Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Waiting on Wednesday #2 - The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

This week I am looking forward to getting my hands on The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman.

Booklist gave it a starred review and said some wonderfully intriguing things about it.

In Gaiman’s first novel for adults since Anansi Boys(2005), the never-named fiftyish narrator is back in his childhood homeland, rural Sussex, England, where he’s just delivered the eulogy at a funeral. With “an hour or so to kill” afterward, he drives about—aimlessly, he thinks—until he’s at the crucible of his consciousness: a farmhouse with a duck pond. There, when he was seven, lived the Hempstocks, a crone, a housewife, and an 11-year-old girl, who said they were grandmother, mother, and daughter. Now, he finds the crone and, eventually, the housewife—the same ones, unchanged—while the girl is still gone, just as she was at the end of the childhood adventure he recalls in a reverie that lasts all afternoon. He remembers how he became the vector for a malign force attempting to invade and waste our world. The three Hempstocks are guardians, from time almost immemorial, situated to block such forces and, should that fail, fight them. Gaiman mines mythological typology—the three-fold goddess, the water of life (the pond, actually an ocean)—and his own childhood milieu to build the cosmology and the theater of a story he tells more gracefully than any he’s told since Stardust(1999). And don’t worry about that “for adults” designation: it’s a matter of tone. This lovely yarn is good for anyone who can read it.

I especially like the idea of his exploring the mother, maiden, crone concept as guardians. I've always enjoyed what he's done with mythologies and religions in the past, and I don't expect it to be any different this time. 

What book are you looking forward to reading this week?

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