 2013
Glorifying memories of good & bad experiences happens to us all to keep us going. NG personified that for us w this 1.
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1 review
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
August 16th, 2013
Pure magic! A story that is suspenseful, brave, wise, and about things that aren't.
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1 review
I wish I knew the Hempstocks
August 13th, 2013
As usual, Neil Gaiman did not disappoint. The words coupled with your imagination can make the story seem real. There was a part in the book where i had to close it because i was really scared. Great read. A novel that I will read over and over again.
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1 review
The Ocean at the End of the Lane
August 13th, 2013
Too short by half - I wanted the story to continue, or the Hempsteads to pop up in another book!
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1 review
Wow
August 7th, 2013
Before I read this book I read that it was a story of a boy finding himself, a coming of age tale. It's something different. This book entertained me like no other. It entertained me like the books I read when I was a small boy. At that time books were uncomplicated and fascinating. They were things to read because I loved to read them, they took me away to faraway places and made me dream of bigger things of things that would never be but if things that were wonderful. This book did exactly that. I was brought back to my childhood when I read because I wanted nothing more than to be entertained. It is a magical book that is so much fairytale that it will be remembered forever. Absolutely wonderful and I enjoyed every second of reading it. It's a book I will pass down to my daughter.
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1 review
Wow
July 30th, 2013
What an amazing read!
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1 review
Good Gaiman!
July 20th, 2013
Love this guys work since The Sandman for DC Vertigo. This is like a fantasy/horror fairy tale for adults. It's good and will only take a few hours to finish, worth the time.
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1 review
Great read
July 14th, 2013
Read it in one day. A little weak at the end but the first two thirds of the book made up for it.
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1 review
A Great Story and Pretty Dark
July 14th, 2013
It's nice to read a good story where writing sees an imagination run rampant. Creativity is a sunken treasure chest. Imagination only lets you see what's inside.
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1 review
Loved this book
July 11th, 2013
Real Neil Gaiman. British style, good language and dark aura of mystery and unexplainable.
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1 review
The ocean at the end of the lane
July 11th, 2013
Wow Wow. Great read
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1 review
Awesome
July 5th, 2013
Couldn't put it down
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1 review
1 person found this helpful
My first Neil Gaiman book.
July 5th, 2013
But not the last.
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1 review
The Ocean At The End of The Lane
June 28th, 2013
Despite glimpses of the great book it could've been, the narrative was uneven. Full review to come later.
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1 review
Awesome
June 20th, 2013
I can't get enough!
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1 review

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