Saturday, March 22, 2014
Magic and loss, loneliness and escape
Title: The ocean at the end of the lane
By: Neil Gaiman
On impulse, I downloaded the new Neil Gaiman book from OneClick Digital onto my iPhone (ah, technology, you great multifaceted beast!). I was delighted to learn that the author was also the narrator, and this audiobook would not proffer any misrepresentations of tone or misinterpretations of characters. If anyone could get this right, it was Gaiman himself. My fears abated, I listened to a story of magic and loss, of loneliness and escape.
Neil Gaiman is a masterful storyteller, both in print and audio (he does some fantastic voices), and you can tell he really loves and understands his characters. Lettie Hempstock was my favorite: she was so wise and mysterious, just the kind of older kid you would've followed to the ends of the earth--or possibly into another dimension--to remove evil from this earth (no big deal). And the villain, one Ursula Monkton, is so vile, so nefarious, that you cannot imagine anything more horrifying to a seven year-old boy. It’s a quick read (listen), almost too short, and you’re left wanting more time with the characters. If you have a long drive coming up, I highly recommend the audiobook. But, if you prefer to provide your own voices, there’s nothing better than reading a SciFi book by Neil Gaiman.