Other reviews at The Book Babe's Reads.
I'm not going to lie and tell you that I thought The Ocean at the End of the Lane was brilliant, though I do think that Neil Gaiman is brilliant. To tell you the truth, until about the last eighth of the book, I thought that this was going to be a two star read. Nothing had really grabbed me, and not a thing made sense to me.
But after I read that last eighth, everything kind of just fell in together, and it all made sense and it was the Neil Gaiman I was used to. So I don't understand why the first seven eighths didn't do that for me. Actually, I think I do... but it makes me seem slightly close-minded. It was the main character. And as far as I can tell, he doesn't have a name. (I didn't notice it while reading, but I'm noticing that now.)
I just... couldn't connect with the boy that this was happening to - it could have been his age, or it might just be that I didn't care for the boy a bit.
My overall thoughts on The Ocean at the End of the Lane, according to my notes, appear to go something like "this is weird" said in different variations, throughout the entirety of the book. Many crazy things happened, and lots of weird ones... and I never really felt like I got the complete story. At one point, my head even started to hurt while reading.
The ending was definitely the best part of it all - everything made sense, and it even gave me a few philosophical questions to ponder, like "are the Hempstocks a representation of the three fates" or "is the ocean made of everything". All in all, this was a very weird read. And honestly, I'd recommend Stardust to you way before I recommended this one.