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Plus, in a few seconds, it will be that maroon paisley tie that the child will take in his hands, "gripping it for life… pulling [himself] up out of that frigid water", holding on so tightly that the father can't push him down and drown him, before "clamping" his teeth into it, just below the knot.

We see this scene, we believe it, we experience it, but most of all we feel it. And it's terrifying.

Because it's real. No ghosts, no monsters, no pretending this, no phoney that.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane

In other words, Gaiman's intelligence and his skill as a writer — to this reviewer at least — are best mobilised in the adult writing he purports to eschew; his account of real human drama, relationships, sensibility, emotions, thought. And so I'd love for him one day to stop with all these ragged tent-presences and just open his veins and write something powerful about human beings — fathers and sons, for example — without all the "gee-shucks-aren't-the-grown-ups-dumb" prophylactics.

But I realise that I may be entirely alone in this hope. And the only thing that Ursula Monkton is scared of, the only thing that will get rid of this kind of a monster, are the formidable "hunger" birds… You'd be right in surmising that I find all these flapping tent-monsters and worms in your feet and beautiful governesses slightly gauche. Topics Neil Gaiman The Observer. Fantasy books Fiction reviews.

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The Ocean at the End of the Lane Summary & Study Guide Description

Chapter The narrator says he dreams of betrayal while sleeping in the Hempstock house. However, he cannot remember the dream in detail. He sees the harvest moon in the sky, but he knows it is spring.

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In the morning, he puts on the strange, old-time clothes the Hempstock women laid out for him. The black kitten greets him with loud mewing.

Lettie is not in the house, but she returns soon after the narrator wakes up. She has a basket full of things she has collected.

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The narrator asks if the Hempstock women are monsters, but Lettie says no. She says that monsters come in all shapes and sizes and monsters are things people fear or should fear. Lettie asks the narrator about what might frighten Ursula. Browse all BookRags Study Guides.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman l Summary & Study Guide by BookRags

A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet sitting by the pond a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean , the unremembered past comes flooding back.

Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways.