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The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Essential Revision Notes

© 2016.

All revision notes have been produced by mockness ltd for

Table of Contents

Context 5

Summary 6

Characters 8

Narrator 8

Lettie Hempstock 8

Ursula Monkton/Skarthach of The Keep 9

Old Mrs. Hempstock/Gran 10

Ginnie Hempstock 11

Father 11

Opal Miner 12

Sister 12

Mother 12

Gertruda 13

Mr. and Mrs. Wollery 13

Callie Anders 13

Christopher Kovacs 13

Varmints/Hunger Birds 13

Themes with Supporting Quotations 14

Memory 14

Fear 16

Isolation 19

Mortality 21

Time 23

The Supernatural 25

Versions of Reality 28

Wisdom and Knowledge 30

Sample Answer 33

“Power and all its secrets”: 33

Magic in Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane 33


If you don't know that Neil Gaiman is important, then we feel majorly sorry for you. But we can also guess why you don't know about this lion of the fantasy genre: you just don't read much fantasy.

In Britain, however, where Gaiman comes from, his book covers are plastered along the Underground tunnels in poster form, streets are renamed after his fictional tales, and in 2013 his book The Ocean at the End of the Lane won the prestigious Book of the Year award—and for good reason.

The man has such a vivid imagination; he creates whole worlds that would feel right at home in a Tim Burton movie, and then plops them down in the middle of pastoral settings in such a way that you think to yourself: "Yeah, okay—sure. There's always been an eccentric family down the road, of course they're secretly immortal beings with infinite power and wisdom." If nothing else, you'll never look at your neighbours the same way—definitely not after reading The Ocean at the End of the Lane.

In The Ocean at the End of the Lane, we are listening to a jaded middle-aged man who's gone home for a family member's funeral reminisce about some crazy adventures he had when he was seven years old and befriended an odd little girl named Lettie Hempstock.

The thing is, though, while he's visiting the farm where everything went down, he can remember all the strange, mystical...

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