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Month in review

Reviews
Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown
The Arncliffe Puzzle by Gordon Holmes
Carpe Jugulum by Terry Pratchett
The Case of the Missing Books by Ian Sansom
Code Name Pauline by Pearl Witherington Cornioley and Kathryn J. Atwood
Dragon's Breath by E.D. Baker
Even Monsters Need Haircuts by Matthew McElligott
The Field of Wacky Inventions by Patrick Carman
Flash Forward by Robert J. Sawyer
Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman and illustrated by Skottie Young
Grizzwold by Syd Hoff
A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Kat, Incorrigible by Stephanie Burgis
The Last Sewer Ball by Steven Schindler
Let's Call it Canada: Amazing Stories of Canadian Place Names by Susan Hughes, Clive Dobson and Julie Dobson
The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Mr. Pratt's Patients by Joseph C. Lincoln
Mr. Wuffles! by David Wiesner
The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
The Return of the Player by Michael Tolkin
Roadside Picnic by Arkady Stragosky and Boris Stragosky
Soulless: The Manga, Vol. 3 by Gail Carriger
Thief of Time by Terry Pratchett
Trust No One by Linda Sue Park
Undead by Kirsty McKay
Voltron Force Volume 3: Twin Trouble by Brian Smith
Undead by Kirsty McKay
The Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett
What Does the Fox Say? by Ylvis
The Whole Enchilada by Diane Mott Davidson
Wintersmith by Terry Pratchett
Yoko Ono: Collector of Skies by Nell Beram

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Rating System

5 stars: Completely enjoyable or compelling
4 stars: Good but flawed
3 stars: Average
2 stars: OK
1 star: Did not finish

Reading Challenges

My Kind of Mystery Reading Challenge 2017 February - January 2017-8




Comments for The Ocean at the End of the Lane

The Ocean at the End of the Lane : 07/29/14

cover artFirst and foremost, if you see an audio book written and read by Neil Gaiman, put down whatever else you're reading or listening to, and immediately start listening to Gaiman's book. Heck, he should be invited to read other author's books too for audio.

Although I have a lovely hardbound edition of The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman and I was starting to read it — mostly by petting it first and flipping through to random passages — you know the way you introduce yourself to a new book before actually sitting down to start at page one and reading. And then my lovely local public library featured the very same book on their audio page. And there was a "read by the author" note. And well, I had to have it both way. I just did.

Imagine if you will Natalie Babitt's Tuck Everlasting set in the English countryside where the end of a lane could be on the border with Fairyland. So rather than finding a family cursed by immortality, you find a family that is immortal for much older reasons.

Then put in a boy upset with the turn his life is taking. He's forced to move out of his room because his parents have taken on a lodger. He too is unsatisfied with life and his actions open a door that lets in dangerous magic.

This is one of those sly books that has an ordinary sounding beginning. It opens with the narrator returning to his childhood home and on a whim, visiting the neighbors at the end of the lane. He doesn't expect them to be there since the place has changed so much. But they are. And as they share their memories, the story evolves from something that sounds like a schmaltzy memoir to the sort of twisted, unexpected fantasy that Gaiman excels at.

Now imagine this story read in Gaiman's own quiet voice. It's like he's there sharing a pot of tea with you. The book becomes a conversation between friends.

Five stars

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