It has been eight years since his last novel for adults, “Anansi Boys”, and now one of the world’s most beloved storytellers, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman, is back with “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” (William Morrow; On Sale June 18, 2013). Gaiman will be launching his book and national tour in Brooklyn on June 18 at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House.
“The Ocean at the End of the Lane” begins when a man returns to the site of his childhood home in Sussex, England, where years before, he knew a girl named Lettie Hempstock who showed him the most marvelous, dangerous, and outrageous things. He hasn’t thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she’d claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous, to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.
As our young narrator navigates a mystifying and increasingly hostile world, the terror, claustrophobia, and vulnerability of childhood––the way a child’s wants, needs, and fears go unnoticed by adults, and the horrors that can result––are perfectly balanced against the consolation of books, the magic of the natural world, and the power of those who listen, understand, and take action to set the universe right.
Wondrous, imaginative, and at times deeply scary, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” captures the very essence of childhood fear and uncertainty in a world that feels unfair and cruel. In a clash of memory and reality, it is a pitched fever dream of a novel, and could very well be Neil Gaiman’s most accomplished work to date.
* * *
Neil Gaiman is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for adults and children, including the novels “Neverwhere,” “Stardust”, “American Gods,” “Anansi Boys,” “Coraline,” and “The Graveyard Book,” the Sandman series of graphic novels; and Make Good Art, the text of a commencement speech he delivered at Philadelphia’s University of the Arts. He is the recipient of numerous literary honors, including the Locus and Hugo Awards and the Newbery and Carnegie Medals. Born and raised in England, he now lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife, the rock star Amanda Palmer.