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Miscellaneous Ephemera => Scream Of Consciousness => Entertainment => Topic started by: Amanda Palmer on June 18, 2013, 07:14:16 AM

Title: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Amanda Palmer on June 18, 2013, 07:14:16 AM
neil's new book is out today. right now.
i'll be posting a blog about it later on. but actually, it’s impossible to write a blog about his new book without talking about us. so there will be that, too.

but the book…the book is fucking amazing. he’s really proud of it, and so am i.
you can order it here (http://j.mp/OCEANLANE) if you're in the US (and here (http://amzn.to/19MACEd) if you're in the UK). the audiobook version came out today as well, so you could technically be enjoying it within a few minute's time.
when you finish reading it (or listening), let me know what you think…here, in this thread.

p.s. sorry, gotta say it, please be respectful of others and make sure there are clearly marked spoiler-warnings etc. etc.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Félix Marqués on June 18, 2013, 01:21:48 PM
I ordered a signed version, but I have to wait until July, when my American sister will come visit us and will bring it to me.

Excited.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 18, 2013, 01:29:28 PM
Casey's laugh is full of joy, vitality & impishness.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Larry P on June 18, 2013, 03:29:38 PM
I have a ticket to see Mr. Gaiman in Washington this Friday and am REALLY looking forward to it!  I'll let you know what I think of the book.  I've loved all of the others that I've read and assume this one'll be no different.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Lord Kamina on June 18, 2013, 04:37:43 PM
Hey there; this is effectively my first post around here. I arrived through Neil's posting of the blog entry.
So... that out of the way (Maybe I'll write a proper shameless self-plugging introduction later, and on the appropriate thread.)

Well, I've had the book pre-ordered for a couple months already (regular hardback) but BookDepository hasn't shipped yet so I guess I don't really have anything relevant to say, other than remarking on how much I liked that blog entry.
I AM a Neil Gaiman FAN, I suppose; hell, I read all of Sandman (illegally... and twice) before going on to pay for it anyway because "Shut up and take my fucking money already, Neil." and I probably would never have heard about you and your art in the first place, if it hadn't been for him. I like your music, I like your writing and I think you're generally a pretty Fucking® amazing person in general. Still, I don't always have the patience or attention span to read some of your stuff. In the case of this particular entry though, I got such a rush of emotion, and so many different ones too. Truly amazing, thank you.

Well, I guess that's rather enough off-topic for a first-post. I'll probably return to this topic when I get my book and as I read it.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Lilith on June 18, 2013, 07:08:24 PM
Reading and loving, it just gets better and better. A thing keeps happening, when I read something, seamlessly flowing from the previous totally rational events, and then I'm like 'wait, what?' because the weird and magical just appears as if it's been there forever just waiting for you to notice.
Love it.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: stargirl on June 18, 2013, 07:12:36 PM
I haven't read it yet, sadly. But every time I hear the title I think of Millet's painting of a seaside hamlet: http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/end-of-the-hamlet-of-gruchy-31617

I really should go buy the book! I found the blog very touching.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: heyitsjacy25 on June 18, 2013, 07:23:32 PM
what did everyone think of the symbolism regarding the Hempstocks as well as the cat -
the opal miner,
the ocean-
all of it?
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Shenanigans on June 18, 2013, 08:25:06 PM
Hello, Amanda! Hello, fans! This is my first post, I guess...
So, how I felt about the book can only be summed up in a love letter of sorts to Neil.

Dear Neil,

Just, wow.

Neil, you’ve outdone yourself. I’m in tears of joy as I type. I haven’t been immersed in a novel (novella, really, since it’s less that 200 pages) like this since Moffat knows how long ago.

The protagonist (who, though unnamed in the novel, is named Neil in my mind) is so, so relatable to me. I didn’t have many friends as a young child, and I preferred books to people then – and now. Thank you for creating such a relatable protagonist.

The Hempstocks are genius, some of the best characters you’ve come up with ever. (I’m convinced they are Time Ladies.) I’d like to cosplay Lettie – weird, I know, but she’s just so awesome and a brilliant character, and so well-defined. All of them are great.

The Big Bad was straight out of my nightmares – a woman who somehow combines the absolute loathsomeness of Dolores Umbridge from Harry Potter with the seductive wickedness of the Other Mother from Coraline… you made it happen, Neil.

The story had everything, too – myth and magic and fantasy and reality and horror and terror and epic all blurring together, like in all your work, but at a much more personal level than anything you’ve ever written. The length was no issue – I read the book in less than two hours, but it felt like hours or days as I read. It transported me. Books that do that stay with me for a long time. And I know this one will stay with me for a long, long time. In fact, I think I’m going to re-read it right now.

Brilliant job, Neil. Thank you for this miraculous gift of a book.

A+

Love,
Shenanigans
your favorite groupie
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 18, 2013, 08:28:50 PM
I haven't read it yet, sadly. But every time I hear the title I think of Millet's painting of a seaside hamlet: http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/end-of-the-hamlet-of-gruchy-31617 (http://www.mfa.org/collections/object/end-of-the-hamlet-of-gruchy-31617)

I really should go buy the book! I found the blog very touching.

The ocean is a bit big for the Hempstock's farm ...  ; - }

Unless one is dreaming of it.

Here's another photo of the painting (it's worth follow the link above, too)
(http://www.paintingmania.com/arts/jean-francois-millet/medium/end-hamlet-gruchy-1856-172_15243.jpg)
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: sangrebloom on June 19, 2013, 01:29:12 PM
I haven't gotten it yet, however I will be getting it later today if I can... He's the only author I'll go to the new bookstores for (seeing as nothing of his ever makes it to the used one I love going to)
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: unlimitedricepudding on June 19, 2013, 05:39:48 PM
I have three copies of the book.  One purchased back in February from Porter Square Books (Yep, I was one of the 12,000.)  Two, purchased yesterday from The Tattered Cover in Lower Downtown Denver, also receiving two tickets for Neil's book signing there.  I devoured this book in about four or five hours, I suppose.  Time flies when one is immersed in a fantastic story, does it not?

A variety of emotions ran through me in this short amount of time.  Anxiety, fear, sadness, anger, wonder, and then all of them over again.  At the end, I was left with a profound thoughtfulness that I still feel.  Not joy, though the story was so very good.  But not sadness either, despite what the protagonist went through and what he can never have. 

This is a story to revisit.  I'm certain I shall find new facets of it that I missed the first time around.  New wonders that were hidden before.  And to feel those emotions over again, because I feel that it was the intention.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RachaelR on June 20, 2013, 02:42:31 AM
When I first started reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I was concerned that it was Coraline part II & I wondered if I was going to be disappointed in a Neil Gaiman novel. I was about halfway through when the story pulled me in. There was so much love in the story & it had the added risk of having hearts ripped out (or maybe it wasn't just a risk, the epilogue really messed with me, I'm still thinking about what would have happened if there was a different narrator, such as Lettie). This next part will probably have spoilers so...
The theme of love is solidified with the end, where Lettie has somehow saved the main character through sacrificing herself & she waits for him in the ocean. The idea of an ocean being the size of an ocean or a pond or a bucket seemed to me to mean whatever we want to make of time & distance. And it ends with her still watching over him throughout his life. It made me happy to read it & I was wrong about it resembling Coraline.
Also, where in the hell do we put all of the little creepies that could once be safely flushed/washed down the drain? I've completely lost the security of knowing nothing came back from there.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Bookworm-airhead on June 20, 2013, 06:28:48 AM
I'm sure I'm being dense but...SPOILER ALERT

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highlight below to read...

She gives him her heart, yes?  And then they snipped and stitched so that he didn't remember about having his one torn out?

Oh man...
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 20, 2013, 03:37:55 PM
welll done Spoiler Alert.

Thank You

I'm sure I'm being dense but...SPOILER ALERT

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...

Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RiverVox on June 20, 2013, 09:52:24 PM
This book is breaking and healing my heart. I just want to share a few reference links:

The Secret Seven books:
http://www.enidblyton.net/secret-seven/ (http://www.enidblyton.net/secret-seven/)

The Mouse's Tale from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with image of how it appears on the page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_%28Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_%28Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland%29)

The Nightmare Song from Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe
Lyrics:
http://www.worlddreambank.org/L/LORDCHAN.HTM (http://www.worlddreambank.org/L/LORDCHAN.HTM)

Performance:
http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c (http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c)



Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 21, 2013, 07:30:49 AM
A good start on the "secret" glossary for Ocean!

This book is breaking and healing my heart. I just want to share a few reference links:

The Secret Seven books:
http://www.enidblyton.net/secret-seven/ (http://www.enidblyton.net/secret-seven/)

The Mouse's Tale from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland with image of how it appears on the page:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_%28Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland%29 (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mouse_%28Alice%27s_Adventures_in_Wonderland%29)

The Nightmare Song from Gilbert & Sullivan's Iolanthe
Lyrics:
http://www.worlddreambank.org/L/LORDCHAN.HTM (http://www.worlddreambank.org/L/LORDCHAN.HTM)

Performance:
http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c (http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c)
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: music box on June 21, 2013, 01:12:04 PM
I bought it yesterday. I will get started reading it tonight.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Esme on June 21, 2013, 03:21:34 PM
Got it on release day (in Norway), read it yesterday in one 3,5 hour-sitting. As always, it left me with a severe "book-hangover" when I finished the acknowledgments and I really, really LOVED it.

Short reply to Bookworm-airhead's Spoiler: That's one way to read it, certainly, but I am not sure (yet) whether that's what I read there... I know, that's not exactly helpful of me, sorry, but after all, this is not a uni seminar, eh?  ;)
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: NikosGr on June 22, 2013, 04:33:43 AM
the only terrible thing that comes along with the book, is that I've been waiting for it for so long, and when i finally got it I finished it in one sitting, and still can't believe that there are no more pages for me to read. That said, the story is so haunting, that I'm sure it'll accompany me long enough to make up for the short read. I can see why both Neil and Amanda feel proud about it, it's one of Neil's best!

(Mild Spoiler)
I'd like to think that Lettie is on the US cover and our narrator on the UK one, and that places one another 'across the pond' in so many different ways.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 22, 2013, 09:30:23 AM

...

(Mild Spoiler)
I'd like to think that Lettie is on the US cover and our narrator on the UK one, and that places one another 'across the pond' in so many different ways.

Almost not a spoiler, especially if one reads Neil's blog, &/or almost any of the reviews.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: NikosGr on June 22, 2013, 12:02:48 PM

...

(Mild Spoiler)
I'd like to think that Lettie is on the US cover and our narrator on the UK one, and that places one another 'across the pond' in so many different ways.

Almost not a spoiler, especially if one reads Neil's blog, &/or almost any of the reviews.

to be honest i wouldn't read any text that contained even the slightest part of a plot, and I didn't even read the first preview chapters when they became available in audible and other sites, so before actually reading the book i had no idea that the ocean in the title ?spoiler?referred to a pond and at the same time another kind of an ocean altogether?spoiler? and that both Lettie and our narrator (of whose existence as main characters I also had no idea) ?spoiler?had to dive in it?spoiler?.

I'm obviously messing about now :coolsmiley: but at least I hope my posts won't ruin even the slightest detail for anybody.


(oh, should I have put "Lettie and our narrator" in the spoiler tags too...? Damn! :D )
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RiverVox on June 22, 2013, 03:00:24 PM
Quote
(Mild Spoiler)
I'd like to think that Lettie is on the US cover and our narrator on the UK one, and that places one another 'across the pond' in so many different ways.

Thank you for pointing that out!  I did not get it. There is so much in this book. Just like Lettie's Ocean, it's bigger than it appears.

The other thing that I realized today is that this is really a love letter to Amanda. She is his long lost Lettie.  :love5:

The book also makes me think of Trout Heart Replica and Neil's poem on the topic. I hope the film of the book uses Amanda's music.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on June 22, 2013, 08:29:48 PM
The pond being an ocean is also a metaphor for the boundlessness of love.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RiverVox on June 22, 2013, 10:11:11 PM
Pondering the Hempstocks and the Norns of Norse mythology, whom we met in American Gods guarding Yggdrasil.

Definition from the American Gods "Only the Gods are Real" website http://www.frowl.org/gods/gods.html#nor (http://www.frowl.org/gods/gods.html#nor)

Norns: In Norse mythology, these three sisters are the demi-goddesses of destiny. They are Urd ("fate"), Verdandi ("necessity") and Skuld ("being"). They live at the base of Yggdrasil, the World Tree. They pour water from the Well of Fate over Yggdrasil to try to prevent it from decaying. They also had another task: Urd made the thread of everyone's life, Verdandi measured it up, and Skuld cut it.

http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/others/the-norns/ (http://norse-mythology.org/gods-and-creatures/others/the-norns/)
Title: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Post by: s.nault on June 23, 2013, 07:00:53 PM
I have been a Neil Gaiman fan for years. Basically since I was 13 or so and read Neverwhere. I'm 24 now. About two years ago I pleasantly found out that Neil and Amanda had married.

I pre-ordered a copy of The Ocean at the End of the Lane from a local bookshop. I picked it up the day after it was available, I read the entire book that night. I owe it a reread because so much detail slips through when I devour every moment of a story so quickly.

Yes Amanda, you and Neil are right. As someone who has read nearly everything that Neil has written (and I've loved select works), this is one of his best stories. It's beautiful, it's shockingly painful at times, it's just fucking stunning. The length is uncommon, the content is uncommon, child-like, but obviously for adults, it's relatable, it's painful and simultaneously comforting. I can say I have the literary repetoire to back this up, not that I should need to, and this story will be a lifelong favorite of mine. It's apt and deceptively simple like only a short story can usually be, but it goes on, and it kept me hanging onto each word.

Small moments and phrases in the book that reminded me of small fragments of your lyrics, that tied the story to other art forms and moments that I'd embraced, made my heart sing. I've always loved that about Neil's work, the small bits of myths and story that connect to other literature and other art, creating a web of references feeding into his stories.

Perhaps, after the next time I read it, I'll have a more scholarly, critical, reaction. Maybe I'll even put some quotes in, but the initial, emotional connection and reaction to an artwork, I find my strongest loves and influences.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Doppelhusband on June 24, 2013, 01:09:19 PM
And now, for my first post, a link to my full review of The Ocean at the End of the Lane, which also serves as a brief history of how I came to find Neil's work and the effect it's had on me: http://www.neontommy.com/news/2013/06/book-review-ocean-end-lane
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: der_Schmock on June 25, 2013, 09:25:30 AM
Did this ever happen to you: You hear a song somewhere and think, 'Man, I gotta check this band/artist out', and then you have to do something completely different and you never get to actually check said band/artist out? That was always me an The Dresden Dolls. I always wanted to check them out, and for some reason unbeknownst to me I never did. And then the Amanda Palmer kickstarter was becoming big, and it totally flew by under my radar. It was only after starting to use Twitter and to follow Neil there that I thought, 'Man, there's gotta be something about this Amanda Palmer, I should check her out, and WOW THIS ALBUM IS AWSOME! AND SHE'S A DRESDEN DOLL? I ALWAYS WANTED TO CHECK THEM OUT!' So long story short, I fell in love with Amanda Palmer (the artist - no stalking alert necessary!) becaus Neil Gaiman basically (and unbeknownst to him) told me to. One more reason to hold the man dear.

Anyway, back to the topic: I got my copy of Ocean at the End of the Lane last week, and I couldn't start reading immedietly because I had to finish 300+ pages of the book I was reading at the time first. I did, and on Sunday evening I pulled myself a glass of wine (Riesling, if you want to know) and finally sat down to start diving into the Ocean. At 1 am I put the book down finished, both a tear in my eyes and a big, fat smile on my face, lit my last cigarette for the day and went upstairs to keep on dreaming.

I was rather late to join the Holy Church of Neil. Around the time American Gods came out here in Germany, I had just discovered the wold of comics for me, and Sandman was a big factor for that. Ever since then I just loved pretty much everything he wrote, be it short story, novel, comic, children's books - I'm rather proud of my own translations of Blueberry Girl and Odd and the Frost Giants I did to read them to my little one - you name it, and Ocean is one more brick in this literary wall I feel so cozy and sheltered behind. I'm pretty aware of the fact that a LOT of the dots I'm unable to connect while reading his work, and even more metaphors are lost to me, and I'm not only fine with that, I love it! That's the strongest suit Neil wears (at least for me): He's a teller of storys first. He's not explaining the world to you, he's not trying to revolutionize the use of language as we know it. He takes you by the hand, sits down with you at a campire, and ge goes: 'Do you want to hear a story? Grab a cup of tea, this might take a while ...' And I always do. The Ocean at the End of the Lane is one story I can't wait to hear a again soon. That downloadable audibook in iTunes looks awfully tempting ...
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: SydneyMaisano on July 01, 2013, 05:17:42 PM
Got the book at a signing about a week ago (which was an incredible experience) and read the whole thing that night. It was phenomenal. I loved the mixture of reality and fantasy 
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: pittawadda on July 02, 2013, 12:04:49 PM
So I got a signed copy for my husband as a birthday present. He is away at training for awhile and it arrived and I thought, "Well I don't have anything to read at the moment, so I'll just read before he gets home."
HA!
Having three kids, I read at night. And I read it one evening. I was very tired the next morning. My kids thought I was neglecting them.
It was a great story. I had read American Gods (the only other Neil Gaiman book I have actually read) and this was VERY different. I like complicated stories that take me awhile but every so often I like a book like this.
It had everything I wanted in a story nice and neatly packaged. I didn't think it would honestly. It looked too short! The ending surprised me just a little. I had a feeling as I kept reading BUT I was a little surprised. I got warm fuzzies and a little misty eyed.
I think I would recommend it as a good travel book. It passes time and it keeps you engrosses.
Now I have to make sure I don't say anything to my husband when he gets home.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Pope Totalfrog on July 02, 2013, 07:35:21 PM
Read it in one sitting. Loved it and I can't wait to read it again to see what I might have missed the first time.

It reminded me of Sacrament by Clive Barker.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Félix Marqués on July 04, 2013, 06:44:04 PM
Just read it and liked it, and I think I need to read it a couple more times to really love it. Some things about how Neil writes have begun to irritate me. Mostly the way he writes dialogues with powerful dark creatures or entities, they all talk the same, in beautifully constructed sentences that lose their power when they start to become repetitive.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: awghost5 on July 08, 2013, 12:08:25 PM
I listened to the book via audible. I've been on a crazy Audible kick recently. I've been a Neil Gaiman fan since college (Bryn Mawr, Holly Gaiman's Alma Mater), when one of my classmates all but threatened my life if I did not read Good Omens. I found myself doing much the same thing to my friends, once I'd read the book.

I've adored Neil's work ever since. With each turn of the page (or, more recently, click of a "play" button) I permit myself to fall deeper into his strange, fantastical, and sometimes macabre worlds. I find kinship with so many of his characters and find analogs between their journeys and my more pedestrian struggles. (I, as many, I imagine, don't quite fit into the lines of who I'm expected to be. My idiosyncrasies, in turns, shine like stars and trip my steps. I don't get to control whether or when either aspect manifests. Sometimes, they do both at once, which can be more than a little confusing.) I find solace in the glimmering thread of hope that runs through all of his works I've read so far.

 I think this book is no exception. However, this story feels more raw, and therefore more scary. Hope is still there, but that hope is challenged in ways I didn't see in American Gods or Anansi Boys. Unlike those works, where the reader has a third person narrative to help us put all the puzzle pieces together, the ending isn't quite so clean. Ambiguity lingers, and I love that about the story. For the bulk of the action, the reader is bound to the first person perspective of a small child. I found that vantage point created a more intimate, vulnerable, and ultimately terrifying window into that world. I wonder if the first person perspective is a manifestation of the dialed down blender (http://amandapalmer.net/blog/20130618/) that AFP described in her post/review/digital rendering of her soul.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: deliriumsfrogs on July 09, 2013, 01:36:50 PM
I've read it twice.....
It's signed and lovely, and made even lovelier by the blog post written by Amanda.
I have read Neil Gaiman since Neverwhere, went back for The Sandman, brought to him by Tori Amos, and now brought to Amanda's message board, and her art, through him (oh, the curly Q line of artists, and the amazing path they will lead you on if you're open!).

This book is more than a book, and I feel like I read it at the perfect time in my life (I feel like that's not saying much, but it's been a bit of an ineffable experience, reading this story)....

Will there ever be more discussion here, once more people are given the time to catch up, about the symbolism of certain things/characters....the mythology behind ideas? I can be somewhat dense sometimes, and worry that I could be missing big things here (the post about Norse mythology and the three women was nice, as I had forgotten that, and the post with the reference links is great! *thank you RiverVox!!.....and the idea that the US and UK covers are Lettie and the Narrator--oh, I just love that!)...... but, I've tried to let myself not worry about anything I could be missing...to just enjoy the words for how I'm taking them as I read them, as it's such a fantastic book.  I think it's become my favourite of his, and I'm a Neil Gaiman fan through and through, so that's saying quite a lot.

Thank you for this place..... :) It's the first I've been able to say anything about the book, as I don't know anyone that's read it yet.




Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Félix Marqués on July 15, 2013, 12:58:40 AM
SPOILERS:
She gives him her heart, yes?  And then they snipped and stitched so that he didn't remember about having his one torn out?

Oh man...

SPOILERS:

Oh? I didn't think of it like this at all. As far as I know, Lettie runs to cover him and is killed by the Hunger Birds, and then the Hempstocks snip-and-stitch the fabric of reality, as they had previously done for his parents, and eliminate the event of his killing by the birds and their destruction of the landscape. But now I'm feeling very confused and my version of the events seems more unliklely and I will probably need to read it again.

And let's please discuss the symbolism of things in this book.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: NikosGr on July 15, 2013, 04:03:55 AM
SPOILERS:

I'd like to think that the Narrator and Lettie are sharing her heart until he grows his own back(if that's possible), and Lettie is preserved in the Ocean until that happens. Together they form a unity, but until the right time, they cannot be together physically because the one who ends up with no heart will fade away. Our Narrator visits the house and sits by the pond and even though Lettie is inside she is an ocean of eternity away from him. In a sadder yet more poetic way to end things, they can never be together again, but at least the Narrator carries Lettie inside of him forever, and Lettie carries the Narrator inside her everywhere through the ocean of time and space (went a little bit Doctor Who there :coolsmiley:). So even though they're physically apart, together they share the 'forever' and 'everywhere'.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lentower on July 15, 2013, 07:13:15 AM
Love these endings!
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: Félix Marqués on July 15, 2013, 08:17:05 PM
That's really pretty, although I'm not sure there's a hint of it in the book—but I need to keep re-reading, and it's as valid an interpretation as any other, andquite lovely too.

Can any Doctor Who fan tell me what the supposed references to the show are in this book? I'm curious.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: noita on July 17, 2013, 02:15:57 PM
I'd love to share my thoughts on the book with you, but after having read it twice, I can't really collect my thoughts yet (my mind is kinda blown). In the meantime...

Can any Doctor Who fan tell me what the supposed references to the show are in this book? I'm curious.

Several things did come to mind, from particular to general ideas.
MANY MANY SPOILERS for both "The Ocean" and "Doctor Who":

the only direct (sort of) reference/association I've noticed is the idea of hunger birds sent to "clean up" errors in reality. In DW episode "Father's Day" (1x08) other winged creatures appeared to do just that, and they, too, were so dangerous not because they were especially malevolent, but because they just did what was in their nature.

Other things are just my impressions, nothing specific:
Some expressions and concepts, such as "the fabric of reality" seem familiar, especially since both in the book and on TV they are treated quite literally - you can tear the fabric (birds) or make a crack in it (DW).
Also, the idea of rewriting time, memories and history, which features heavily in the last couple of seasons of DW. Neil does not really explain it explicitly - "snipping and stitching" of reality may or may not be the reason why we forget things or remember them differently. Are childhood memories particularly tricky?
And the general idea of "bigger on the inside" seems to float around Neil's and Amanda's work lately (from "Doctor's Wife" to the Glastonbury song) and the eponymous Ocean fits this idea of peculiar, internal dimensions perfectly.

Sorry if I'm rambling. What I'm trying to say, I guess, is that there are not many references as such, but fans of the TV show may find certain elements somewhat familiar (:
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: bbouthillier on July 29, 2013, 08:12:54 PM
I read Ocean this past Sunday. I have only been an admirer of Neil's work since 2008. I did not even realize Neil existed before that. Where had I been you will ask? Well... travelling for one thing and reading other stuff :-)
So I haven't read everything Neil has written by far, nor do I intend to. But what I have read has stayed with me, every word forever engraved in my mind/heart/soul. This is especially true of Ocean. It has affected me deeply. I know I don't get all the layers, I know I'm probably missing big important things, but to be truthful, I don't know if it's really all that necessary that I 'get' everything. What's important, to me at least, is how reading this story has changed me, and allowed me to revive old 'ghosts' and look at them straight in the face. It's made me love the fragile child that I am, still alive, under the grown up skin. Healing. Beautiful. Human. Dark. Light. Magical. Real. Everything.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: sangrebloom on August 05, 2013, 03:39:41 AM
I'm churning with emotions over this book. I read it today earnestly for three hours and had to leave for work with ten or so pages to go. I'm going to read it aloud to my mother tomorrow.

in a way I feel like the narrator put words to feelings I didn't even realize I still had...I'm crying over it because it feels like a tingling of an old scar, but it was beautiful.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: lemmings_ on August 17, 2013, 03:04:06 AM
In case anyone is interested, I tore through this book and found it haunting and beautiful and full of truth. I reviewed it here http://www.fruitlesspursuits.com/2013/08/the-ocean-at-end-of-lane-by-neil-gaiman.html#more incase anyone would like to read!
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RiverVox on August 20, 2013, 01:32:26 PM
Just had a Theatre is Evil/Ocean at the End of the Lane head cannon and you are the only ones who understand. Trout Heart Replica. Bottomfeeder. 'scuse me while I roll into a ball and weep.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: NikosGr on August 20, 2013, 01:54:36 PM
 
Just had a Theatre is Evil/Ocean at the End of the Lane head cannon and you are the only ones who understand. Trout Heart Replica. Bottomfeeder. 'scuse me while I roll into a ball and weep.

 O0
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: sangrebloom on August 20, 2013, 10:54:41 PM
Just had a Theatre is Evil/Ocean at the End of the Lane head cannon and you are the only ones who understand. Trout Heart Replica. Bottomfeeder. 'scuse me while I roll into a ball and weep.

 O0

So I reread part of the book today while listening to these songs and I couldn't do it. It's a lot to take in at once.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: bohemianfairy on September 02, 2013, 09:16:17 PM
I bought the book this afternoon and just finished reading all of it. I am Wiccan and ended up putting it firmly on my "Wicca" bookshelf. I see the Hempstocks at the Goddess (Mother, Maiden, Crone aspects of the Lady). The message I took from the book was that nothing in life is a real or as important as we worry that it is, so there is no need for fear or anxiety (thoughts that have been swirling around my head lately anyway) and....Water! - an element that has been in my mind recently, is calling more loudly. I'm not sure why the element Water wants to make itself so prominent right now, or what that means, but it is there. I've also been thinking about Vultures and the cycle of death a lot and I'd liked the carrion bird-like creatures. The story reminded me of Coraline, especially the circus tent-like monster, references to mice and broken dolls/buttons... and I really liked the use of quotes from Alice In Wonderland and Gilbert and Sullivan.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: RiverVox on September 05, 2013, 10:02:54 PM
Just a small thing that I noticed on my second read: "Nobody" comes to his 7th birthday party (I'd love to ask Neil if this is true) which connects to the Graveyard Book's protagonist, Nobody Owens. The first appearance of Lettie reads: "Somebody, a girl, said "He can come back with me to the farmhouse. It's no trouble." I like the idea that Lettie is "Somebody".
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: NikosGr on September 06, 2013, 05:07:18 AM
Just a small thing that I noticed on my second read: "Nobody" comes to his 7th birthday party (I'd love to ask Neil if this is true) which connects to the Graveyard Book's protagonist, Nobody Owens. The first appearance of Lettie reads: "Somebody, a girl, said "He can come back with me to the farmhouse. It's no trouble." I like the idea that Lettie is "Somebody".
Even if that was not Neil's intention, it's still a wonderful way of approaching the novel. Thank you for sharing that.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: vialila on October 23, 2013, 12:39:09 PM
realize i'm late to this party, but i got the book thru the mendo bookmobile and there was a looooong waiting list.

hence, i actually read amanda's blog about the book first. which was a helluva read in itself. then the book, which i looooved. made my partner read it too. and i was recommending it to some friends and that led me back to the blog for a re-read, because certain characters (ahem) were so clearly about and for amanda, and i was intrigued by what she thought about it all. it was then that her description of her "twit" talk with neil sent me back to the book again (which i hadn't turned in yet cuz the bookmobile only comes every 2 weeks) to see if i'd missed any metaphors in the very rich stew of that story.

so. POTENTIAL SPOILERS:

it was on the re-read that i really got who lettie/ginnie/old lady hempstock actually *were* (trying not to spoil that discovery for anyone), which definitely upped the extraordinary of an extraordinary work. his delicate handling of the way memory works outside the farm was always at the top of my "best points" list, but this discovery just so deepened the whole experience, and i come away pretty awed by all the - emotion? humanity? Truth with a capital T? - he packed into one little book. i can't believe i missed this point on the first read, so that was MY twit moment. (my partner, btw, got it on the first read.)

a beautiful, full-heart experience. a book i want to live next to my bedside table.
Title: Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
Post by: rnmckinnon on January 26, 2014, 11:56:48 PM
I've waited a long time to reply to this post. I posted my thoughts on the book as well as a lot of related things on my blog:

http://rnmckinnon.com/happy-birthday-to-me-2014/