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Author Topic: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”  (Read 12121 times)

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Pope Totalfrog

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #30 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.
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Félix Marqués

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #31 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.
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awghost5

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #32 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 that AFP described in her post/review/digital rendering of her soul.
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deliriumsfrogs

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #33 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.




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Félix Marqués

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #34 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.
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NikosGr

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #35 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'.
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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #36 on: July 15, 2013, 07:13:15 AM »

Love these endings!
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Félix Marqués

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #37 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.
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noita

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #38 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 (:
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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #39 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.
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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #40 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.
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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #41 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!
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RiverVox

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #42 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.
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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

NikosGr

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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #43 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
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Re: book group is IN SESSION: “The Ocean at the End of the Lane”
« Reply #44 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.
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