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Author Topic: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”  (Read 12123 times)

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RiverVox

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #15 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/

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

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

Performance:
http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c



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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. ~ Neil Gaiman

lentower

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #16 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/

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

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

Performance:
http://youtu.be/hZgDtWhNP6c
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music box

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2013, 01:12:04 PM »

I bought it yesterday. I will get started reading it tonight.

Esme

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #18 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?  ;)
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NikosGr

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #19 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.
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lentower

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #20 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.
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NikosGr

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #21 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 )
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RiverVox

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #22 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.
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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. ~ Neil Gaiman

lentower

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #23 on: June 22, 2013, 08:29:48 PM »

The pond being an ocean is also a metaphor for the boundlessness of love.
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RiverVox

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #24 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

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/
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Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten. ~ Neil Gaiman

s.nault

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane
« Reply #25 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.
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Doppelhusband

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #26 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
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der_Schmock

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #27 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 ...
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SydneyMaisano

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #28 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 
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pittawadda

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #29 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.
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