The entire time I read this book I heard Neil Gaiman’s voice in my head – as if he were reading it to me. This may have been facilitated by the fact that he actually did read a portion of The Ocean at the End of the Lane to me and about 1500 others while sitting in the lovely Majestic Theater in Dallas. (We sat, he stood.)
The event took place a few days before my before my birthday and I almost didn’t go. I am so very grateful to my friend Carly for agreeing to accompany me.
I haven’t actually read a lot of Neil Gaiman’s work, though I am familiar with a lot of it. Before going to the Reading I knew very little about (next to nothing) the new book.
Listening to Neil explain how this story came about; growing from a short story to a novelette, then a novella and finally a novel was very amusing. Learning that certain elements mirrored his own childhood also added a unique filter to reading the story.
The simplicity and complexity of this novel are stunning. Brilliant. I get tongue-tied when I try to talk about it.
Several days after I finished reading the book (and still thinking about it) I came across a review written by Patrick Rothfuss. As I read it I found myself nodding in agreement to every single word. Well, all but the part where he talks about not being able to quote his favorite line/passage. Mine is the the very last sentence on page 106:
But there was a kitten on my pillow, and it was purring in my face and vibrating gently with every purr, and, very soon, I slept.
I can’t explain it. And I really don’t want to dissect the reasons. I just know that at the moment of reading it I was affected and even made a note of it on GoodReads.
All I can say is – Thank you Neil, for sharing this unexpected novel with us.