odelia reviews: the ocean at the end of the lane by neil gaiman

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Neil Gaiman
★★★★ (4.39)

(old review)

“I do not miss childhood, but I miss the way I took pleasure in small things, even as greater things crumbled. I could not control the world I was in, could not walk away from things or people or moments that hurt, but I took joy in the things that made me happy.”

You know that feeling. Watching a good movie – maybe one that you cried in – then suddenly, it ends. Now, you have to face the bitter truth of reality: That things don’t last.

It’s like this book. I thought I would be forever lost in this town with the Hempstocks and the small yet fascinating world with its oceans and fleas. But alas, nothing really lasts. And it’s hard to accept that. But as I finished this book, I can’t help but feel: yes, the story did end. But it also stopped living in those ruffled pages and came to rest in my heart, as stories always do.

Sentimental? Yeah, I know.

I just love Neil Gaiman’s books so much. His writing is magical. It hooks you until your eyes are squinted from reading too much. Being a writer, reading his writing style makes me want to jump up and down with happiness and glare in jealousy. But I didn’t do the latter part. I couldn’t. His books are too amazing. (But I did do the first one. Multiple times)

(Usually, this is the time wherein I would quote something in his book that has amazing writing. But if I do that, I’ll write the whole book.)

I didn’t know this was fantasy. So when things suddenly started flying, I was confused as fudge. So a reminder: This is fantasy.

It’s hard to find a stand-alone fantasy book. It’s even harder to find a 180 paged one. See, Neil Gaiman has talent. Amazing, practiced, extraordinary, exceptional talent. My self-esteem has literally flown out the window.

And have you ever noticed that the main character has no name?! AND I DIDN’T EVEN NOTICE THAT UNTIL HALFWAY OF THE BOOK.

Now, let me leave you with some of his quotes.

“I lived in books more than I lived anywhere else.”

“Nobody looks like what they really are on the inside. You don’t. I don’t. People are much more complicated than that. It’s true of everybody.”

“Monsters come in all shapes and sizes, Some of them are things people are scared of. Some of them are things that look like things people used to be scared of a long time ago. Sometimes monsters are things people should be scared of, but they aren’t.”

“Nothing’s ever the same,” she said. “Be it a second later or a hundred years. It’s always churning and roiling. And people change as much as oceans.”

“Be boring, knowing everything.”

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