The Ocean at the End of the Lane, published by William Morrow, is renowned writer Neil Gaiman’s first adult novel since 2005—one many fans and critics have been eager to read for quite a while now. Generally speaking, it’s a short, poignant book that explores the dark spaces of myth, memory, and identity through the experiences of a young boy, recalled by his adult self upon a visit to the place where he grew up—the place where he brushed something larger, more grand and impossible, than himself.
As regular readers of Tor.com might recall, in early March I received an advanced copy of this book and I wrote a spoiler-free review that discussed my immediate reactions after reading it. Mostly, that consisted of exploring the novel in its larger context as well as on a thematic level. Things had to stay a step back and fairly impressionistic; it was three months early, after all. But, now, it’s not early—the book will be on shelves for readers to pounce, purchase, borrow, and wallow around with.
That means I get to return to The Ocean at the End of the Lane with carte blanche, and so here we are: a spoiler review of the novel.