Thoughts on Neil Gaiman’s “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”

"The Ocean at the End of the Lane" by Neil Gaiman

“The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
by Neil Gaiman

Reading Neil Gaiman has always been something special for me. All of his books have had a meaningful impact on me.  He’s a storyteller so different from anything I’ve ever read or aspired to be.  There is no one like him.  There are no books like his.

“American Gods” showed me that it’s possible for someone to write a book bigger than what I knew a book could be.  “Good Omens” still rattles around in my chest joyously like a flitting bird.  “Stardust” lets me know that it’s okay for adults to wish desperately for fairy tales to be real.

So, obviously you can imagine my excitement to read his latest novel, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane.”  However, I had no idea that it would be so lovely.

I won’t critique it the way ‘book critics’ have been doing it.  I’ll just say that it is simple, and sad, and terribly beautiful.

When I was a child I knew, in my heart, I could be anything at all.  Not in the sense that I could be a surgeon or a sword-swallower but in the sense that I could travel the universe, or discover other universes, or even make my own if I tried hard enough.

Gaiman’s latest novel makes me realize that, as a child, I was probably more right than I have ever been as an adult.

My soul is from elsewhere. I’m not sure exactly where but I intend that it make its way back there.