Saturday, August 31
Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Author: Neil Gailman
Summary: 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 touch paper 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.
My Rating: 4.5/10
What I liked/disliked about the book: If you like dark and twisted, then this is the right book to read. Dark and twisted, is something I occasionally find well worth reading, but this particular book wasn't one I could say I enjoyed. While it had an original story, I didn't find it came together properly and I didn't get this fantastical world the author created. For a while I was hoping the author was leading down a certain path, but by the time the book ended, it didn't work out that way and left me fairly confused.
There were some morbid bits throughout the book, you have to give the author credit, he knows how to make things dark, twisted and completely creep out the reader. From the setting, atmosphere to the descriptions of certain scenes, he is good at making things very creepy. For some scenes in this book, that was no exception - as there are a few in the book that just induced shivers, while others caused you to hold your breath. With that being said, while the author did create an excellent reading atmosphere, I was often not interested in the book, because I didn't like the overall story. I didn't feel it came together and most of the time I felt it just didn't make much sense. Events that were happening didn't link together - even for a fantasy book nothing seemed to have a reason or a proper connection to how everything should come together. Because of this, it was not exactly a story that I could get into. There wasn't a character I could like, and I didn't feel like I ever got to know any of the characters, the plot never did much for me, except give me the creep factor and overall I often found I was disinterested in the story. I also don't get the hype around the book, because after reading it, I was left somewhat disappointed. Perhaps I missed the mark on this one, but it wasn't a book I enjoyed.
Would I recommend it to read: I'm not sure on this one. It didn't live up to the hype, and while it's dark and twisted, it isn't a book I'd recommend to read - it just didn't come together.
What to read next: I'd read something else by the author, I enjoyed Neverwhere, but this one seems closer to Coralline (which I haven't read, but I have seen the movie and the book seems to have that same twisted feel to it.)
Challenges: 100 Books Challenge, Alphabet Challenge