Reviewed by Logan Curtiss
Ocean of secrets
The Ocean at The End of The Lane, by Neil Gaiman. Published by William Morrow and Company on June 8th, 2013. Fiction, but gives off a very sci-fi like feel. The setting is Sussex England, and does not fall along a certain given time, but is somewhat modern. The main character is the narrator, in which you never find out the name of. The narrator goes to a spot from his childhood as an adult, and it sparks a memory from his younger years that has become tucked away and forgotten in his mind and he slowly unfolds it. As he remembers, strange and well exaggerated things happen that would seem to only be produced by the mind of a child.
The most favorable character is Lettie. Unlike most people, she’s very kind, caring, and has the biggest heart. Lettie sticks by the narrator through most of what he goes through and is always there to comfort him and help. When the narrator is on the verge of dying Lettie sacrifices her life for his. Most of the characters as well as events are extremely dark and gloomy. There are various scary occasions that give view to the author in a creepy way, such as the main character almost dying from being drowned by his own father in their own bath tub, at the age of only seven years old.
The central conflict is someone quite mysterious and unknown, yet so close to everyone. This person is unknown to be evil by the rest of the family because she has seduced and been favored by the narrator's sister, and had affairs with the narrator's father. The narrator hears voices in his head and starts to believe he is crazy. Peculiarly, afterward and during this time, many horrible things happen to Lettie and the narrator, that they are not aware of the reasons behind. The narrator figures out that someone named Ursula Monkton, has been using his body as gateway into their world. Lettie fends for him but has no idea of how to help. Until these evil creatures called hunger birds arrive and want to eat Ursula Monkton, because she has committed various crimes from where she was from. Lettie sees them as way to resolve the conflict. If Ursula is eaten then the (protagonist), the narrator, will have his heart and soul destroyed as well. The main character does not want to die and this leaves the hunger birds growing angry. Out of frustration the hunger birds threaten to eat their world and the narrator decide to sacrifice his own life. As they are about to feast on his flesh, Lettie jumps in front of him and gets badly injured. The birds notice their mistake, and then go for Ursula.
A well fitted central theme for this book could be point of view. The main character flashes back to his childhood days and reviews his memories with horribly strong exaggeration and detail. If he were to be a child at first and have a flash forward of the same memories, the book would be looked upon differently by the reader because of the point of view and mindset that the book is written like. Universally this theme fits because everyone has their own specific view on something that is genuinely different from all others. From planting the seed of the book with the protagonist being an adult, to having inflated memories of the past, allows two different perspectives to be seen. "Grownups don't look like grown-ups on the inside either. Outside, they're big and thoughtless and they always know what they're doing. Inside, they look just like they always have." (112).The theme point of view is presented here and is said from the view of a child, showing what he thinks about adults. As where adults could have different views toward children.
This read is mildly entertaining and keeps your eyes on the pages because of a stirring and terrifying line of events. For keeping my attention, yet making me repulsed with inflated phenomenon, this should receive 3 out of 5 stars. This piece is recommended to be read by people who are interested in very fast paced books that try and strive for prolonged plot. If you have read and enjoyed this book you should check out, “The Book Graveyard”, or, “American Gods”, by Neil Gaiman as well. Thank you for reading my overview of, “The Ocean at The End of The Lane”.
Gaiman, Neil. The Ocean at the End of The Lane. New York: Manhattan, 2013. Print.
n.p. Wisdom and Knowledge Quotes. Shmoop.com. Ocean at The End of The Lane, Shmoop University, n.d. 2016. Web. 15 May 2016.