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Any other Neil Gaiman fans? The Ocean at the End of the Lane is out next week

(35 Posts)
Dunlurking Wed 12-Jun-13 15:53:04

Who's looking forward to this?

I'm ridiculously excited. It's his first adult book since 2005. There was an extract in the guardian this week

My favourite is American Gods, and I think I have all his books that are straight novels, but none of his graphic novels. Should I be trying them? Which would you suggest?

SoupDragon Thu 18-Jul-13 11:46:31

Oh, I loved Neverwhere. Living near/in London I loved the whole double meaning of tube stops etc. Fabulous smile

Also have the DVD - didn't enjoy it as much as the book though.

Eraser Thu 18-Jul-13 11:42:38

I enjoyed Good Omens and American Gods. The latter being a fantastic read.

ManateeEquineOHara Thu 18-Jul-13 07:52:53

I thought this made sense:

“Gaiman began the novel as a short story to explain himself to his new wife, musician Amanda Palmer, who was away recording an album. But as he wrote, the story took on a life of its own. (and any Gaiman fans must google 'Amanda Palmer Daily Mail video', if you do not know about this already as she is amazing, thread about it on MN smile)
‘I’d get up every day and go, “Well, it’s got to be finished by the end of the week, hasn’t it?” And then the end of the week would happen and I was going, “Well, it’s not a short story, it’s obviously a novelette,” and then I thought, “Well, it’s not a novelette, it must be a novella,” and I did a word count and I went, “Bloody hell, this thing’s 56,000 words, that’s a novel. Not a long novel, but it’s a novel.”’”

ManateeEquineOHara Fri 12-Jul-13 15:16:04

That is a shame so many people think that. Definitely less surprises I agree, but I thought there was beauty in the Hempstocks, the ocean (both as an imagined ocean/pond of a child and as an ocean with properties), and the cats.
Thinking about the ocean, and yes it draws on previous tropes like the stories of the gods' arrivals in AG, it would have perhaps been interesting if he had elaborated a bit more on the 'we arrived from the old land across the ocean' and the Hempstock's pasts and memories, that could have made it a bit stronger maybe? The Big Bang is mentioned But just briefly. The present danger faced by them could have maybe been linked with a past that is elaborated on rather than hinted at I guess.

Dunlurking Fri 12-Jul-13 15:05:13

Just occurred to me - Gaiman has always surprised me in his writing - you just couldn't guess where he was going to take you but the ride was fabulous. This time he didn't really surprise me, and I didn't enjoy the ride. I just felt sorry for him as I assumed this was a rehashing of some of his own childhood experiences, which his publisher should have told him was better kept under his bed. <<Ducks for cover and runs>>

Dunlurking Fri 12-Jul-13 15:00:46

Thanks for that Manatee, I have made it through to the end, but sadly I agree with Bearcrumble . This doesn't have the fun that I associate with his books. Yes Coraline has a child with unhappy experiences but you laugh, the Graveyard Book is beautiful, and imaginative, but this is just bleak and unhappy. I couldn't find any fun, it wasn't beautiful, and any imagination in it was just depressing. I'm sooo disappointed sad Glad it was a library copy. Shan't bother to ask dd or ds if they want to read it either! Hopefully others enjoy it more!

ManateeEquineOHara Tue 09-Jul-13 18:17:07

Dunlurking - it is not really sad!

I agree with some of the others on here, it is certainly not the 'wow one of best all times reads' that Neverwhere and American Gods are to me, and yes it draws on previous ideas but don't all authors do that!?

It does also seem a bit more of the (cool and likeable) young adult genre of the Graveyard Book and Coraline, I have told DS (11) he can read it. However I did recently hear Neil Gaiman say that Neverwhere is not something he could write now, so this fairytale/young adult genre seems to be where he is 'at' at the moment.

It was however beautiful and captivating in it's own way. I don't know if others here know but because I stalk follow Neil Gaiman on Facebook I know his very old cat died recently, and as a fellow cat lover I was touched by the cats in the book. I also thought it was a perfectly formed story with some great characters, and the suggestion of magic in the world always stays with me when I am reading Neil Gaiman even when I am not literally reading!

MeanAndMeaslyMiddleAges Sat 06-Jul-13 21:58:02

I love Neil Gaiman but have never been impressed with his novels (although I love Coraline and Dtardust). I love his graphic novels but for me his short stories are the best. I think they are his true medium.

This one I found ok. A bit meh, but still very enjoyable. Agree with poster above, the themes were all things that seemed cobbled together from his other works.

Dunlurking Thu 04-Jul-13 07:39:29

Wish I could hear him at the Edinburgh book festival envy but we are away on holiday right up North in Scotland the weeks of the festival.

Collected my library copy yesterday and am feeling traumatised by chapter 2 sad Can someone please tell me it isn't all about a child having a sad childhood before I dare read on?

Bearcrumble Tue 02-Jul-13 21:34:26

I'm afraid I was a bit disappointed with it. Tropes he's done before but better - the 'other mother' figure, the triple Goddess, disappeared England, sacrifice - seemed like a mish-mash of his other works with the heart missing.

I loved the Graveyard Book, actually cried when I finished it and have been waiting for this book for ages so I'm really sad I feel as I do about it.

Anyone know what happened to the travel book he was meant to be writing about China?

ThreeBeeOneGee Mon 01-Jul-13 18:40:04

I managed to get in quite early with my library reservation, so TOATEOTL arrived at the end of last week (only cost me 60p! smile)

I really liked it. Although short, it is very much a perfectly formed, complete story. I thought it read more like a YA novel than adult literature, but that's not a negative thing.

NG is very good at describing the helplessness of a child facing the whims of an abusive adult 'care'-giver.

chirpchirp Mon 24-Jun-13 10:45:09

Thanks Manatee, Tickets go on sale Friday morning. If I can tickets to one of his shows I'll be a happy girl. If I can get tickets to the Banks tribute I'll be a some kind of magician!

ManateeEquineOHara Mon 24-Jun-13 09:30:57

And Chirpchirp - good luck, I would LOVE to be going! Totally wrong end of the UK for me though!

ManateeEquineOHara Mon 24-Jun-13 09:28:15

I'm trying to pace myself, 8 years between adult novel releases means reading a new Neil Gaiman book is an experience to savour!
Only on chapter 4, so far it seems very different from Neverwhere/American Gods/Anansi Boys (although there are moments of that kind of story, and I think it may just be how it has started), it is a very beautiful read so far, and I love the moments of ordinary life meeting fantasy/magic which is what I love best about Neil Gaiman.

Iaintdunnuffink Sun 23-Jun-13 20:53:31

I lived The Sandman as a young adult.

Slubberdelatrinae Sun 23-Jun-13 19:51:28

Finished it today. Loved it, just loved it. Beautiful and terrifying and much left to the imagination.

chirpchirp Fri 21-Jun-13 22:12:54

The Edinburgh book festival programme has just been released and as well as doing a talk on his new book he's also doing on on the Sandman graphics. Wish me luck on the tickets front!

ManateeEquineOHara Thu 20-Jun-13 11:50:24

It's arrived! So far I can only confirm it smells like a lovely new book! smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 18:14:07

Off to Amazon smile

ManateeEquineOHara Tue 18-Jun-13 17:01:24

Grimma - I started with Neverwhere but American Gods is brill too! I loved reading the Graveyard book and Coraline to my dcs. I also read them Stardust but left out the Dunstan/Una sex part!

Dunlurking Tue 18-Jun-13 16:24:25

Thanks for the tips on the graphic novels ManateeEquineOHara. Sorry you haven't had your copy arrive. I've ordered mine from the library while I watch the kindle price until I succumb to temptation blush

GrimmaTheNome I liked American Gods the best - it's won loads of popular vote awards. I also like The Graveyard Book, which is for younger readers. The protagonist starts as a small boy and the book finishes with him as a "youth" of "about 15". You have a treat ahead smile

GrimmaTheNome Tue 18-Jun-13 15:07:51

After hearing some reviews and seeing Gaiman interviewed, I'm wondering why I've not read anything by him except - on account of it being also a TP book - Good Omens. Which one should I start with - American Gods? (I've got to finish Long Earth first)

Also, my 14yo DD still enjoys me reading a book at bedtime - mostly I'm working through discworld at the moment but sounds like there might be some of Gaiman's aimed at younger readers which might be a nice change - any recommendations please?

(sorry, bit of a hijack but fans of an author usually enjoy sharing smile)

ManateeEquineOHara Tue 18-Jun-13 14:55:15

What the...?

Just got home having had to leave pre-post arriving. No delivery, no book! Just checked my Amazon account and the delivery estimate is actually 22nd June. Idk why I assumed it would be arriving on release day now, feel a bit of an idiot! I ordered it in March and have been thinking about it ever since so I'm sure I can manage another few days (oh, and after this build up it HAS to be magnificent!).

Also for those who mentioned graphic novels, I tend to get a bit lost with Sandman but loved these two also by Neil Gaiman:
The Tragical Comedy or Comical Tragedy of My Punch, and
Death: The High Cost of Living.

ManateeEquineOHara Tue 18-Jun-13 06:04:20

Neil Gaiman is my favourite ever author and Neverwhere my favourite book since I was 15 and got it after watching the BBC series (which I now have on DVD!). Am awake extra early awaiting my Amazon pre-order! Yeah, you could say I'm a bit of a fan smile

weebarra Sat 15-Jun-13 07:41:20

Really looking forward to it. Have been to see him a couple of times at the Edinburgh book festival too. I've got the new one on pre-order but have to resist reading it till I go on holiday on the 27th!

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