A Portrait of Neil Gaiman by Adrien Deggan

A Portrait of Neil Gaiman by Adrien Deggan

A synopsis for Neil Gaiman’s next novel, The Ocean at the End of the Lane, has surfaced, and I haven’t stopped drooling since:

It began for our narrator forty years ago, when the family lodger stole their car and committed suicide in it, stirring up ancient powers best left undisturbed.

His only defense are three women on a farm at the end of the lane. The youngest of them claims that her duckpond is ocean. The oldest can remember the Big Bang.

It’s short and sweet, but hints at all the magic that I expect from Gaiman, who explains the novel as “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy” and “a novel of childhood and memory. It’s a story of magic, about the power of stories and how we face the darkness inside each of us. It’s about fear, and love, and death, and families. But, fundamentally, I hope, at its heart, it’s a novel about survival.”

The Ocean at the End of the Lane will release on June 18, 2013, and this blogger’ll be in line at the bookstore.

  • Seth October 9, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Hmm, I wonder if the three women at the farm are some sort of reference to the Fates or Norns in American Gods, who lived on a farm in Virginia. Maybe I’m just reading too much into it. Either way, I’m excited.

  • Aidan Moher October 9, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I expect you’re onto something, Seth.

  • Frodo Stark October 9, 2012 at 5:17 pm

    More power to those excited, I certainly don’t begrudge you that…but for myself I just keep feeling like Gaiman is becoming the go-to guy for pretentiousness. I mean, “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy”? That’s about childhood, memory, magic, the power of stories, the darkness inside each of us, fear, love, death, families, AND survival? Whew…

    I get that there’s a certain self-promotion required in this business, but Gaiman somehow always rubs me the wrong way. I think he’s trying to convey this mysterious master of myths persona and I don’t get that from the stuff I’ve read. It feels more like he takes other people’s stuff, twists/reshapes, and then claims to be making myth.

    Just my two cents, as I said…

  • Dave Thompson October 9, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    If he’s always rubbed you the wrong way, I doubt he’ll stop doing it anytime soon :)

    I’m actually really stoked about this…yeah, a Sandman prequel and some of the other familiar projects he’s talked about (Odd and the Frost Giants sequel) are cool, but I’m so happy to hear he’s doing something that sounds different and new too.

    (That said, I’m still holding out for Neverwhere 2 and more from the American Gods universe.)

  • Maya October 10, 2012 at 10:39 pm

    “a fable that reshapes modern fantasy…” – that’s the publishers’ description not Neil Gaiman’s

  • Scott October 11, 2012 at 10:20 am

    It’s probably a well known fact that I am a card carrying, die-hard, Neil Gaiman fanboy (he’s my fave author)…so this announcement has me over the moon. He’s got this, CHU’S DAY, a sequel to ODD & THE FROST GIANTS, and the AG sequel coming soon (plus the HBO series). It’s like proper fanboy overload. Can’t wait. This sounds stellar.

  • Scott October 11, 2012 at 10:22 am

    …oh and the SANDMAN prequel…oh gods…soon please.

  • Seth October 14, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I’m just glad he’s returning to adult fiction. I enjoyed The Graveyard Book and Odd and the Frost Giants well enough, but I haven’t really fallen for any of his work since American Gods. Anansi Boys fell kind of flat for me.

  • Jesse November 7, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    This does sound good. But so do all of his stories. And then I read them and something just falls flat for me. I love his ideas but hate his execution. That being said, I’ll give this one a chance.