I will admit that I simply like Neil Gaiman. I’ve read a few of his books, and if I see one I haven’t read yet in my local used book store, I will almost always buy it, knowing that I will enjoy the reading. Most people I know either *!!!LOVE!!!* Gaiman or they don’t like him at all, so I guess I am one of the rare few that sits firmly in the middle.
That being said, I quite enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane. It’s a short book, more of a novella really, though it is most definitely aimed at a more grown-up audience. Gaiman thrives in that misty world of childhood fantasy when parents appear confident of reality and children anticipate danger and misery around every corner.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane allows its un-named narrator to peer back into his past, to remember a time in his childhood when life presented shadowy forces, both good and malevolent, impacting his developing view of the world at large. Though his memories from this time are difficult to recall clearly, they remain emotionally charged and intensely felt, even as they shift and mutate in his mind’s eye.