*This was supposed to be a review of Neverwhere, which I finished reading last week, but I started writing about The Ocean at the End of the Lane and couldn’t stop, so I’ve retitled this post and it is now about another Neil Gaiman book: The Ocean at the End of the Lane
Since I discovered Neil Gaiman’s works with the release of his most recent book The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I’ve been so intrigued by his writing style that I keep buying and reading his books. When I first finished The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I asked myself, “What was the point of that?” But there was this feeling inside me that said, “There’s so much you don’t understand.” After thinking for several days about The Ocean at the End of the Lane, I discovered that it wasn’t one of those books that you close and walk away from, never to puzzle about again. That’s because most books don’t puzzle me; The Ocean at the End of the Lane did.
The little boy’s childhood experience was so different from my own that it was hard for me to connect to him as a character. I found myself calling him a “drama queen” and a “pansy” throughout the story, but I couldn’t put the book down. Something kept me attached. I read The Ocean at the End of the Lane back in June or July. I still can’t figure out why I liked it, even just that little bit to keep me reading.
The book has definitely left its mark on me, but I don’t feel as if it had anything to do with the plot, or the characters. I think what intrigues me the most was Gaiman’s writing style. He has this unique way of describing the absolutely ordinary. I wouldn’t call it beautiful, or vivid. It’s frank and relaxing. It strips the color from the story, and at the same time, breathes color into it. I say that Gaiman HAS this writing style because I’ve discovered that it is not exclusive to The Ocean at the End of the Lane. I read The Graveyard Book and came out with the same result. Again, Neverwhere contains the same type of language, the same style.
It fascinates me. I wouldn’t say that I love, or even like, Gaiman’s style. In fact, his style irks me sometimes. I want it to be more melodic rather than harmonic. I want it to be more lyrical and less honest. On some pages, the language tortures me, while on others, it soothes me. I think that’s why I keep reading his books.