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

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

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I didn’t really love The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I liked it though, and that’s something. Despite all of the unreality and magic, much of the book struck me as memory worship, of the Dandelion Wine variety. That sort of thing has only ever taken me so far.

That said, I really enjoyed approaching the book as an allegory. I can see Gaiman’s antagonists so clearly in my own life, and I don’t just mean the petty and thoughtlessly cruel adults we all encounter. I am referring to the ridiculous grown-up notions and pursuits that sometimes motivate me as well (and I’m not so sure the Hemstocks, or even Tom Bombadil, can save one from oneself). However, at some point the book stopped offering anything thematically new. After that, I bored of the action and sort of waited for things to all sort out.

It also felt enough like a kids book that the more adult content stuck out sore. And there were some truly harsh scenes that I’ll never be old enough to handle. I liked it though, mostly.

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