Book Review: the Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

Nothing has beaten this book when it comes to giving me nightmares, and I read a lot.

I still feel the chills as I remember my time reading it. I remember putting it down due to not being able to continue; I was so scared to go on with the reading that I had to close it and take a break for a couple of days before returning to it.

I don’t think it has the same effects on others; however, just know that it leaves you feeling uneasy and a bit crept out.

I read this book in 2014, and I had trouble sleeping for a week.

I haven’t touched it in three years now, and I don’t think I am going to anytime soon.

Alright, enough of this, let’s get to the book.

The book starts with a middle aged man visiting a house by his childhood home, where a girl he once knew when he was a boy lived. He then started remembering his childhood.

The protagonist, whose name we don’t know, was a young boy who experienced a series of strange, unfortunate events. A man who rented a space in his house committed suicide in his father’s car, and when they discovered the body, the boy met a girl who lived nearby, Lettie.

Lettie seemed to know and understand everything, so when one day the boy woke up feeling a coin in his throat, he ran to Lettie for help. And Lettie helped him, but told him to not let go of her hand during the ritual, which he did.

Afterwards, he felt something poking him, and found a worm coming out from his foot.

The worm then transformed into a woman named Ursula, who became his nanny and started to control everything he was doing. She even seduced the boy’s father and won over his mother’s trust.

The boy wanted to get rid of Ursula and send her back to wherever she came from; he went to Lettie for help, and she agreed to help him get rid of the evil worm that came out from him.

As it turned out, Ursula was from another world, and she had made the boy her portal to enter his world.

Okay, I should not spoil anymore. This book always gives me this cold shiver, even just at the mention of its name. Someone can say, “Hey have you read the Ocean at the End of the Lane…” and I’d feel cold.

This book is brilliant. It is ridiculously icy. It has this tone, this mystery that keeps poking the readers until the end, and I couldn’t put it down the moment I started reading.

It took me onto this incredible journey, so believable and yet so out of this world, and I’d believe it if someone had told me that this was based on a true story. It scared the hell out of me as well, and that is how you know the book you’re reading is good.

Neil Gaiman’s game is strong. His writing style is intoxicating. And after reading this book, which was the first Gaiman book I’d ever read, I wanted more.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a 9/10 from me. I read it three times already by the way, despite it giving me the freezing cold feel.


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