Since I spend a lot of my free time reading I figured I would share what I’m reading along with my thoughts/what have you about the novel/nonfiction/comic/whatever that I just finished reading. I just finished reading the Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman. Before I start I also would like to say that something has to be really really terrible for me not to like it. Some examples are Catch-22. To me this book was impossible to follow, events in the book happen out of order and are revisited later. I know it is very popular but I did not care for it. The only other book I really did not care for was All the kings men. For whatever reason I just could not get into it. These are the only two books that I have not been able to finish. Now on to Ocean at the End of the Lane.
I have written about Gaiman before as the only other story I have read by him was Sandman, which I did not like, but this being the first novel I have read by him. Neadless to say I was pleasantly surprised. I honestly knew almost nothing of what the novel would be about. I just saw it was written by Gaiman and wanted to read it for some reason. Regardless of Sandman I know he is a great story teller, you do not rack up twenty or so years in the writing industry without having some extraordinary talent. The story itself is pretty short, only about 180 pages which makes for a quick read.
When it started I thought it would read more like a comic, quickly shuffling through scenes and speeding up the story, perhaps lacking some of the detail that makes a novel great. Again I was wrong despite its length Gaiman does an excellent job of describing scenes and building another new world for the reader. I found myself concerned about the characters and hoping they would make it out of all their predicaments. Gaiman again did a great job to me of getting the reader to understand the characters and feel for them. The way he makes the characters believable and loveable from George having fights with his younger sister to explaining how difficult the adult world is to understand as a child gets the reader to understand the characters and to remember what it was like being a child in an adult world.
The only negative or complaint about the book I have is the ending. I thought the ending was very sad and left me wishing for something better for the main character and the other parties involved. The more I thought about the ending though I feel that the one that was written is probably the best. Sometimes I feel characters go through enough during a story and deserve a happier ending, but such is life, why should a story be any different? In fact most times I like when stories or movies are not all wrapped up nice and neat and delivered to the audience where everyone lives happily ever after. In this case with Ocean I felt most of the story is a little depressing and dark, but these elements add to the story. I often believe you need dark themes to get reader to understand how serious the story is. Overall I liked the book and it is a pretty quick read. After I finished I found myself looking for other novels by Gaiman. One day I think I will read American Gods.