Adults follow paths. Children explore
Exploration is what Neil Gaiman does in this wonderful story. He defies genre as you read through the eyes of a young seven year old boy. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is myth, metaphor, fairy tale, theoretical physics and a childhood memoir in equal parts. It’s about growing up and staying young. It’s about truth and truths, memories and happenstance.
Neil Gaiman captures the feelings and emotions of the seven year old perfectly. At the same time these emotions are filtered through the adult who is recalling, retelling and demythologising the events. The air of mystery and awe throughout, lures you into the magical, or should that be real, world that the young boy travels through.
The story explores the themes of personhood, self-worth and sacrifice. Traditional religious metaphors are conjured with and presented in fresh and unique perspectives. To look for a comparable work, one of the closest would probably be C.S.Lewis’ Narnia series, but Ocean isn’t a Judeo-christian reimagining.
This book should play with your feelings. As such, my truth would suggest the best review would tell you how I felt, well…
I smiled as I remembered, I felt awe as I was transported and I cried as I imagined who and what we could be.