“The Ocean Just Down the Road From” by Neil Gaiman

A funeral leads the nameless first-person narrator in the place of his childhood back to Sussex. Seemingly aimlessly he curves after the service through the area, killing an empty hour, but something in him he navigated to the “old house”, where he had lived from the fifth to the twelfth year with parents and sister, on to the later built “new house “of the family, then it drives the man as if by a piece out of the city to the next destination.

Happy does not seem of about forty years, rather to melancholy tending. His wife has left him ten years ago, the adult children live their own lives. enter into a new relationship, in addition he does not feel able. He makes art that fills the “empty spaces” in his life.

He was “not a happy child” and -. Formulated yet euphemistically and that is. What could be sadder than the celebration of the seventh for his birthday? Everything is ready: jello, cake with candles, party games, cardboard hats, a large table and fifteen folding chairs.

But all remain empty, because no one has accepted the invitation of the introverted child. In the evening, the father gives him a kitten. “Fluffy”, curious and affectionate, brings a little happiness, which is washed away by a wave new disaster after a short time. A taxi rolled over the creature.

The vehicle emerges from the new lodger, a Opalschürfer from South Africa. For him, the boy has to vacate his room and move in with the shrewish sister.

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One day steals the Logie host father Mini out of the driveway and drives up to the “end of the road”, where he directs the exhaust gases into the interior and kills himself. But on this day and place of the boy learns that a few years older Lettie know.

The girl takes him to Hempstock farm, the oldest farm in the area, which even in the Domesday Book </ em. > is performed by William the Conqueror. While he spooned warm oatmeal there with homemade blackberry jam, feels secure. However it surprising that the two women, who come from the stables, the suicide last thoughts and his farewell letter already know.

The car ride over a bumpy path, lined with blackberry bushes, hazelnut trees and wild hedges is to time travel back to that farm. The two women then were clairvoyant Mrs. Ginnie Hempstock and her mother “Gramma” Hempstock who had experienced the “big bang” and can still remember, “like the moon was created.” How bizarre in this, men loose Women’s World Lettie’s origin can be explained biologically, one of the many secrets that come to the narrator again, as it approaches the red brick building “in all its dilapidated glory” remains.

as soon as he stands in the hallway, the narrator feels again like the Seven years of the time. From the stocky, powerfully gripping Mrs. Ginnie Hempstock an equally skinny and petite person has now become, as it once was her mother. Then it draws him out into the yard, the chicken coop and the old barn had passed called to a small puddle with duckweed and lily leaves, Lettie an “ocean”. All this falls to the narrator again when he sits on the ancient wooden bench with flaking green paint, looks into the pool and ponder where Lettie’s gone at the time: “Somewhere far away”.

With the contemplative view of the duck pond ends the prologue and the epilogue many pages later, which ends with the departure of the narrator begins. Between the two bridgeheads in our “normal” world, fifteen chapters extend full partly amusing, partly enigmatic, sometimes puzzling, sometimes realistic, sometimes mysterious, but usually darker episodes from the childhood of the two protagonists.

That was not place nor time of the idyll. Evil is always and everywhere. As a mother, a part-time job takes in a pharmacy, the housekeeper Ursula Monkton is set. She’s on father ran and controlled, blackmailed and threatened the frightened child as an inner voice. “I was in you If you tell anyone anything, I will know about it. ” The boy feels that this woman is able to break the family suffers from the absence of the mother and realizes that his father may be violent.

While the boy finds solace and warmth protection for Lettie. But he has with her an adventure survive, bears the nightmarish horror. The threat of the monster Ursula shall abound, the woman turns into a creature made of fabric strips that imprison the boy in the attic, wants to rip out his heart. Almost like the Fates of Greek mythology induce him to Hempstock girls join mystical powers to save “Gramma”, by “snipping and plugs” of his bathrobe modify the time concerning, and Lettie has power over the “hungry birds.” By pouring the ocean in her water bucket, he is transportable, and the boy can climb in, until the ocean waves close over him. The water penetrates into him, the universe is spreading, and he understands how the world is like/

So really clear to me not know where the train is supposed to go in retrospect: lies a philosophical, existential or deep psychological concept behind this novel, or will the author with a cocktail of surrealism and symbolism, magic and poetry, first mother-mythology and Harry Potter antics just tickle our imagination? Behind the colorful hints all questions remain. The imagination of the reader is always in demand as his powers of deduction.

What is it about the Hempstock women about? Their home is “beyond the ocean”, and they have everything, “known all along” already. What it has tiny with Lettie pools, which should be an ocean about? Is he a black hole, Frau Holle well shaft, Alice’s rabbit hole Platform Nine and Three Quarters , or even the Styx? Once our young narrator draws a endless worm from his foot, but a little bit stuck/ As a portal for a creature that will threaten his life/

Neil Gaiman’s novel on the cover emblazoned promotional Daniel Kehlmann’s compliment, “A poetic gem, how not often read gets”. I had not exactly that impression. The pages of this novel are indeed fully with the relevant vocabulary, but they did not ignite. The Language tissue is not evocative, it raises not a magic one. This may be due to the little wooden translation of Hannes Riffel, which remains close to syntax and style of English, instead of creating their own river; but also the original (which I however could catch only a few passages on the Internet) probably not the expressive power of other books of this genre.

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“The Ocean Just Down the Road From” by Neil Gaiman. (2019, Nov 18). Retrieved from https://paperap.com/the-ocean-just-down-the-road-from-neil-gaiman-my-review/

“The Ocean Just Down the Road From” by Neil Gaiman
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