The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman is about a forty year old who, upon attending a funeral remembers parts of his childhood which he had forgotten. Supernatural parts!
WHY I PICKED IT UP:
I’ve been a fan of some of Gaiman’s other novels and I know him to be a talented writer. That said, despite his talent I’ve been stung by his words as well—Story Time!
Last year, my fiancée, Julie, was reading American Gods, another of Gaiman’s works, and sometimes before bed I would read it to her. She kept swearing it was a decent book, except everytime I read it to her, I would end up reading some bizarre sex scene with a gay genie and a Muslim, or some boring vignette about how leprechauns mated with early American housewives. Julie assured me these things had nothing to do with the narrative, but my bad luck was uncanny because I almost never got to read her any of the narrative.
Anyway, tangent aside, Gaiman has both entranced and alienated me at separate times and I want to see what his latest has in store.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED:
I read to the end of the sample (which is ridiculously short) and decided to pick up the book. I haven’t actually STOPPED-stopped reading, but I haven’t made time to go grab a print copy and keep reading.
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING:
Gaiman is a true craftsman and it shows in this novel’s opening; his writing is excellent. He creates the mood and uses tiny hooks flawlessly to get us sucked into our main character’s world. It moves a little slowly at times, though—I felt myself getting distracted by the outside world once or twice in the first chapter, but it was brief and I kept going.
Not only was the sample was far too short at 14 pages, but also resolved the last tiny hook Gaiman planted, taking away the tension.
Gaiman’s skill speaks for itself and this book’s opening is great. Though the sample is too short to let you know whether you wanna buy it, Gaiman’s banking on his reputation to score sales. I’m gonna check a print copy in store to make my final call.
As always, tell me what you think about Gaiman’s work. Did you buy it after the sample? Leave a comment and let me know!