Thursday, October 30, 2014
Memory is an ocean
I consistently enjoy reading Gaiman but holy hell is he capable of throwing me into an existential crisis.
I'll admit that that's probably what he's trying to do with the stories he writes so I guess that means he's just really successful and well versed in his craft.
The Ocean at the End of the Lane is a lovely little book. It makes you feel removed from yourself and at one with the world it occupies.
There's a lot that I want to say about the book but I'm not sure how much I can tell you without spoiling it, so I guess I'll just say that the language is rich, the pacing is perfect, and as soon as I was done with it I wanted to read it again in a tree by myself, in a warm bed on a stormy morning, in a gently rocking boat on a cold lake, and in all the other places where memory lives and imagination thrives.
If you're a Gaiman fan you'll recognize several elements of the story as touchstones of his writing - little motifs that follow you through his body of work and peek out of the corners, winking at you before moving along.
That may be a part of why I like Gaiman so much, actually; his books make a home for you and the more you read the more you belong.
As a side note, Gaiman has been promoting All Hallows Read on his Tumblr and other social media and I want to pass on and share the idea - let's turn Halloween into a holiday where you share what scares you with others in your life by giving the gift of a book. I didn't do enough planning to really participate this year (but I will happily LOAN scary books out this year), but maybe I'll post a scary story for free to get into the spirit of the thing.
Gaiman, Neil. The Ocean at the End of the Lane. Harper Collins. New York: New York. 2013.