Friday, May 16, 2014

The Ocean at the End of the Lane, by Neil Gaiman

Borrowed the audio version through my local library. Although this is a reread, having read the physical hardback book in June 2013, The Ocean at the End of the Lane was like a brand new story because Neil Gaiman was reading it to me. I got a much better sense of the characters and their tones when the author is reading them as he intended them to be read.

I follow Neil Gaiman and his wife, Amanda Palmer, on assorted social media platforms, and I remember Neil's tweets when he was writing this book, and Amanda's blog posts when he was sharing this book with her, and I feel like I'm all wrapped up in the symbolism of this book and their relationship and I shouldn't be because I am a stranger to them both. Neil has said this is his most personal book, and Amanda tells a story about how she and Neil were discussing the book one day and she asked him about a particular plot point and he said, "Don't you get it?" (or something to that effect) and then she did. I want to get it, too.

Well, part of me does.

Another part of me just wants to enjoy or not enjoy the story for what it is to me and forget about what it is to them. I love Stardust and Neverwhere and The Graveyard Book, but I don't need to know what was going on in Neil Gaiman's life when he was writing them to love them. I think I may need to scrub my mind and reread this for the third time as if it were the first.

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