neil gaiman

Book Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman – Published April 10th 2014 by Headline Review (Hachette)

This was everything you’d expect from Neil Gaiman: oddly fascinating, mildly disturbing, and utterly fantastic.
Our narrator – who remains unnamed throughout the entire book – gives his account of a peculiar childhood, where monsters are real and reality can literally be torn away. At seven, he meets a girl from down the lane, Lettie. She introduces him to a world of magic and wonder, taking him into a mystical wood full of strange creatures. It’s here that our narrator acquires a rather unique kind of hitchhiker, who makes itself at home inside his foot. This horrific creature wreaks havoc on our young narrator, who must find a way to banish it – with the help of Lettie, of course.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was captivating, with a strangely poetic feel to it. It certainly was a unique adult fantasy tale. Somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stars from me!

Book Review: Coraline


Coraline by Neil Gaiman – Hardback, first edition, 171 pages – Published August 5th 2002 by Bloomsbury

I’m sure you’re all familiar with the film based on this book, so I won’t go into too much detail right now. But as is often the case, I definitely enjoyed the book more than the movie!

So Coraline has moved into a new flat with her parents, who are both rather disinterested with her. She likes to explore, and she ends up in the grasp of “the other mother” in some strange parallel world. Upon trying to escape the other mother, Coraline’s parents are taken instead. So Coraline must find and save her parents in order to escape – as well as the souls of other children the creature has taken.

This has a rather nonsensical feel to it, not unlike the works of Lewis Carroll. But it also has an edge to it, that gives the illusion of a Tim Burton creation. I think I would have enjoyed it just that bit more had I read it when I was just a few years younger, but even so, this book came very close to being one of my favourites!

I never would have even thought about reading it if it hadn’t been chosen as a “book of the month” on Goodreads, but I am really happy that I did. It’s a very short read, but it’s so mysterious and creepy and just wonderful! I definitely want to take a look at some of Neil Gaiman’s other books now. 4.5 stars for Coraline.