[DWJ] Gaiman's Ocean at the End of the Lane

Gili Bar-Hillel gbhillel at netvision.net.il
Mon Jul 8 03:43:53 EDT 2013

Many spoilers here. I read it as a manuscript back in October so it's not
as fresh in my memory as it could have been, but:

* Fire and Hemlock and to a lesser extent Time of the Ghost in the sense of
reconstructing childhood memories, and the realisation that what the
protagonist thinks of as his life may be sort of a lie

* DWJish bits in the way the parents are corruptible, but this is a theme
in other Gaiman books as well. Hard to know how much of this is influence
and how much his own style. Readers less familiar with DWJ and/or Gaiman
might be more shocked to discover that parents are not immune to evil, and
are capable of turning on their own children. Here it was almost at Stephen
King levels.

* The kindly women neighbors reminded me of the witches in "A Wrinkle in
Time". And maybe Gladys in "A Sudden Wild Magic".

* Going to that liminal other place where a malign or indifferently harmful
powerful being resides, in order to negotiate, or to rescue someone
kidnapped - whether it is Fairyland or merely a metaphor - happens in
plenty of good books. There's that dream-journey to Babylon in "Deep
Secret", also the visit to Series 11 (is it 11?) at the end of "Christopher
Chant". If I recall there's a similar bit in the Tiffany Aching books by
Pratchett, and I thought it was well done in "The Feral Child" by Che
Golden which I also read about a year ago.

Overall I think there are many interesting links and points of comparison
that could be made to DWJ books, but I did not find it particularly more
DWJish than other Gaiman books.

On Mon, Jul 8, 2013 at 9:43 AM, Kathleen Jennings <
kathleen.jennings at gmail.com> wrote:

> No spoilers here, except for the last sentence which isn't really one.
> Had a frenzied little conversation about this on Twitter too, and the
> funny thing was it reminded everyone of a different DWJ.
> For me it was Fire and Hemlock-ish, definitely. Others swore by
> Hexwood. My housemate said Time of the Ghost and Deep Secret. Another
> contingent championed Enchanted Glass.
> Definitely that strong sense of mystery underpinning/secretly
> interacting with the everyday, and secrets being dredged out of memory
> (whereas I find in Gaiman it usually feels like a more distinct
> world/subworld/discovery-of-the-unfamiliar rather than
> discovery-of-something-you-maybe-ought-to-have-known-all-along). And
> yet I felt the through-line of the story was from a slightly different
> genre.
> For the record, I liked it a lot. My housemate, however, had a
> dramatic reaction to it and the sense of making sense of the past &
> childhood. When she posts about it I'll link here.
> ***
> spoiler:
> [[mantawolf!!!]]
> K
> -----------------------------------------
> http://tanaudel.wordpress.com
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