A Review of
The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel
Reviewed by Gary Wake
Neil Gaiman doesn’t feel the need to explain the rules that guide the worlds he creates in his stories. The ocean from The Ocean at the End of the Lane is only the size of a pond, and like the father in the novel, readers know that oceans can’t be the size of a pond. After all, “Ponds are pond-sized, lakes are lake-sized. Seas are seas and oceans are oceans.” Of course, in Gaiman’s novel, nothing is really as simple as that.
The main action of The Ocean at the End of the Lane takes place around this ocean that looks like a pond. The story starts with the main character, an unnamed man, going back to this place where he spent part of his childhood. He has been at a funeral, he has delivered a eulogy, and he is in a suit, “wearing the right clothes for a hard day.” He stands at the pond and thinks back on the events that took place decades before.