Tag: fantasy


Guest Post: Conversations With History

Posted 31 July, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in guest post, Reviews

Conversations with History by Susan Lander, Attorney at Law
Review by: AnnaSaurus Rex
Anticipated publication: August 11, 2014
Source: Publisher. I received this book in consideration for an honest review.
Guys. I can’t even. I…I’ll start here — This book had me at its synopsis:

Channeled by a psychic medium and written in interview format, this book takes readers on a unique journey with 22 spirits who were famous (or infamous) during their time on earth. Renowned personalities from 600 b.c. to 2011 a.d.—from Charlemagne, Ben Franklin, and Gandhi to Walt Disney, Kurt Vonnegut, and Steve Jobs—have returned to share their most important messages with us. Their passing led them to understand their life lessons and the ramifications of their choices. And now, with the clear-eyed vision gained only from the Other Side, they’re taking center stage one last time to offer us insights into their lives that they didn’t possess while they were here.

Sounds AMAZEBALLSright?!  I was all…
…when I took it up. The “About the Author” section blew me a-fucking-way. She tells us she has been battling with illness since her teenage years, is a lawyer, and ultimately was in a coma, which is when some spirited friends (!!!) paid her a visit:

Four months [after the coma], the surprise my spirit guides promised appeared – Ben Franklin showed up in my kitchen. Thus began the parade of spirits clamoring for an interview…when [my book] was finished, I entered it in a contest with Hay House – and won a publishing contract. No agent, no rejections, just a book contract.

Any normal person would have been all:
Not Susan! If that isn’t proof that there’s some crazy shit out in the universe I don’t know wha—well, maybe it’s just an indicator that Hay House may not be in business much longer. Although, the rumor mill says they ARE publishing a sequel. Anyway, here’s hoping they stay in business long enough to give yours truly a book deal!
I’m not being hateful, I promise. Like I said, I was very excited to read this. What would Gandhi think of Twitter? Would Walt Disney personally apologize to me for his company treating me as an indentured servant? Would Patrick Swayze remember that time we made eye contact in Whole Foods?? Okay, maybe that one was a dream. Anyway. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS SPIRIT WORLD!
WARNING: If you do not want your magical sense of innocence and whimsy ruined, I beg you to skip this next section!
Ruining Your Dreams
Imagine my disappointment when I actually became BORED with this book. A couple of chapters in it became apparent that Susan Lander, Esq. was using this format as an excuse to preach her own vision and values to the world.
Don’t misunderstand me! I agree heartily with her ideas. The long and the short of it is we need to love more and live in harmony. Think hippie/libertarian/psychotic break politics. Redistribute wealth! Love yourself and others! Anger is useless! War is dumb! Equality! Like I said, it’s a legit message that I can appreciate. It should be said more often. And much louder. I believe Conversations with History is an especially effective way to communicate this message because the target audience for this piece of work could probably stand to have some wisdom laid down on them.
It is now safe to return if you want to continue wearing your magical-wonderland-glasses throughout life.
Anyway, 22 dead celebrities drop in and chat about love, believing in YOU, hard work, etc. As previously discussed, all very good stuff, but it gets a trifle boring. I am a child of the 21st century and I require constant interjections of cat gifs and puns to stay engaged!
Since entertainment was lacking, I ended up letting my mind wander and re-imagine what Susan had already imagined, i.e. what these dead celebrities were really trying to say to us. Sure, Henry Ford says love and money are connected, but is the subtext that is he’s dying to hook up with Steve Jobs? Twenty-two is too many to go through in this post, so I’ll just pick out a few of my favorites.
Susan gives us the word-for-word communication. Now, I present to you the deep and important nuances of these interviews.
The Realness
Abbie Hoffman – Presented in history as an antiwar activist in the Vietnam era, his interview leads me to believe he’s most likely a double agent for The Man. All this hippie-dippy-power-to-the-people stuff is merely a smoke screen for his nefarious plots. What I glean from the interview is that there is no free will. Per Hoffman, all our current ideas are put into our heads by dead hippies:

We are putting the energy into the collective consciousness from the Other Side, and people “catch” the ideas.

Sure, he claims the ideas we catch are about peace…OR ARE THEY?! I just don’t trust this guy. As a result, I want to catch his ideas about as much as I want to catch chlamydia. He speaks in pretty general terms and my guess is he’s just letting us know that The Powers in the Spirit World can fuck with us any time they damn well please. Take my word – this is a warning shot.
Frederick Douglass– A former slave turned leader of the abolitionist movement, Susan says Fred is hella chill. When reading her description of him, one of my notes says, “So he’s Morgan Freeman. Or is Morgan Freeman him?!?” Imma just leave you with that thought.
 
 
 

Betsy Ross – OMFG GUYS. B. Ross is GAAAAAY! And she was totes part of the underground gay community back in the day. In fact, I’m gonna go ahead and say she was the closeted Rachel Maddow of her times. DEAL WITH IT.

Charlemagne – As history remembers him, Charley was a military leader who conquered a shit ton of the world and forcibly converted his conquered subjects to Christianity. Sounds like a baller, no? Well, apparently he’s a huge fucking wimp. If Charlemagne was alive today (and animated), he’d definitely be Milhouse Van Houten (and if you don’t know that Milhouse is a character from The Simpsons we probably won’t ever be friends). Oh, you don’t believe me? You don’t think I’m truly clairvoyant? HOW DARE YOU DOUBT ME MINIONS! Blah, alright, here’s some evidence:

“As long as I functioned within the rules, I was protected…”

 Protected from whom, Charley? From Nelson perhaps?! Your Charle-mother-fucking-magne. Get your confidence on son!

“I believe in repairing conflicts through diplomacy.”

 C’mon. Really? I call shenanigans. SAY THAT TO MY FACE CHARLEY.
Gandhi – More like Yodhi, amirite?! Oh wait, you haven’t read this book. Let me explain. It’s a reference to Yoda and Star Wars. I’m gonna be honest, this parallel is shaky at best. It’s litereally built off of one line. I read it, felt it, and couldn’t look back. Here it is:

“To me, all that matters is that I tried.”

I read that and thought, “Do, or do not. There is no try.” Maybe this is a testament to my father and him introducing Star Wars to me at a young age. Maybe it reflects my specific level of geek. Either way, I’m fine with it. The point is, I read this line and immediately thought, “He’s like Yoda, except he’s cool with you just trying.” Which I feel like is totes Gandhi.
As a bonus, there’s also this:

God is the life force. You can’t see him but you can feel him. On one level God includes our connection to others. But to me he feels huge, and his energy and life force permeate everything.

 Sure, this is more of an Obi Wan quote (“Well, the Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us; it binds the galaxy together.”), but the theme remains the same.
In short, spot on Susan. Spot. On.
Albert Einstein – Self identified as Neo from The Matrix. I cannot improve upon that.
Henry Ford – Okay, so Henry has a hard-on for Steve Jobs. Totes would have a three way with him and another player, TBD. The short list includes President Obama (but not until that one day when he crosses to the Other Side of course). And I quote:

Adam and Eve and the Garden of Eden. Original sin? I don’t think so. Original beauty. The Apple logo was so inspired.

AND

…while you’re listening, please do not be hardheaded or stubborn in your beliefs. It’s important for your growth. I wish I had been a little more open-minded. You can never be open-minded enough.

AND

You may love it! Allow yourself to be surprised.

 OPEN-MINDED. KNOW WHAT I’M SAYIN?! SURPRISED, RIIIIIIIGHT? Also, a little later:

 Say what you mean, mean what you say, and then stand up for that. Put some backbone behind it.

I take this to mean that he is a top.
Time to Move into the Light
I have some more thoughts on the additional celebrities including a Rocky reference (please review my Twitter history to understand my true feelings on the Rocky movies) and a wannabe Cher, but, unlike our featured author, I will not drone on.
I give Conversations with History 3 ½ Overpriced Tarot Card Readings out of 5.
It’s a fun idea with a positive message that I support. The medium used (get it?!) to convey the message is a new one on me. For the record, that’s where the ½ of the 3 ½ comes from. Anyway, there’s hopefully a sequel, so someone pick it up and let me know what Jesus thinks about Tumblr!
 
So, Readers. Another fine review by our official psychic-medium interviews with dead guys correspondent. Whatcha thinking? Who’s going to pick up part two? Have you ever communed with the spirits? What’s the craziest book billed as non-fiction that you’ve ever read? 
 
AnnaSaurus Rex is no stranger to the book world. She’s the brave soul who reads the books that none of us dare to but wish we could. Hello dinosaur erotica and Christian mystery novellas! Go ahead and add psychics interviewing dead guys to the list. AnnaSaurus brings a sense of humor to all she does. You can follow her on Twitter @anna_saurus_rex where she live tweets from hospital waiting rooms, random music festivals, and during loads of bad nineties television.

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Guest Post: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe – A Reader’s Retort

Posted 8 July, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in guest post, Reviews

Obligatory introduction: I’m Brooke, a friend of April’s, we met in high school, where we had brief band room exchanges at best, but Facebook drew us closer. Thanks, Zuckerberg. But truthfully…she has become one of my favorite people. Where we differ in theology, we find common ground in snark and the love of books. I’m also an elementary school teacher, so children’s books are a dear love of mine.
So here we go…
First, yes, like April mentioned…there is strong Christian allegory in the book. It’s undeniably the message of Christ and His last days. But I would expect no different from a Christian novelist. When you take an orange and you squeeze it, you get orange juice, no?
Being a Christian myself, I of course have no issue with the meaning behind the story, and indeed, appreciate a Christian based book that is as gripping and exciting as LW&W.  Overall though, if you are uncomfortable with the parallel, I would suspect a child, reading this would see a good story, with good messages. So what can a kid take out of LW&W?
Lets turn to the kiddos…
I’m going to be short with the boys…because I want to focus on the girls since April, you had a bone to pick with Lewis over their characters.
Edmund
 
I love Edmund. He screws it up, over and over. He’s a smart mouthed kid, complains about everything, and loves to make poor Lucy come off like a fool when she starts in about the world in the wardrobe. 
 
So what does Edmund teach us? Forgiveness, forgiveness from his family, because even though Edmund is a complete schmuck his family still wants to save him from his stupidity because that’s what family does.
Peter
Not a huge fan, I admit. I tend to root for the underdog, so I am team Edmund. Peter is a bit self-righteous at times and definitely revels in the fact he’s the older brother.  Which is annoying. But you have to love Peter for facing his fears.  He takes the lead, literally, in battle. And is coming to terms of not only having to be responsible for his family, but to be a commander of an army of talking animals and centaurs. That’s a lot for a pre-teen to take on, let’s be honest.
 
So what does Peter teach us?  Bravery doesn’t happen all at once. But when forced in a situation that a talking wolf attacks your sister, you gotta do, what you gotta do.
Susan and Lucy
Okay so here’s the deal. April, you had issue with the fact that Susan and Lucy are lame. But take another look and buckle up buttercup, ’cause they aren’t.
Okay well…. maybe Susan… Susan is a little lame.
But my girl, Lucy. Here’s what’s heavy, out of the four kids, she’s the main one to focus on.
But first let’s address Susan and her boring personality and why she is super important to Lucy’s development of character.
Who is Susan?
She’s practical, she’s motherly, she’s nervous to go where no daughter of Eve has gone before… into the wardrobe, and beyond the light post. She sees the letter that Mr. Tumnus has been arrested and her first thought is,  “It’s getting colder every minute and we’ve brought nothing to eat. What about just going home?”
Nice, Susan…classy.  Her title is Susan the Gentle. Susan the Gentle?
Yawnsville.
Let’s be honest. Susan is a bit of a snooze fest and if you continue on with the books, April, you will discover (spoiler alert) that Susan doesn’t remember Narnia, and likes to party. Who would have thought?
But here’s what’s big for Lucy.
Lucy breaks down gender roles. She wants to fight. She’s ready to fight. Santa gave her a freakin’ dagger.  Her friend Tumnus is in trouble and what is Lucy’s first thought?
“We simply must rescue him.” Atta girl Lucy!
She’s young, but she’s adventurous. She’s stubbornly truthful. She doesn’t back down when the other’s don’t believe her about Narnia. She is Lucy the Valiant, having healed her brother after war.
(More spoiler alerts) Later down the road in the series, we see Lucy wishing to look more like Susan…but in that beautiful way, we know Lucy is worth ten Susans. Susan is necessary for us to see Lucy in her brilliant and fearless way.
So what does Susan teach us? When you go into a wardrobe that turns into a winter wonderland… bring food. She also teaches us by example… don’t be lame.
 
What does Lucy teach us? Don’t be a Susan. Be a Lucy.

 
A big thanks to Brooke, who became tired of me besmirching her childhood favorites on the blog. (See The Little House Posts, I also may or may not have insulted Charlotte’s Web at one time or another…) Anyway! 
 
Brooke is a talented artist who’s work you can see (and purchase!) at Art, Love, and Joy and who will occasionally pop into her own blog Applesauce is the New Black
 

 
Darlene from Lost in Literature also directed me to her review of The Chronicles of Narnia for another positive perspective on the series. Check that out too! 
 
What do you think Reader? Have I been too hard on Lucy? Who’s your favorite? Finally, do you see The Chronicles of Narnia as Christian fiction? I ask because I never considered thinking of them that way. If you missed my original negative review of this book – you can find it linked below.
 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Haters Gonna Hate: The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

Posted 3 July, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Haters Gonna Hate: The Lion, The Witch, and The WardrobeThe Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
Published by Zondervan on 1950
Genres: Classics, Fantasy & Magic, Young Adult
Pages: 208
Goodreads
one-half-stars

The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious prophecy while in Narnia. The Pevensie children help Aslan (the Turkish word for lion) & his army save Narnia from the evil White Witch, who's reigned over the Narnia in winter for 100 years.

After I re-read this for the first time as an adult and I disliked it so much that I wanted to use the MOVIE ADAPTATION BOOK COVER HERE. Yeah. Passive aggressive all over the place. 

So! I picked it up because I read a short story by Neil Gaiman “The Problem of Susan” that referenced The Last Battle which of course is the last book in this series. As a kid I could never finish Prince Caspian so I never read any further. Well I’ve finished Prince Caspian but first I want to express my views on how very distressing I find this book, which I re-read several times growing up.

First, what we already knew. 


The extremely heavy Christian overtures undertones. Get ’em while they’re young, I suppose. Yes, yes, I do know C.S. Lewis was also a Christian apologist, but is it fair to sneak theology into children’s food without them knowing? Obviously I’m incredibly uncomfortable with this. Don’t get me wrong, I actually really enjoyed both Mere Christianity and The Screwtape Letters, but those are books for adults.

I mean the death (and resurrection) of Aslan at the stone table? All we’re missing is a cross and three days. It definitely warms kids up to the religion if you can point to a much beloved fairy tale character and bring parallels, don’t you think? Or am I raving like Richard Dawkins? 

ANYWAY. What I find more disturbing, partially because it seems to fit in so well with the Christian undertones, are the extraordinary overtones of misogyny. The most powerful evil character is both a woman and a fool. There is no redemption for her. Even looking at the sisters, Lucy and Susan, they are far weaker than the brothers and irritating to boot. Susan’s character is by far the most distressing (and yes, I’m jumping ahead) by the fact she is cast out of paradise forever for the sin of liking make-up, nylons, and parties. I mean come on.


I know this was published in the 1950’s… but seriously? Ugh. If you haven’t read this series skip it and go straight to Harry Potter instead.

So haters gonna hate. Feel free to totally disagree with me here, Reader. I know I’m probably ruffling feathers today. What do you think? 

 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Magical Realism Monday: Alias Hook

Posted 16 June, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Magical Realism Monday: Alias HookAlias Hook by Lisa Jensen
Published by Macmillan on July 8th 2014
Genres: Fairy Tales, Folk Tales, Legends & Mythology, Fantasy, Fiction, Historical
Pages: 368
Goodreads
four-half-stars

I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange honest review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

"Every child knows how the story ends. The wicked pirate captain is flung overboard, caught in the jaws of the monster crocodile who drags him down to a watery grave. But it was not yet my time to die. It's my fate to be trapped here forever, in a nightmare of childhood fancy, with that infernal, eternal boy."Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan's rules. From the glamour of the Fairy Revels, to the secret ceremonies of the First Tribes, to the mysterious underwater temple beneath the Mermaid Lagoon, the magical forces of the Neverland open up for Stella as they never have for Hook. And in the pirate captain himself, she begins to see someone far more complex than the storybook villain. With Stella's knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook's last chance for redemption and release if they can break his curse before Pan and his warrior boys hunt her down and drag Hook back to their neverending game. Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen is a beautifully and romantically written adult fairy tale.

This book was excellent. I should start by saying that even as a kid I always thought that Peter Pan was obnoxious. Re-watching the Disney film as an adult made me realize that not only was the Pan obnoxious, he was misogynistic and borderline racist. In other words, he was a little shit. 

So I guess you could say that I was a prime candidate for someone willing to sympathize with the notorious Captain Hook. It’s true that Hook’s back story is distasteful and there’s enough in his past that would probably land him on death row in any number of countries still practicing such things. But this story is not ultimately about Hook’s past, it’s about his future. 

I’d love to see this book become a modern classic in the vein of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. It’s well constructed and the characters are fleshed out and the writing is surprisingly literary. Peter Pan is a little one dimensional, but aren’t all eleven year olds? I think that this is part of the point. Hook’s bull-headedness at the beginning of the book concerning Stella Parrish (definitely a candidate for ‘strong female characters’ lists!) was a bit irritating. I wanted to shake him and say “Come ON, Hook! Can’t you see what’s right in front of you?” Again, the evolution of Hook in this novel is a part of what makes it so enjoyable. English teachers will slap the table and say, “Yes! THIS is what a dynamic character looks like!” (If nothing else, is growing up not an evolution of ourselves?) 

Much like Wicked this is not a novel for children. There are dark themes at play in this book and an undercurrent of despair.

However, this is a book about magic and redemption, the loss of innocence and what it truly means to grow up. 

Highly recommended to those who enjoy the Peter Pan tale, fairy tale retellings, or even people who enjoy magical realism. Fantastic read. 

So Readers, how do you feel about Peter Pan in general? Have you ever though of Capt. Hook as being sympathetic? Romantic? Capable of love? 

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Superhero Saturday: ‘Powered’

Posted 15 February, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Powered by: Cheyanne Young

Source: Author
Synopsis: (Goodreads)
Maci Might’s sixteenth birthday is supposed to be the day she’s awarded Hero status. But thanks to a tiny anger problem and a questionable family tree, King City’s elders think it’s best if she doesn’t join the Hero ranks. Determined to change their minds, Maci will break whatever rule it takes to prove she’s Hero material. As her hair darkens and her anger grows, everyone turns against her except Evan; a childhood friend turned scientist who may be able to unlock the secrets hidden in her DNA.

When a villain attacks King City and her dad is held prisoner, Maci discovers a truth she refuses to believe. She may not be a Hero after all—but this time the Heroes of King City need her more than she needs them. And she won’t let them down.


I was really pleasantly surprised by this book. I’ve been kind of burnt out on YA titles these days, especially trilogies, but this is actually a pretty exceptional and well-written piece of YA fantasy. 

Powered brings back memories of NBC’s Heroes or even X-Men. One of the primary differences seems to be that in the Powered universe ‘Supers’ have lived alongside humans for most of appreciable history and they have their own society and civilization that humans seem to know about, but don’t try to penetrate. This really doesn’t come into play a whole lot in the book, I just found it to be a unique piece of world building. 

I also loved the absolutism found in the Super-society (blonde hair/blue eyes = good; dark hair = evil; Heroes don’t have bad dreams, the twin thing, etc.) This absolutism requires Maci and her allies to fight to overcome the stigmas that society puts upon her. This felt like a great allegory to the challenges that girls (especially girls of color) are sometimes forced to handle in life.

Maci isn’t the most likable character that you’re ever going to find in the annals of literature, but I did find her to be relatable and her feelings to be representative (enough) of teenagers. 

Many readers gripe about the fact that many YA trilogies introduce pointless love stories, but unlike other recent YA fantasy/dystopian trilogies the love story in Powered actually serves a purpose in the narrative more than just making Maci ‘softer’ and more relatable. 

All this being said, King City felt a little bit like the Capitol in The Hunger Games (with fewer dystopian elements) and Pepper was almost a photo-copy of Cinna. Neither of these things detract from the story though. 

I’m looking forward to the next one.

Enjoy,

April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Wonderful Wednesday: 11/22/63

Posted 20 November, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Wonderful Wednesday: 11/22/6311/22/63 by Stephen King
Published by Simon and Schuster on July 24th 2012
Genres: Alternative History, Fiction, General, Historical, Horror, Science Fiction, Suspense, Thrillers, Time Travel
Pages: 849
Goodreads
five-stars

Dallas, 11/22/63: Three shots ring out.President John F. Kennedy is dead.Life can turn on a dime—or stumble into the extraordinary, as it does for Jake Epping, a high school English teacher in a Maine town. While grading essays by his GED students, Jake reads a gruesome, enthralling piece penned by janitor Harry Dunning: fifty years ago, Harry somehow survived his father’s sledgehammer slaughter of his entire family. Jake is blown away...but an even more bizarre secret comes to light when Jake’s friend Al, owner of the local diner, enlists Jake to take over the mission that has become his obsession—to prevent the Kennedy assassination. How? By stepping through a portal in the diner’s storeroom, and into the era of Ike and Elvis, of big American cars, sock hops, and cigarette smoke... Finding himself in warmhearted Jodie, Texas, Jake begins a new life. But all turns in the road lead to a troubled loner named Lee Harvey Oswald. The course of history is about to be rewritten...and become heart-stoppingly suspenseful.

Looking at Stephen King’s body of work, this is his best novel after he finished his epic Dark Tower series.

It tells the story of a middle-aged English teacher in Maine (of course) that discovers a portal back to 1958 located in the back room of his favorite diner. He becomes obsessed with preventing the assassination of JFK, convinced that it will stop many other ills that happened afterwards (MLK assassination, for one).

This book is part time travel, part historical fiction, part speculative fiction, and a love story. The best part is that other than a few clunky ‘sex scenes’ (and I use that description in the loosest possible term) this book is masterfully crafted and a compelling read.

The history of JFK has never held much allure for me. The great defining event for my generation was of course, 9/11. So, I was taken by surprise when I enjoyed this book so much. It’s long, but it’s a breezy read, for me the pages just flew by. I didn’t think that a book like this could hold so many surprises.

This is also a good starter book for people who don’t know what a fantastic story-teller that King is. I wouldn’t even put this in the horror genre so it’s a great book for people who don’t necessarily enjoy horror novels. Fabulous. Absolutely put this on your to-be-read list.

I decided to write this review as a part of Nonfiction November Book Pairing week to see if anyone had any fantastic JFK non-fiction they might recommend! Do you?

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April @ The Steadfast Reader

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Fantastical Friday: The Ocean at the End of the Lane

Posted 13 September, 2013 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in Reviews

Fantastical Friday: The Ocean at the End of the LaneThe Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Published by Harper Collins on June 18th 2013
Genres: Coming of Age, Fiction, General, Literary
Pages: 208
Goodreads
five-stars

Sussex, England. A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. Although the house he lived in is long gone, he is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock, and her mother and grandmother. He hasn't thought of Lettie in decades, and yet as he sits by the pond (a pond that she'd claimed was an ocean) behind the ramshackle old farmhouse, the unremembered past comes flooding back. And it is a past too strange, too frightening, too dangerous to have happened to anyone, let alone a small boy.Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper and resonated in unimaginable ways. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie—magical, comforting, wise beyond her years—promised to protect him, no matter what.

It sounds trite, but The Ocean at the End of the Lane is an instant classic! 

My sole problem with this novel is that it’s touted as an adult novel, when it’s really closer in form and structure to Coraline than American GodsIt’s YA lit in the tradition of Madeline L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. I predict that The Ocean at the End of the Lane will one day make it’s way onto summer reading lists everywhere. 


It examines the links between childhood and adulthood, things forgotten and things returned. Lots of good stuff. 

Read it. Now.

At a mere 181 pages, it’s a quick read, so no excuses!

What’s your favorite Neil Gaiman novel? 

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April @ The Steadfast Reader

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