Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Gaiman
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2018-03-16 23:48
Review: The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel - Neil Gaiman
This is a short book and simple enough to summarize: A man, returning to visit his childhood home in rural England, finds that the scenery evokes strange and perilous memories that couldn't possibly be real - about a supernatural attack on the neighborhood when he was seven years old, and the little girl who saved his life.
It's a beautifully-told, magic-infused tale that I couldn't quite love.
The problem I always have with Neil Gaiman's books is that they remind me of other books that I liked better. Books by Clive Barker or China Miéville or, in this case, Peter S. Beagle. There is a lot in The Ocean at the End of the Lane that reminds me of Beagle's Tamsin, but I loved that book wholly and completely while I... appreciated The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I'm still giving it four stars, because it is a lovely story. But I can never really immerse myself in Gaiman's books. There's something that feels artificial about them, like I can see the wires manipulating the marionettes. It's hard to describe, and I know this is a minority opinion.
I just wanted more from The Ocean at the End of the Lane, like I wanted more from American Gods and Neverwhere and Stardust. Not a longer book, but a deeper book. I wanted to feel something for Lettie Hempstock and her strange relatives. I wanted to be captivated by the narrator's ordeals, especially once the devil came out to play. I wanted to understand the villain and what its true goals were. I wanted a plot development that felt truly unexpected.
I don't mean for this review to skew so negative. There were many aspects of The Ocean at the End of the Lane that I enjoyed. It reads quickly, smoothly, and beautifully - Gaiman is a very talented wordsmith without ever being ostentatious about it. That's a rare enough skill, even among best-selling authors, that I always pause to appreciate it when I find it. For instance -
I had been here, hadn't I, a long time ago? I was sure I had. Childhood memories are sometimes covered and obscured beneath the things that come later, like childhood toys forgotten at the bottom of a crammed adult closet, but they are never lost for good.
And speaking of which, the way he describes those foggy childhood memories, pulled up from hidden depths by the thread of a sight or a smell, is incredibly resonant. It perfectly mirrored the way I feel whenever I return to my childhood home and suddenly start tripping over all kinds of memories and emotions that had been dormant for years.
At first, the narrator's recollection of his childhood is engaging and bittersweet. He had been a thoughtful, sentimental, bookish boy who often felt misunderstood and lonely. The very first memory that comes to mind when he returns to the neighborhood is: Nobody came to my seventh birthday party. His parents are distracted and aloof; his one companion, a kitten, is killed senselessly. It was in these mundane miniature tragedies that I really felt for this character.
But then, when the story started to get all magical... the magic left the story. For me, anyway. It started down well-trod fantasy paths: the maiden-mother-crone goddess, the evil entity that employs female sexuality as a weapon, the battling spells of protection and possession. All of it a metaphor for the protagonist's coming-of-age. It's all very technically well-done, an absorbing and appealing read. I can't find anything to complain about, but it just felt sort of flat to me.
My biggest disappointment, I think, is that Gaiman failed to make me love Lettie Hempstock the way he made me love the narrator. If he had, it would have affected me more, what happened to her. But she, like all of the other characters, felt paper-thin by the end.
But maybe I just couldn't love this tragic, supernatural, British coming-of-age story because that place in my heart is already occupied by Tamsin.
I'll probably keep reading Gaiman, hoping every time that this will be the one that wins me over.
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review SPOILER ALERT! 2018-03-13 06:17
Reading Anniversaries: First in a Series & Singles – March Edition


Originally published at midureads.wordpress.com on March 12, 2018.






The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Find my review here







Binti by Nnedi Okorafor

Review here




Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 My review





Dune by Frank Herbert

FirstSecondThird, and Fourth parts.





All Flesh Is Grass by Clifford D. Simak

The review







The Chameleon’s Shadow by Minette Walters

I love reading books by this author because they portray human interaction in all its forms. They bring out what most of us would prefer that it remained hidden the darkest corners of her hearts. The stories show how people are capable of kindness in the unlikeliest of situations. But they also show what we’d do when we think no one is watching. With issues like the mistreatment of transgenderschild rape, and oppression of women, these stories hit you like a sledgehammer. You realize there is nothing fictional about her fiction. This story is no different. It deals with the fragmentation of a person’s psyche after returning home from a war. War breaks something inside you, no matter which side you are on.







Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green

Really fun book!





The Tough Guide to Fantasyland by Diana Wynne Jones

I don’t remember much about this one but the fact that it makes fun of everything that has become cliché in epic fantasy.








Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris

Sedaris books are funny af.







How Gods Bleed by Shane Porteous

An old review:


Loved this book!
the book is about people belonging to a city that is the first line of defense for humans. If the werewolves ever tried to take over the human empire, this would be where the first battle would take place. Naturally, the people living in such a place have to be extraordinary-always alert and ready to defend. Add to that a king who would do anything to ensure his people’s survival and warriors who worship him. Could it be more awesome?Yes, it can. The king not only wants to win every war, he also plans to make the werewolves fear him and his warriors. The tricks and maneuvers that the king uses to instill fear in the werewolves are just.. wow! Then there is Cada Varl- the coolest immortal you’ll ever read about. He’s the best and yet he never gloats but just goes on being his rockin’ self! And of course, the 6 Helluvan warriors (poor 7th best warrior) were just that..one helluva adventure!





Zombie Killa by Jason Z. Christie

I got this book for free from Making Connections to read and review:
I started the book and almost gave up right then. Not only did it start slow-but then Shaun of the Dead did too-it also had a lot of jargon and big nerdy words that I couldn’t get at all. And the first mention of Router wasn’t all that, either. Then the book picked up its pace and proved me wrong. Zombies, Pirates, Ninjas, Nerds, Smart-mouthed women..the story had everything! And it was exactly the right length. The humor was just my type and despite some (okay, many) references that I didn’t get, I loved it! Zombie fans, you just can’t miss this one!

Oh, I almost forgot “F**k you, High-C!”

Like Reblog Comment
review 2018-02-24 20:12
Exploring A New Home.
Coraline - Neil Gaiman

Coraline offers a very imaginative feature for children in upper elementary grades. It has very detailed, and descriptive mannerisms that really engage the reader. Although, it can also be scary, so i would not recommend this for younger grades. This book can relate to children because it is given from a child's perspective in moving to a new house, and making new friends, which many children may experience. Vocabulary scavenger hunts would be a fun activity for this books, as would sequencing segments from the book and putting them in the correct order. Character traits would be another activity to work on with this book. 

Grade Level: 3-5th 

Lexile Measure: 740L

Like Reblog Comment
review 2018-02-19 23:58
like a box of chocolates
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman

Well this was wonderful and boring and inspiring and tedious all at different times. I'd read many parts before, so it's a mixed bag. It was one of those Kindle deals that I can never pass up (until recently when I installed the library extension and forced myself to use the darn thing finally.) I'm going to get through them! So 1 down, who knows how many to go.

Neil Gaiman (whose name I always misspell) is always charming, smart, interesting and wise. I did get more added to my TBR shelf from him, and I enjoyed the beginning of the book and the end of the book much more than the middle - where he picks authors and discusses them. It's funny, since I just -- like a week or two ago -- adored his introduction to Fahrenheit 451 on a reread. It was critical to me being able to get around some issues I had with the book and actually brought me much more joy on that read. Yet, on reading the same words here, it felt dull and flat. It's a book introduction, and it works best with the book. This happens to many of the introductions - especially if I hadn't read the book or wasn't familiar with the work in question. (Actually, I have started reading introductions twice: once before and once I've finished, because they always mean more to me after the book.)

I loved his writing on music, but that's because we have extremely similar taste in music, so I had some idea of what he was typing, some investment already. (In fact, I first learned of Gaiman via music circles long before I ever delved into his books.) Much as I adore Stephen King's writing, I don't know him as a person, so warm talks about personal life don't do much for me. Though I now know Terry Pratchett loved chocolate, I would have appreciated more about his work that I could relate to (instead of, because there was obviously a lot about Pratchett.) This may also be an idiosyncratic personal tic. I've recently been aware that I care far less about a celebrity's personal life than many other people.

There are some really wonderful bits in this book, and like any book of introductions, essays, speeches and other stuff collected over a lifetime of work, some less wonderful bits. Nothing is bad, and it's practical to skip things unless you have a touch of OCD like me and would feel like you "cheated."

This one is worth a read, probably more like a box of chocolates than as a cover-to-cover endeavor. Pick one, savor it, then put the box away for another time. I've got a few more of these books on my Kindle from Gaiman, so I'll know better in future.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2018-02-07 03:16
Reading progress update: I've read 202 out of 502 pages.
The View from the Cheap Seats: Selected Nonfiction - Neil Gaiman

He is a SF writer and proud of this.


SF is an interesting, scenario extending novel. What if? What if this go on to the extreme? 


I like his take on SF. And it should be a genre to be celebrated. 


The favorite and worst quote from SF writers is interesting too.


Enjoying this. 

More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?