I have been pretty vocal about my love for Neil Gaiman, author of novels like American Gods, Neverwhere, Anansi Boys and whose novels have been turned into movies like Coraline and Stardust. So it shouldn't surprise my blog readers that I am head-over-heels in love with his latest novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane.
Our unnamed narrator, now middle-aged, goes back to the lane where he grew up, in the wake of heartache. His old home is gone, but there at the end of the lane is the farm where a childhood friend lived. He stops in for a visit, and is swamped with memories of a time decades earlier, when his carefree boyhood ended with the entrance of a lodger his family took in, and the dark events that were set in motion upon the man's demise.
This is the ultimate tale of good and evil, full of bittersweet triumph, innocence and friendship, betrayal and guilt. It is one of the most deeply moving stories I've had the pleasure to enjoy, and as an added bonus, the audiobook is read by the author himself. Some authors are terrible readers, but Gaiman is about as close to perfection as I've ever had the pleasure of experiencing.
I absolutely cannot keep this one to myself. Go listen to it, or read it, or both.